Half Steps to Utensil Utopia

When your kitchen is the size of a Steve Madden shoebox and cabinet space is so limited that bags of all-purpose flour have to be wedged in between serving plates, you’re hesitant to invest in fancy gadgets

The All-American dream of a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer in the Pantone hue of my choosing will be shelved until I haveIMGP4776 at least double the counter space, if not a marble-topped island with brass pots hanging from an overhead beam. The handheld, weapon-like immersion blender (for perfectly pureed soups all winter log) is a no-go until I have so many drawers that one can be designated for spices only.

At the same time though, we can’t let those lofty obstacles blind us from making some smaller compromises. If it can…

a) Fit in an existing drawer
b) Magnetically adhere to a refrigerator or
c) Be unassumingly stacked inside of another kitchen utensil without throwing off the entire zen of your current pantry organizational system,

…then it’s probably a worthwhile investment

But, when it comes to kitchen gizmos or trying to find a heterosexual male love interest in a college PR class, we can be stubborn. Sometimes, it takes an out-of-body experience to recognize that you’re being insane and insensible.

When you find yourself using your boyfriend’s used art school paintbrush to baste broiling chicken or liberally apply more honey mustard sauce to Trader Joe’s overpriced (even if it is non-color added) salmon, it’s time to maybe start considering a change.

When the paintbrush handle actually separates from the bristles and you even attempt to screw the two back together because, hey, that dressing isn’t going to spread itself, it’s time to seek immediate attention.

With a proper silicone basting brush, you do unfortunately lose the sense of self-pride and DIY snobbery you felt when your kitchen not only looked like a Jackson Pollock canvas, but was crafted with a real artist’s tool.

Selling out is worth it, however, when you realize all of the sauce options now available to you. Yes, homemade orecchiette will have to wait until you have that Kitchen-Aid mixer with the fresh pasta attachment, but at least a brush can do chimichurri some justice.


Chimichurri, for Brushing
Makes enough to baste & serve with a dinner’s worth of protein
Adapted from Bon Appétit

1.25 cup (packed) fresh parsley
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c red wine vinegar
2 minced garlic cloves
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Please don’t laugh at me. Blend all of the above in a food processor or blender. Don’t have either? Not enough counter space for one? No problem. Mince the dry ingredients finely by hand, feel a newfound sense of self-worth overcome you because you’re so rustic, and mix everything together in a bowl.

This can be made a couple hours ahead of time, kept at room temperature. Makes a beautiful baste and side sauce for grilled or broiled chicken, steak and pork.

Not to be confused with the chimichanga.


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