Category Archives: Tool Shed

Thoughts about kitchenware.

Why Didn’t I Think of this Sooner? My Own Office Fridge

My new fridge in its new home, my office.

Two days ago I had a brainstorm while trying to figure out the logistics of buying fish at the Union Square Greenmaket in the morning on my way to work and keeping it chilled through the evening when I got home from my tai chi class around 9:15 pm. I realized I could buy my own fridge for my office exclusively for the purpose of preserving my greenmarket purchases.

My own fridge would alleviate the guilt I felt for occupying precious, chilly real estate with my egg cartons and yogurt quarts in our tiny office fridge, which is intended for everyone else’s lunch. Besides, the constant opening and closing of the office-fridge door isn’t what the fish doctor ordered.

So, early yesterday morning, unable to sleep for a whir of work details racing through my mind, I logged on to and ordered the lovely little 2.7 cubic foot, black Haier fridge pictured above. It was on sale for $93, a small price to pay to preserve what will certainly be my near daily $50-plus greenmarket purchases now that the harvest has begun. Too cheap to rush it, though, I chose free super saver shipping from amazon. The fridge arrived today. And doesn’t it look like it was meant to be, nestled there between my lateral file cabinet and my shredder? If only I knew to expect it so soon, I wouldn’t have had to run home from the market this morning to put my Fazio Farm duck in the fridge before I went to work. I can’t wait to fill it up first thing Monday morning!


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Filed under Food for Thought, Tool Shed

Tool Shed: Not-so Grate for Cheese

More than a decade ago, my BFF (best foodie friend) Bonnie Stern gave me a gift that changed my life: a micro plane grater.

A micro plane in its natural habitat, a woodworking shop.

This was before there were Microplane® graters. Bonnie received a tip that sent her to the woodworking section of a local hardware store to find a fine-toothed plane that turned out to be a remarkable zester. She found someone who was packaging these planes for culinary use and began to carry them in the ktichenware shop at her cooking school in Toronto. While visiting the school one day, she gave me one of these newfangled zesters and told me it was going to change my life. I bought a few for friends. She was right. Our lives would never be the same. No more tough strands of zest from a traditional zester that had to be minced before the zest could be added to a cake batter. No longer would I have to figure out how to get the majority of zest off the box grater without cutting up my knuckles. I wrote about this revolutionary kitchen tool in trends-to-watch article for Food & Wine. Coincidentally, that same year Martha Stewart gave micro plane zesters for Christmas gifts.

My first micro plane grater still works like a charm.

As today’s wildly successful Microplane® manufacturer would want it, I use my grater for all sorts of things in the kitchen beyond zesting citrus, such as grating whole nutmeg and finely mincing garlic cloves into a paste. But a recent New York Times blurb about a new Microplane® grater for hard cheese moved me to write this post. About the only thing I don’t like to use a micro plane for is grating hard cheese. Continue reading

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Filed under Taste Tidbits, Tool Shed, Uncategorized