True confessions of a colander girlAugust 4, 2010
How many colanders is too many? I think I’m starting to develop a problem.
When I think of the scant array of battered utensils my mother used to prepare decades’ worth of three meals a day for a family of seven, I am rather ashamed of my kitchenware excess. But I do love a simple, well-made and cheaply produced invention – and you can’t go past a colander for that thrill of pure practicality.
At last count – excluding two tea-strainers and one of those wide flat spatter-reducing-things – I have four holey rollers that could be variously described as colanders or sieves:
- the Big Bertha conical colander thing bequeathed to us by a former cafe-owning friend, which is excellent for draining gargantuan quantities of pasta, but that’s about it;
- a large, traditionally shaped stainless steel colander with feet pictured at the rear of this photo – again, good for pasta or large vegetables, but its holes are too large for rice or smaller grains and not plentiful enough for really fast draining;
- a medium-sized, open-meshed sieve with a wooden handle (no burns!) and hooks for sitting over pot edges;
- and a 12cm diameter, fine-meshed sieve that’s very useful for draining small quantities of anything and for scooping bobbing things from pots.
Along with tongs, I find a good sieve among the most useful tools of the kitchen. Not a day goes by without my using either one of these colanders, or the large flat spoon with holes also in the picture (why don’t I know the proper names of these things?). If I had to choose one, I’d go with the medium-sized, wooden handled baby that can be used for anything from noodles to couscous to rice to quinoa to lentils.
Then there’s the whole slotted-spoon arena …. what about you? Do you sieve, or no? And if you were to choose just one holey mother of utensils, which would it be?