Conquering My Kitchen

Conquering my (small) French kitchen–sounds easy right?


When we left the States, we left all appliances, pots and pans behind since nothing would work in the new kitchen. It was sad parting with the things that had served me so well over a long period of time. A Cuisinart I’d had since college, the immersion blender and mini chopper each for at least 15 years. Ditto my Oxo salad spinner and two complete sets of Calphalon.

After a trip to the marché, the salad spinner was the first to be replaced by a French version. Still an Oxo but updated and wow–it’s so smooth! The old one you had to pump and pump – this one you just push it down and it takes off.

I splurged a bit on the immersion blender and got one with a bunch of different attachments that blend, chop, chop more, whisk, etc etc. It’s also a big improvement over my old one-function Braun. As an immersion blender it’s faster and the blender stick pops off for much easier cleaning. Trying it as a mini chopper–2 pulses and ginger, garlic and a shallot were nicely minced. Another 2 and a chile was done.

The bigger miracle happened when I was challenged to make some mayonnaise. For years, the Cuisinart got pulled out when it was time to make mayo. It was generally foolproof and made what my husband calls the world’s best mayo (and who’s going to argue with that?).

There was a recipe that I’d been kicking around for a long time, because it didn’t seem like it would ever work. You dump all the ingredients in a tall container, hit it with the immersion blender for 3 seconds, slowly pull the blender up until everything is emulsified. Can’t work. Going to be a big mess. Taking a deep breath, I gave it a shot.

OMG, it worked! Game changer. Gorgeous mayonnaise in a few seconds. A few more seconds to tweak the taste, plus it let me add more oil to thin down the consistency (and tame the garlic I’d grated in) without breaking.

If Hollandaise sauce works as well, it’s a good thing my doctor is 3000 miles away…






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