Cooking Utensils to Give and Get All Year Round

By Steven V. Philips –

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Here are some wonderful, well-designed cooking utensils that I found while waiting, waiting under the mistletoe at the Sur la Table store. Utensils that are easily used, easily cleaned and have eye appeal. These would be great gifts even if it wasn’t The Holidays and I wasn’t a known toy addict. And, adding repurposing to the joy of getting new toys, I found two neat things you might create with your replaced items.


Spatula: Absolutely so overpriced that I actually sobbed in front of Santa. These are a pair of just normal silicone spatulas that spat as well as any very flexible versions should. However, I must say, this is the best holiday hostess gift ever for the young serious cook, or a person who can’t even find the oven. They are Santa Reindeer guaranteed as major adorable and the recipient will NOT have them already. Tevolo / $16


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Colander:  A great version of the classic. Square so it huddles out of the way in the sink corner. Silicone so it takes boiling water, and washes easily, plus it doesn’t scratch and stays put. And, surprise, surprise, the handle gap is enough to allow you to hang the colander over the sink divider to drain hands free. In several colors but red is the very best! By Joseph/Joseph $13.


Timer: With this you will now stop making rubbery/rocky/mushy eggs again. No flashing lights, no ding!-ding! As we say in Montreal, tres handsome and, even if you never use it, you will look so old-school professional. Large numerals for 3, 4 or 5 minutes are etched into the stainless steel over each glass to show what’s left to the finish time for each hourglass. Numerals on both sides along with tiny delicate silicone feet.
By Sur la Table. / $15.00


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Garlic press: Crush garlic by rocking back and forth. Even with my man of steel muscles it is still very difficult to squeeze some garlic cloves with a conventional garlic press. With this very logical tool, you just lean on the now helpless-under-your-power clove and rock it back and forth. The clove surrenders through the mesh into the spoon-like cove, where you scoop it out with a spoon. All stainless steel. By Joseph/Joseph / $15.


Whisk: Two in one. Works as either a flat whisk (easy to store in a drawer) or turn the knob and twisto-presto, it turns into the traditional balloon shape. Cleans easily due to its silicon coating plus it comes apart anyway. And it comes in pretty colors too. By Joseph/Joseph / $10.

After you get your new tools, here are two repurposing ideas for the old ones.


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Colander: Now a lamp-light: How neat is this idea? Not radically new but far more spectacular when it’s the only fixture. Without talking this to death, just look at the starlights on the ceiling and the patterns on the wall. Etherial maybe. Since each of the light “designs” are not the same intensity or shape, the varying light makes this “wallpaper” very calming. You could also put gelatin over the top panel to change color with the season. Note: Think I’d stabilize this on a rod rather that swinging on the cord.


Whisk: First advice: hang these on fish line so just the whisk and the flame show. Suspend in a row or in a cluster. Hang off of the ceiling or off of a bar. Or get yourself a bare tree branch, paint it silver, and hang these on it.  And yes, you can use LED votive candles and then not worry about feeding the firemen freshly roasted dinner. My job is done here. Happy New Year!



3 thoughts on “Cooking Utensils to Give and Get All Year Round”

  1. Oh Santa Philips you have got my shopping started. Yes running a bit behind due to the lack of shopping days between turkey and tree day. No doubt one of my favorite stores to shop. Things I never knew I needed until getting inside the door.
    Not been a fan of the garlic presses due to the cleanup issue. This one seems to have solved that problem.
    Shopping list in hand and watch out lamp shades!
    Happy Holidays
    Looking forward to more insightful entertainment in 2015.

  2. What lovely kitchen tools in colors that will contrast or blend to your kitchen decor. The pictures tell what it would take in a thousand words. Unfortunately the last two items Mr. Phillips describes didn’t have the thousand words of description, in lieu of a couple of pictures. I’m sure the decorating effect, using these tools, would blow ole’ Santa out of his boots.

    Thank you Mr. S.V.P. for the great entertainment and information you’ve given all your readers for this past year. And all those other years besides. Hopefully, you’ll be bringing us many more episodes for the new year. Wilt that: Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year…

  3. Thank you Eleanor and to those who e-mailed and pointed out the missing. Yes two days ago the repurposed item’s photos weren’t — but now they are. These lapses were due to the writer (moi) being technically challenged and the technical people not! Now I have to go and clean the F&M kitchen, my skill strength… SVP

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