A song to the tongApril 24, 2009
One of the great pleasures of all this visiting and house-sitting we’ve been doing while our place is renovated is having the chance to play in so many different kitchens.
I have developed quite a list of new gadgets to stuff into my capacious drawers (ooh!) when I eventually get them.
And a few new sets of tongs will be on the list. I love tongs, and cannot fathom how anyone lives without them.
Over Easter I visited my sister and was aghast to find not a single pair of tongs – not even a crappy old supermarket pair – in her kitchen. As I whined and ransacked every drawer in the place, berating her for her tongage shortage, she looked on, nonplussed, and asked what was wrong with a fork.
A fork. How could she possibly substitute a fork for tongs, I gasped. And she said, with rather too much relish for my liking, ‘Well I probably don’t fry things quite as often as you do.’
An outrageous slur, of course. There’s roasting, too. And sauteing, and flash-frying, and … hmm. But Senor has also pointed out there’s the whole serving aspect. And barbecuing. And fishing pasta out for testing whether it’s cooked. And – surely other uses!??
But they can’t be just any old tongs, though the crappy supermarket variety I have always found to be among the best. They need a long enough handle to prevent boiling splashes or side-of-pot burns to the hand, yet not so long as to become unwieldy. And the hinge action must be perfect – responsive, springy, not too rigid or stiff, and with a wide arc. And the pincer bits need to be curved enough, and come to an adequately fine point when closed, so as to pick up anything from a giant potato to a teeny slice of sauteed zucchini, or even a single raisin. Nothing more annoying than those stupid flat-ended, no-hinge jobs that only open an inch and won’t actually close properly. May as well try brain surgery with flippers.
Anyhoo, you can imagine my joy, in our current glamorous abode at my friend J’s house, to find this motherlode of fancy, smooth-action, silcone-tipped beauties. I had always seen those little baby ones and thought they were a gimmick, but now find myself walking round the house with them in my hands (there are two pairs!), snapping ’em like castanets.
What are your favourite mini-gadget essentials? The things that are always missing from holiday houses and that send you down to the supermarket in a huff to get? Lemon-juicers are my other obsession. Think I might need to investigate a few new versions of that next.