Kitchen Tools: The Basics

March 22nd, 2013 by masonjarmusic

Cast Iron Skillet


I lived 24 years without one of these and finally this past Christmas, Mr. James Wilson over at Secret Forts gave me my very own Cast Iron Skillet. First of all, what I learned is you really shouldn’t even bother making cornbread until you have one. Second of all – you can make nearly anything in this thing! I made a blackberry cake in it yesterday, and this morning I fried bacon. It’s also great to wear as a hat, as my dad shows you here:


Dad. Christmas, 2012


Wooden Spoons


I mean- I’m really getting to the roots here. I have at least 15 wooden spoons and I use them all. Any given evening I’m working with at least four – it’s just how the world works. Here is one of my personalized Amia (my nick-name) wooden tools that my sister Hannah (Belak & Crowell) gave me. Also, here is a picture of Hannah and me because she is so pretty and I love her:





A Great Cutting Board


The wonderful people at CounterEv gifted me the most beautiful and fabulous cutting board of all time. It’s made from reclaimed bowling lane maple and it’s sturdy and looks like you are really a professional chopping person who takes their chopping seriously. Up above is a picture of one being used as a cheese board and here is a picture of my mother and me holding my cutting board the day I received it.

Mom and me the day I got my board.Thanks Patrice Malone!

Me and Mom. Thanks CounterEv and Patrice!


Food Processor


I have the large Cuisinart food processor, which was a hand-me-down from my mother (my step-dad missed the memo that you’re not supposed to get your wife kitchen appliances as anniversary gifts, but it worked out for me).  It is perfect for making purées and small batches of soup, and also for quickly chopping vegetables and the like.


I have a small Sunbeam Oskar food processor, which is so tiny and cute. I feel like he had a role in Brave Little Toaster, but it must have been cut. My step-mother passed it down to me and I think it’s from the 80s – but it works like a charm, you just have to treat it nicely for it to rev up, which I respect. I use this little guy almost every day to make salad dressing or to quickly chop garlic. I love him!

Special thanks to my step-parents! You can look at this picture of  John and me with matching haircuts. Below that, one of Claudia and my dad at a crazy party.



Claud and Dad looking sharp

Claud and Dad looking sharp



Victorinox Serrated Edge Utility Knife

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 1.59.27 PM

This knife is life-changing. My family’s very best friend, Kristen, gave me my first one a few years ago and she has kept me stocked ever since. They stay sharp and I literally use it for everything – which might be bad, I don’t know. Here it is in my favorite color option and here is a picture of Kristen and me bowling in Nashville in 1989 where I look a little drunk.



Dutch/French Oven


I told you, I’m really keeping it old-school here. I received my Le Creuset for my 21st birthday from my mom – the best 21st birthday present! Every kitchen needs a cast iron, enamel coated, Dutch oven (le Creuset calls it a French oven, understandably). I have the 5 ½ quart size, which is a great place to start. I brown meat in it, make soups, sauces, meatballs. I stick it in the oven and make casseroles and baked dishes – it’s a true wizard (you’re a wizard, Harry!).  Here is a picture of me and my mom hugging 17 years before she gave me my Le Creuset:

A hug

A hug


And finally  – a weird picture of my favorite things all grouped together (with a little of Millie’s tail in there)



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