I recently celebrated another birthday … don’t ask, I stopped counting many years ago! Anyway, as most moms know, the best gift we can receive is quality time with our kids, and that’s really all that I need to be happy. I kept telling my family that I didn’t need anything for my birthday, just a day with them. Well, maybe that and my current favorite indulgence, a matcha green tea frappuccino. Of course, I can sip my delicious frappuccino while still enjoying time with my family! 🙂
Well, to my surprise, they went ahead and bought me a couple of “mommy” gifts anyway. They insisted that I just HAD to have presents. Gotta love those munchkins; but what really surprised me was their ability to choose something practical that they knew I would love. There’s no doubt my kids put a great deal of thought into their gifts. They chose a couple of items that they knew would come in handy when I was in the kitchen cooking their next meal!
I definitely already have some great Lodge cast iron skillets, but as anyone with a houseful of teenagers knows, you can never have enough! One of the great things I like about this new skillet is that it has the open handle to help make moving it around much easier . I often prepare dishes in the skillet and bring the whole thing to the table for serving – no sense in dirtying another dish! It’s definitely nice to have a second handle that is easy to grasp.
The other wonderful feature with this cast iron skillet is that it comes pre-seasoned from Lodge. This makes it much easier to take care of and it was ready to go after a good washing. If you’re looking for a great all-purpose pan, you can’t beat this cast iron skillet.
My other gift was a new mortar and pestle. I think they decided to get me this after I had them crushing whole spices with a rolling pin in order to make our own fresh garam masala for a delicious Spicy Indian Chicken Curry we recently made. Unfortunately, my old mortar and pestle went missing after our last move and I just never got around to replacing it. I guess we’ll be making chicken curry again in the near future!
If you’ve never ground your own spices, you are really missing the wonderful flavor you could be getting; nothing compares to the aroma and flavor of spices that are ground fresh. Of course, you can always use a small coffee grinder, which I often do; but, a mortar and pestle gives you more control, and it lets you do so much more. One thing I like to do is pulverize a few garlic cloves with a sprinkle of salt and some fresh herbs to use as a rub for chicken or pork.
Considering the low cost and many uses for a mortar and pestle, they are definitely tools you should have in your kitchen! Goodbye to the frustrating task of trying to crush coriander with my rolling pin or making a paste with the side of a knife, now I’m back in business.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering… I did get that matcha green tea frappuccino! Yum!!!