The Giant Spatula
When my mother gave each of us kids this giant spatula for Christmas one year...I looked at my husband Michael and sighed. I went home and promptly buried it in the bottom cupboard with the camp griddle. I couldn't imagine what she was thinking. Well, Mom has had the last snicker on this one. What do I use it for? Lifting a big floppy pie crust onto the pie pan! As if that isn't enough, you can lift an entire 9" cake for stacking layers. I also lift rolling vegetables off the grill (nothing goes through the grates!), and I use it to flip or lift anything large, i.e. pizza, big pancakes, a roast chicken..you get the idea. You can find them here. Get one, you will find your own happy reasons, like this man did.
The Microplane Grater
How did I ever zest without it? Effortless citrus zest-ing. This baby zests the hardest Parmesan cheese and hard spices like nutmeg and ginger with ease. It has a razor sharp cutting edge but somehow, my fingers stay out of the way, something I never manage with a box grater. Get the one with the handle. This is a must have tool. Find one here.
The Silicone Pastry Brush
Have you ever used a regular bristle pasty or basting brush and thought, dang, I have to throw this away, because that...insert word here... butter, BBQ sauce, marinade... will never wash out? The silicone brush puts an end to all that mess. Use it, wash it in soap and hot water and never worry about ruining your health with that icky sticky basting brush ever again. There are many choices, this is my favorite brand.
The Spider Skimmer
I had the cheap Asian version of this tool for years. But like the pastry brush, hard to know if it was ever really clean. While perusing William Sonoma's great gadget and utensil wall recently, I spotted this stainless steel wonder, treated myself and never looked back. You will love it for everything from transporting hot pasta to lifting blanched vegetables out of a steaming pot. Find one here.
World's Best Vegetable Peeler
I know this is a bold statement, but I think I have tried every vegetable peeler on the planet.
Although my son is probably unaware, he introduced me to the Kuhn Rikon peeler the day I watched him balance a butternut squash in one hand and with the other, peel that tough skinned squash like he was making butter curls. I bought one the next day. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company that makes many wonderful utensils. You can purchase these many places, but here is a great deal.
This is the "short list" of my favorites. Do you have a favorite kitchen utensil you can't live without?