Friday, August 8, 2014

CSA member Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade:
This is my 2nd year being part of a CSA.  I have found a couple things that have made veggie prep and cooking so much easier:

Mandolin Slicer: You can go low grade, like mine, and find them at the big box store for under $20.   Always use the guard!!

Salad Spinner: I had a time trying to find one last year.  This year I found one at the big box store for $5.  The biggest benefit is not the washing but the drying.

Scrap Bucket: I have a large bowl I keep in my freezer for the scraps.  Once that bowl get filled I throw it all in the crock pot with water, salt, pepper and a touch of wine.  Makes an awesome vegetable stock to freeze and use year round.

Wand/Immersion Blender:  My wand blender came with a mini food processor.  The wand part is great to smooth out soups but it is really the mini processor that is essential.  That thing has seen so much pesto.

Dehydrator:  Granted, most drying of vegetables can be done with a low oven.  But its summer so who really wants to heat the house up more.  The good thing about a dehydrator is that it can run over night without much worry that comes with running an oven unattended.
Flexible Cutting Board:  Seems a strange thing to be a "necessity" but when you are dealing with a large amount of vegetables it makes it so much easier and keeps vegetables from going astray as you try to put them into pots.
Rocker Blade Herb Cutter: Again, this is a time saver and a wrist saver.  Plus, if you're like me and have terrible knife skills, it makes you look like a pro.  Mine my parents brought back from a trip to Alaska many years ago.  You can see, its well worn.  

Large Stock Pot with Wire Basket:  This is a multi-purpose tool.  Yet, use it to make vegetable stock or soups, but you can use it to blanch vegetables for freezing or use it for canning. 

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