Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Must Have Kitchen Tool for Winter Baking

The last must-have tool I promoted was the lime/lemon squeezer. That has been positively indispensable. I use that thing almost every day. I just love the efficiency and the output.

This tool, a nutmeg grinder, won't get nearly as much use as the citrus squeezer only because nutmeg doesn't go into as many foods as lemon or lime. But it has been a welcome addition to my spice cabinet.

Any cook worth their salt will insist that you use freshly grated nutmeg instead of the bland, pre-ground grocery store alternative. And although you certainly can scrape a nutmeg across a grater manually, doing so is really cumbersome.

It bears mentioning that the grinder I bought has some design flaws - it doesn't store seeds easily. I could store them, but only one seed fits under the prongy-thing at a time. Positioning a new seed requires you to empty any stored seeds first, position a new whole seed and then return the stored seeds while trying to engage the spring loaded top. I'm won't bother to replace it, but I'd recommend getting one that's easier to refill, such as this one.

I've been happily grinding nutmeg atop lattes, into Pinched Potatoes au Gratin, blueberry scones, holiday pies and muffins. When I host my Caribbean-themed party, my grinder will come in handy for rum punch and jerk sauce.

So get a grinder, or get one for the gourmet in your life.

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