Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Wonderful Wedding Gifts

My absolute favourite wedding presents have been our breadmaker and rice cooker (and food processer, and ice cream maker!).

First. The breadmaker is wonderful. Finally, I can have gluten free bread that is fresh and tasty. The vacumn-sealed-refresh-in-the-microwave stuff never really did it for me. I've found some great bread flours that give excellent results. Doves Farm Organics Gluten Free Bread Flour is delicious, as is Wessex Mill Gluten Free Bread Flour. I found the latter at my local deli who stocks a good selection of gluten free goodies! I love being able to stick a load of ingredients into the machine, pressing go, and knowing that in a couple of hours the house will be filled with the smell of fresh bread. Even my Husband likes the bread from the bread machine, he eats more of it than I do! It doesn't have a gluten free setting, unlike some machines on the market, but that doesn't matter as the flours I use are designed for the normal white bread setting on the machine. I'll admit that I thought a breadmaker would be one of those gadgets that sat in the kitchen gathering dust, but not so, use it at least once a week.

Perfectly cooked, fluffy rice every time!! I know I shouldn't be surprised, that's what rice cookers do. I love it, it makes rice the easiest of things to cook. I've been experimenting by adding chopped tomatoes, onoin, peppers, spices and anything else that comes to mind! As long as you put in enough water for the amount of rice it comes out great. My next plan is to try to cook quinoa in it... watch this space.

The food processor is fab, I've been chopping, slicing and grating everything possible with it. Including my thumb, but that's another story. I used it to make gluten free pastry, it worked brilliantly - the best chicken pie I've ever made! It's also brilliant for liquidising soups and making short work of mashing roots like swede and celeriac. I used it to make some delicious ice cream too.

Last but not least, the ice cream maker! Lemon and lime sorbet was the first thing I made, we had a new years' eve party and there were loads of them left over, so I juiced them (with the juicer attatchment on the food processor!) and added them to sugar syrup. I was so impressed that I couldn't wait to try something else. On Burn's Night I made Cranachan ice cream, rasberries, whisky, cream, sugar and yogurt, liquidised together and added to the ice cream maker. It was so delicious that it was completely finished off by 5 of us, most of us had seconds!

That's not to say that I like any of our other gifts any less, however. I have used every single saucepan, knife, utensil and gadget we were given. I have found out which ones my Husband will use (the fun ones like the mandolin and potato ricer..!) and made sure that he helps where he can. I love being in my kitchen, even when I'm feeling as rubbish as I do now there's something uplifting about being able to produce something from raw ingredients, bringing them together to create a new, or familiar dish. Even better than that, I get to do it now, no just for my own pleasure but, for my Husband too.

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