Last night I had my first experience of a modern-day Tupperware party: a Pampered Chef party. It’s a genius concept that taps into the current fashion for cooking and kitchen gadgets. In the usual way, a group of friends and acquaintances gather to share a drink and for one night only they are treated to their own private cooking demonstration.
The products are incredibly varied, easy to use and of course very pretty! If you’re not keen on baking up a storm or creating culinary masterpieces, you must inevitably have to cook your dinner every once in a while and who doesn’t want to make that process quicker and easier?
On the menu last night were Mexican chicken ring and mini banoffee pies. I had a nibble at both of the dishes and was very impressed. The chicken ring was spicy but satisfying. A good family meal. Despite memories of soggy croissants from my childhood (the pastry is made from ready-made croissant dough), it was crispy and held its shape well. The banoffee pies are not really my kind of desert but they certainly were easy to make and very tasty. I’d be proud to serve them at any dinner party.
The first gadget to be demonstrated was the chopper which I must admit I probably end up buying at some point. Vegetables, chocolate, herbs, nuts or anything else you can think of are placed on a chopping board underneath the gadget, the plunger is pressed (or rather hammered) a couple of times and voila! Chopped! I particularly like the idea of chopping nuts – for a baklava – or digestives – for a cheesecake base.
The only negative to this item is that it doesn’t do away with the use of a knife completely (and therefore save on washing up!). Vegetables, or whatever you choose to chop, have to be cut to fit inside the chopper. In my tiny kitchen, these factors make a lot of difference. It will however inevitably end up in my collection if I attend another party because I have heard nothing but rave reviews from friends who have already purchased one.
I was also educated in the ways of stoneware last night. I am aware of the advantages to using stoneware: equal heat distribution, moisture is locked in et cetera but I am yet to be convinced. My main reason for this is that I have never been able to clean the stoneware I have. Last night however I learned that stoneware “weathers” and therefore won’t ever look like new once used. This is news to me but good news nevertheless.
In the end, I refrained from spending my entire wages on new kitchen utensils. I limited myself instead to a few items which we actually need: a new whisk, a zester, a kitchen tidy (to help store all my future Pampered Chef purchases!) and some corn on the cob holders.
Ok, so I maybe didn’t need the last item but by buying them I did qualify for a free gift of a pizza slicer. I’m such a sucker for a bit of kitchen utensil porn after a few glasses of wine!