Over the holidays, my mom got us all talking about the three kitchen items that we couldn't live without. She named her Lodge cast iron skillet, Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven, and KitchenAid mixer. My brother and sister-in-law listed their All-Clad fry pan, the same dutch oven, and a sharp chef's knife. My sister, meanwhile, chimed in that her list included something to grind coffee with, something to make coffee with (her tools of choice are a Moka pot, French press, and Hario dripper) and something to serve coffee in. What can I say? She's serious about her coffee and drinks the stuff black! My youngest brother also mentioned his French press, as well as his waffle maker and Star Wars cookie cutters (similar).
My top three are my Lodge cast iron skillet (same as my mom!), my Cuisinart food processor, and my electric kettle. I use my cast iron skillet constantly, to make everything from one of one-pot dinners to homey desserts. I could go on and on about my love for my cast iron skillets (okay, technically I have two) but I'll save it for another day. It's a post in itself!
I inherited my food processor from my grandparents. They actually passed down three (!!!) different Cuisinart food processors to our family. Mine is probably at least two decades old (maybe more, it's hard to say) and still works like a charm. I use it to blend flour and butter for pie crusts, to make salsa verde, and to slice or shred my much-loved and oft-mentioned CSA veggies. I aspire to one day have a range of Cuisinart food processors in different sizes and a kitchen large enough to accommodate them.
I spent two months in London on a short-term work project a few years ago, and I discovered the joy and usefulness of owning an electric kettle. Mine was a Christmas gift that same year from my brother, who had made a similar discovery while studying abroad in Scotland. I really think that many American kitchens are missing out on this wonderful gadget. If you drink either coffee or tea (or if you are ever lazy and want to short cut boiling water for any recipe), I highly, strongly, enthusiastically recommend getting an electric kettle for your kitchen.
I'd love to know - what are the three most important tools in your kitchen?