Week 39: Think Spring
While we transition from a frozen ground to being able to plant seedlings in fields, we are at the slowest point of the year at the farm. The seedlings will soon move from the trays they have started in, to their new home in the ground. This is a great time to Think Spring which is just over 20 days away.
To help get you in the right mindset, we have put together a kitchen wish list that may help make farm-living easier during the spring, summer and fall abundance.
Tomato Corer ($1 - $10). Paring knives are cool but this makes super quick work of any tomato processing you do.
Vegetable Scrubber ($3 - $10). We really love farm dirt, but not served up on our plates. The best scrubbers are small and handheld. Some even have a ring for your finger to go in for extra grip.
Kitchen Towels ($3 - $25). It’s almost something you never think about, but kitchen towels take a beating. This is a great time to put those old, torn and stained kitchen towels in the rag bin and get a new set. It’s amazing how a bright yellow or lime green towel will get you hyped for spring and make your kitchen look beautiful.
Vegetable Peeler ($5 - $20). A dull peeler is like a dull knife. Have you had your peeler since you first moved out from your parents’ house? Time to upgrade. They make cool ones now too.
Cookbooks ($5 - $30). Any cookbook addicts in this group? Not only for their content and beauty, but they typically have more quality control on the recipes than blogs. Cookbooks focused on vegetables, fermenting and canning win for Moutoux meals. Thrift stores are great for books.
Cut Resistant Gloves ($8 - $20). If you use any kind of slicer such as a mandolin, meat slicer, vegetable peeler or cheese grader, DO NOT skip this. There is a reason this made the list.
Jar Pour Lids ($8 - $30). Are you crying over spilled milk? Pour lids are awesome and help prevent a glob of cream from spilling your milk for ever more. These come in both regular- and wide-mouth with more options than you can ever need.
Stainless Steel Garlic Rocker ($9 - $20). Minced garlic is in so many recipes, and it’s one of the least fun to prep. Garlic rocker to the rescue. The rocker design is superior to the garlic press because it keeps more of the garlic oils and is a breeze to clean.
Kitchen Shears ($10 - $70). These are always great to have on hand for kitchen tasks from sniping herbs to trimming meats.
Apron ($10 - $100). Why did Grandma always wear an apron? Because she was a very smart woman! Cooking stains clothes, get an apron. Etsy has 185k+ to peruse. You’re welcome.
Spiralizer ($10 - $100). From hand crank options to a KitchenAid attachment, spiralizers make the prettiest dishes. And as an added bonus, kids LOVE them.
Variety of Cutting Boards ($10 - $350). Wood, bamboo, plastic. In general, the best multi-use cutting board for non-meat is wood or bamboo. Plastic cutting boards damage your knives and may harbor bacteria. However, a large plastic board is best for jobs that involve meat and fish such as butchering a farm chicken.
Spice Grinder ($17 - $150). Once you have made your own garlic and chili powders, you will never go back. Total recipe game changer. But be mindful of the max fill line, supposedly they are there for a reason.
Over the Sink Colander ($18 - $30). Wash an entire bag of veggies at once with a great space saver. This is also a fantastic tool when you are removing water from salted zucchini prior to cooking. Stainless steel is a plus.
Food Mill ($24 - $130). A food mill is an incredibly versatile kitchen tool. It makes the smoothest soups, applesauce and mashed potatoes, and is an absolute must for tomato processing. You can get one that is hand crank for smaller jobs (stainless steel preferred) or a motorized version such as Victorio for larger canning projects.
Cast Iron Pan ($24 - $180). There is no substitute for a seared steak finished in the oven with 1 pan. And the cleanup is an easy wash with water and dry. Who doesn’t love that!?
Mandolin Slicer ($24 - $80). Crinkle cut pickles, julienne carrots, this beet chips and scalloped potatoes all shine because of a mandolin slicer. It’s a wonderful tool but requires a pair of cut resistant gloves. This is not optional, see number 6 above.
Large Salad Spinner ($30 - $100). Moutoux greens don’t mess around. You may think you don’t need the large version, but you do. Find an easy spin version, making a salad shouldn’t be a workout. Check out Zyliss brand for an affordable and durable option.
Dehydrator ($60 - $500). A dehydrator is a farm kitchen workhorse. Homemade spices, organ dog treats, beet raisins, hardy kiwi candies, fruit rollups, apple rings, the list goes on. This is one of the priciest item on our list but Craigslist is a great place to find gently used items such as this!
Chest Freezer ($100 - $1,000). If you aren’t ready for canning and preserving just yet, but want to maximize farm bounties, you may want to consider a chest freezer. You’ll be able to freeze sauces, soups, bones, and chopped veggies without overloading your main freezer. They come in a wide variety of sizes to fit your space and your needs.