Oh, to the joys of toys. And to learning something new every day.
Let me back up a moment. When I purchased an antique Chinese cookie mold in a curiosity store a month or so back, I thought that the thing itself was so beautiful and ornate that it would engender the most incredible spawn in the form of cookies fit for an emperor. Well, it didn’t turn out to be quite the easy process, but in the end (and with some cheating), the apples didn’t fall too far from the tree.
The main problem was the fact that no dough known to man (or within my amateur baking knowledge) would come cleanly out of the carved, wooden mold. No amount of flour dusting or greasing would do the trick, no amount of banging, whamming and poking. I eventually had to place a sheet of plastic wrap between the mold and the dough; done this way, however, the mold impressed only the faintest whisper of the carved design into the dough when raw. When baked, it was vanished. So while the dough was raw, I reinforced the design by tracing it in food coloring with a watercolor brush. Red, to coincide with the Chinese good luck theme.
The cookie was almond-flavored and made with blanched, peeled and ground almonds, egg whites, butter, flour and sugar. It wasn’t bad.
But the most exciting part of this mission by far was seeing what other people blogged about their curious kitchen tool muses. I’m so grateful to everyone who shared their stories of testing their good luck with gadgetry. So, without any further ado, here they are:
I think someone needs to dash out to Hollywood and write a horror movie script based on a crazed cook villain who wields a docker like this one. This bread-baking tool was Gabi’s muse at The Feast Within, and it helped her create one mean mezzaluna. (Seeriously, there’s your title for the film as well… )
The award for the shortest-lived kitchen gadget goes to Franz of the Dusseldorff-based blog, einfachkoeslich (“simply delicious”), who took shelter behind this “onion mask” while grating a number of onions. A game aficionado of food and gadgets, Franz concluded that a food processor was better for grating onions anyway, and doesn’t require a mask.
Last but not least, Denise of Chez Denise et Laudalino toasts to her unstoppable new cork pourer with a built-in stopper. Curious but simple-looking, it sounds handy for the single wine-drinker who recorks after a few glasses at a time.
And that’s a wrap for That Crazy Kitchen Gadget!
I should think as well for baking cookies in August. I apologize to anyone who participated and felt the need to bake in 90-degree weather as I did. In any case, many thanks again to everyone who blogged, read, and/or continues to dare with crazy or suspect technology in their own kitchens.