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Before all the machines, we used hand-held kitchen utensils that needed only woman-power! We shredded cheese using a cheese grater, we mashed potatoes in the hot pot with a potato masher and we minced our garlic by running it through a garlic press. Basic Italian cooking utensils included a food mill or tomato press and all French cooking utensils always included a nutmeg grater for adding that quintessential ingredient to cream sauces. Every cook had a pepper mill and salt grinder to freshly grind whole peppercorns and large chunks of salt. There wasn't lemon juice in a bottle, you had to squeeze an actual lemon using a juicer or a small sieve.
When it comes to preparing and cooking food for one or two people, these hand-held cooking utensils are the perfect tool for the job and should have a place in every cook's kitchen. Some other handy tools that should be included in your collection:
• A whisk: you need this for making a perfect gravy to go with a roasted chicken or turkey breast.
• A swivel peeler: this is the most effective way to quickly peel carrots and other fruits and veggies.
• An apple peeler/slicer/corer: this machine peels an apple, slices it and cores it in one easy turning of the handle. It's perfect for pie-making and as an added bonus, kids love to do this and then eat it all up!