My favorite quarantine cooking gadgets
The Geiger Counter's weekend picks
Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.
Cooking at home is on the rise as folks opt to stay inside and amateur chefs have been gobbling up one viral recipe after another to stay occupied. Yours truly is no different, and I’ve found there’s a few cooking gadgets and tools I’ve been using more frequently.
Dalgona coffee was the first quarantine trend I tried because it looked so delicious and is extremely easy to make. Take equal parts instant coffee, sugar and hot water (usually two tablespoons each, though you could use less sugar depending on taste) and whisk them together until the whipped mixture is caramel in color with stiff peaks. Then dollop it on top of a glass of milk and enjoy. While you could do it manually, a hand mixer or whisk attachment for an immersion blender saves you precious minutes.
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The blender also can be used to make hearty soups that sit on the stove or in the slow cooker all day as you binge television and sip coffees. Now people are whipping all sorts of drinks. I’ve even seen recipes for a White Russian dalgona drink that I’m itching to try for happy hour.
If you’re making dalgona coffee often, then an electric kettle is a simple way to get the water to the right temperature quickly. Aside from coffee, I’m also drinking a lot more tea than usual, especially chamomile, to help with stress and odd sleeping habits that have developed due to the quarantine.
If you’ve noticed a shortage of yeast and flours on grocery store shelves, that’s because a lot of people have picked up baking as a hobby. Beer bread, banana bread, sourdough bread, focaccia — you name it, people are baking it. “The Great British Baking Show” has reentered my queue, as well, which only fuels my temptation to bake — and eat — lots of bread.
Sure, lots of recipes can be made in a free-form boule, but it doesn’t hurt to invest in a convenient loaf pan for quick breads with wet dough.
Once the bake is complete, you’re going to need a way to slice it up without ruining the product, and a serrated knife is the best way to do so. Homemade bagels also are becoming increasingly popular, and the knife will make sure you have the perfectly even surface for spreading jam and butter. You could use a bagel slicer, but that might squish your hard work rather than slice it if the blade is too dull. I’m eagerly awaiting a 5,000-word, 32-page recipe booklet for Parachute’s bing bread to arrive, and you can bet when I make the potato, cheese and bacon dish from a Michelin-starred restaurant that I’m going to use a serrated knife.
No, I’m not talking about the spice. As you comb the internet for the latest and greatest trendy quarantine recipes, you’re going to need a place to store them. The Paprika app has become my virtual recipe binder where I can menu plan my favorite dishes from Half Baked Harvest, Eater, The Takeout, The New York Times, Serious Eats and more — all in one location.
Don’t get me wrong. I love cookbooks, but I’m also a millennial with limited bookshelves, and I don’t want to scour a bunch of browser bookmarks to find that one thing I made months ago. The app has a ton of useful features, too, such as scaling up or down servings with a push of a button.
Like many artists, electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso canceled its tour because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, back in 2019, it filmed a concert and recently released the film for free on YouTube alongside a new live album.
The one-hour movie is part documentary, part visual accompaniment to said album. Instead of just Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn playing on the stage of the Durham Performing Arts Center, they collaborated with eight of their friends to make the looping sounds more tangible like they did with “Echo Mountain Sessions.”
It’s a unique and energetic chance to see tracks like “Die Young,” “Radio,” “Coffee” and “H.S.K.T.” intimately performed with the extra members. The tunes are still recognizable, but with an added layer of texture that make you want to dance along in your home.
Jefferson Geiger is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Everything Summit.
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