Kitchen Essentials: Get Them at the Hardware Store!

I start every morning with a fight.  Not with my husband, but with the bottles of juices or jars of jam that are wound tighter than a losing football coach.  My guess is that Hulk Hogan works in the test kitchens demonstrating how easy it is to twist off the top of midget-sized Ecuadorian pickles.  I finally lost it after my husband tried to open a jar of spaghetti sauce, cracking the top of the glass jar and then saying to me, “We can still use it.”

If you are a woman who lives in the United States and sees herself as having extraordinary skills in the kitchen, you’ve probably made more than a few trips to Williams-Sonoma, the cooking equipment store with no small amount of snob appeal.   At Williams-Sonoma, you can pick up those must-have cosas like a Shun Fuji chef’s knife ($250-$480), an end grain, cherry wood cutting board ($130-$230) and even some bargain items like a stainless steel garlic press ($45) or a real steal, the Rosle wire cheese slicer for only $30. (And who among us can live without a wire cheese slicer? First thing to take with you if the house catches fire.)

pliersBut myself, I don’t live in the States and I don’t fancy myself as a culinary goddess. I just wanted a way to open my jars!  That’s why my most importante kitchen utensil is a simple pair of pliers you can buy in the hardware stores here for $3—vital for opening bottles and jars that are an insurmountable challenge for human hands. And my all-time favorite tool is the pair of channel-lock pliers (they open really wide) that I swiped from my husband’s tool box. He got them at Home Depot in the USA. I don’t know how much they cost, but if you are opening a jar of frutilla jam, the channel lock pliers are worth every penny.

The name for pliers, and the reason I shop for fancy kitchen utensils in the hardware store?  Alicates.

One Response

  1. Donna,

    From your articles I gather you are a kindred spirit! I’m an economic refugee from Florida: was the Landscape Architect for the Florida Turnpike until 80-90 hours a week made me too sick to work… Been here for going on 5 years, with my family. We love it! Love to meet for coffee is you have a chance!

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