We ladies at Town and Country are great foodies and love to cook. Over the years we have used lots of the latest gadgets and gizmos that have come onto the market – most have gone by the wayside but some we simply now cannot live without.
So whether you are a housekeeper who cooks as part of your job, or someone who is a ‘budding’ chef and just loves to make food for friends and family you might like to know what we are our three most loved pieces of kitchen equipment.
How to make great pasta
Making your own pasta is such a satisfying thing to do and generally speaking much nicer than shop bought. You don’t have to be an Italian housekeeper to get the hang of it! Andrea has been doing this for years and finds it a great way to get rid of stress! You can make the basic dough in a food processor but she makes hers by hand! The dough can be flavoured with spinach, squid ink or beetroot – to name but three.
Using A Pasta Machine
Once the dough is made you need to use a pasta machine to roll it out – it can be done by hand but we think that is a little bit of a step too far. So whether you buy a pasta machine where you have to turn the handle, or you treat yourself to an electric machine making spaghetti, linguine etc. is easy. Andrea’s other favourite thing to do (and ours to eat!) is to roll out sheets and make her own raviolo – her mushroom and truffle oil raviolo is something to die for!
How to make your own ice cream
Who doesn’t love a big bowl of delicious ice cream!! This is one piece of kitchen equipment that we think spending money on is a necessity. Yes, you can buy a cheapie machine, but that usually means that you have to know in advance that you are going to make it and put the bowl in the freezer several hours in advance.
Ice Cream Makers
We are not that organised housekeepers – and don’t always have time to plan these things in advance. However at Andrea’s house there is a top of the range ice cream maker that will chill and churn your ice cream for you with no advance planning. Bibi is hooked on her mince pie ice cream (and Christmas is not far away!), but the chocolate and cherry, or rhubarb and ginger will also get lots of applause!
However, you can also make sorbets with a lot fewer calories by using low fat yoghurt and fresh fruit that are still delicious. She is now also trying the fashionable savoury sorbets and ice creams that you see on the cookery shows – try beetroot sorbet, it’s simply fabulous with goats cheese!
How to make great bread
Yes we know that buying good bread is now easy whether you have an artisan bread maker next to your London home, or that lovely farm shop in the country – and the great cooks out there will simply make their own bread and probably never want to use a bread maker.
But on an everyday basis we think that you cannot beat the smell of bread baking and a bread maker when you do not have all the time in the world is fantastic!
Buying A Breadmaker
Buy the best one you can is what we advise as the cheaper ones do not give you the same choice of size and what type of loaf you can make. Sweet, savoury, seeded, brown or white – with a little patience you can make them all!! Do you know that there is even a bread maker now that you can use to make jam!!