This post was written by guest contributor Michael Devine, a New York–based textile designer. Devine's book, An Invitation to the Garden: Entertaining, Cultivating, and Cooking through the Four Seasons, will be published by Rizzoli in the spring of 2014.
(Ph. courtesy All-Clad)While making my holiday gift list this year (and checking it twice), a few ideas came to mind for my culinarily-challenged friends. These are the tried-and-true tools that I turned to over and over again when testing the almost fifty recipes for my new book, An Invitation to the Garden. I now believe that no kitchen can be considered well equipped without them. Cuisinart's emulsion blender is a must have for any novice chef with soup on the brain (and menu). I'll never again use a blender or food processor to puree soup—and neither will you after trying this just once.
I'm also a big fan of solid stainless steel measuring cups and spoons—they're absolutely essential for accurate measuring. Any cookware from the beautiful IIttala collection is worth having, but the 2 litre saucepan is more than just eye candy, it's a kitchen staple. This marvel of design provides incredibly even heat and makes cleaning up a snap. What are some of your old standbys in the kitchen?