Kinto Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
I have tried dozens of travel mugs/thermoses, and they all have shortcomings. They are either too big or too small; the coffee is cold after an hour; the pouring mechanism is awkward, making drinking a delicate act and effective cleaning nearly impossible. The elegant Kinto Vacuum Insulated Travel Tumbler solves these problems and more. It is not only aesthetically appealing but also smartly designed. There are two tops—the inner top allows one to drink coffee like a normal human while also keeping it hot. (There isn’t a spout, per se, but rather a narrow circular opening that directs a good flow of coffee so you don’t have to slurp!) And if you use the outer screw-top lid, this thermos won’t leak if you put it in a knapsack or car. Finally, the diameter is just right for picking up comfortably, even with smaller hands. Simple. Divine.
- Dimensions: 12oz / 350ml
- Material: stainless steel, polypropylene, and silicone | BPA-Free
- Care Instructions: Hand wash only
Kinto Non-Slip Wooden Tray
From breakfast in bed to backyard barbeques, there’s much to be said for the utility of a good serving tray. We found this beautiful pressed-wood tray with a terrific secret: a non-slip coating. The top has a thin, invisible layer of polymer that prevents slippery glasses, mugs and plates from shifting during transport. Choose between sizes or pick up both for varying loads. Established in 1972 in Shiga, Japan, Kinto incorporates Japanese principles of simplicity and subtle elegance into its tableware designs.
- Dimensions: Large: 16.9 x 12.9 inches | Medium: 12.6 x 9.4 inches
- Material: Teak plywood, urethane coating
- Use: Not safe for use in dishwasher or microwave
- Care: Wipe clean or hand-wash. Dry immediately.
Earlywood Tapered Rolling Pin
Working with Montana-based Earlywood, we designed our perfect rolling pin. The gentle, graduated taper starts off at 1 3/8 inches thick, slimming down to roughly 3/4 of an inch at the ends—perfect for rolling out the flattest, most even crusts. We prefer this French style to American-style ball-bearing pins because the lighter weight provides better control; tapered pins are also ideal for rolling out circles of dough. (Rotate the pin in an arc with the right hand while keeping the left side of the pin stationary.) In addition, we prefer longer pins that can handle a full pie crust, so we designed this model to be 20 inches long. Finally, a rolling pin has to be just the right weight: heavy enough to do the work for you but not so heavy that you lose touch with the dough underneath. This pin is a perfect one pound.
Earlywood’s dark, dense hardwoods feel good in the hand and won’t dent if used to crush ice or flatten cutlets. For an especially sturdy rolling pin that is destined to become a family heirloom, we recommend the Mexican ebony. Not only does it have a gorgeous dark luster that will add interest to your kitchenware collection, the wood is also nearly indestructible.
Length: 20 long
- Care: Hand wash only, dry immediately.
Crookedwood Hand-Sculpted Muddler
We found these cocktail muddlers from an artisan in Wisconsin, who individually sculpts each by hand to ensure a high-quality and unique product. The detailed contours of the handle make the muddler not only comfortable and easy to use but also beautiful for displaying on a bar cart. Crookedwood uses dense, lustrous hardwoods that are both attractive and durable.
- Length: Short: 5 inches | Long: 8.5 inches
- Material: Short: Cherry wood | Long: Black walnut wood
- Care: Hand-wash. Dry immediately.
Sal de Gusano Worm Salt
I had this salt, sal de gusano, in Teuchitlán, Mexico, and fell in love with it immediately, even when I was told that is it made, in part, with dried worms. Oaxacan cooks put protein-rich, nutty-tasting roasted chapulines (grasshoppers) and maguey worms into all manner of moles, tacos, tlayudas and guisados. This Oaxacan-made salt may sound like a novelty (like the worm at the bottom of rotgut tequila), but it’s a wonderful all-purpose seasoning. The ground worms add earthiness and savoriness—an umami punch that’s excellent. Piquin and árbol chili powders round out the salt with a bright, slightly smoky heat that can enhance beans, fish, chicken—or your next margarita or shot of mezcal. (The worms are actually larvae that live in the agave plant, which are used to make tequila and mezcal. The sal de gusano I had was served with a slice of lime—dip the lime into the salt and then take a shot of mezcal.)
- Net Weight: 2.3 ounces
- Ingredients: iodized salt, Piquin chili powder, Arbol chili powder, maguey worms (Hypopta agavis), lime juice
- Allergens: If you're allergic to shrimp and crustacean shellfish you may also be allergic to worms and should not consume them. This product was produced in a facility that also processes nuts.
- Place of Origin: Oaxaca Valley, Mexico
Graf Lantz Bottle Cozy
This elegant bottle cozy made from 100% thick merino wool felt will keep your wine bottles cool during the summer and protected from damage during travel. The absorbent wool will absorb any condensation yet resists staining. The cozy can be packed flat for easy storage or transport. We keep one tucked into our market tote for grocery shopping.
- Dimensions: Diameter: 5.75 inches | Height: 9 inches
- Materials: Merino wool felt
- Place of Origin: U.S.A.
ChefSofi Granite Mortar and Pestle Set
Here at Milk Street, we love crushing spices or herbs by hand to create more variation in texture and extract more flavor, and a mortar and pestle allow us to blend them more precisely. This version, carved from unpolished granite, has a generous 2-cup capacity, which means you can make larger quantities of pesto or chimichurri at a time than with other brands. Its deep bowl, which is about 4.5 inches in diameter, will also contain all of your spices as you're cracking or grinding, for fewer crumbs and bits on your kitchen counter. The pestle is 7 inches long and tapered to allow for comfort and control—a firm grip on the pestle makes grinding easier on your hand, and you won't have to worry about scraping it against the edges of the bowl. And, since the mortar is solid all the way through to its base, it provides a stable foundation for grinding spices finely or crushing herbs to release their aromas, as with our Italian-style Spicy Garlic and Herb Oil.
We also like using a mortar and pestle for making a fresh turmeric paste, inspired by our travels in Thailand: Grind together 3 ounces of peeled fresh turmeric, 2 garlic cloves, 1 small shallot (roughly chopped), 1 tablespoon light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Use the paste to coat chicken before roasting or braising, or sauté it as a base for a soups, stews and sauces. It also can be used in vegetable dressings.
- Mortar Diameter: 6 inches
- Pestle Length: 6.5 inches
Kinto CAST Iced Tea Glasses — Set of 4
It's hard to find glassware that is both sturdy and delicate. We like the simple, appealing design of Kinto's iced tea glasses, which are heat-resistant and sturdier than traditional glass. The subtle lip on the rims of the glasses emphasize their sleek tapered shape and also make for easier drinking. Established in 1972 in Shiga, Japan, Kinto incorporates Japanese principles of simplicity and subtle elegance into its tableware designs.
- Dimensions: Diameter: 3.3 inches | Height: 4.2 inches
- Capacity: 12 fluid ounces
- Use: Microwave-safe, heat-resistant up to 248℉
- Care: Dishwasher-safe
de Buyer Mineral B Steak Frypan
Unlike nonstick pans that need to be replaced every year or two as their coating wears off, carbon-steel pans are designed for the long haul and actually become more nonstick over time. This durable steak frypan from French company de Buyer's Mineral B line is thicker than other brands and can be used in the oven as well as on the stove. We like the neat, effective design of the triple-riveted handles, which are the perfect length for easy maneuvering. And with each use, it develops more of a protective surface coating that has nonstick properties. De Buyer even coats its pieces with a layer of beeswax to resist rust and provide a foundation for seasoning the pan. Choose between a 9.5-inch diameter—the perfect size for one steak—or an 11-inch diameter pan to make steaks for two. Both are perfect for everything from scrambled eggs and seared steak to grilled cheese or stir-fry.
Before you use your de Buyer carbon-steel pan for the first time, clean it with very hot water and rub down the entire surface to remove excess beeswax. Heat oil in your carbon-steel dish on the stovetop—enough to cover the bottom—until it starts to smoke, then discard the oil and rub the cookware down with paper towels. The cookware's surface will go through a mottled stage before developing a perfectly smooth, fully blackened patina—in the meantime, we add a little more oil or butter to start and ensure the pan is fully preheated and evenly coated in fat before adding ingredients.
In case of stubborn, stuck-on bits of food, scrub the pan with kosher salt moistened with oil, which will simultaneously season the pan. We also recommend wiping a thin coat of neutral oil across the pan’s surface for storage (with use and time as the patina improves, this will become unnecessary).
- Dimensions: 9.5-inch or 11-inch diameters available
- Note: 9.5-inch suitable for one steak, 11-inch suitable for two steaks
- Thickness: 2.5 millimeters
- Material: 99% iron, 1% carbon steel
- Usage: Season before first use. Before each use, preheat with oil or other cooking fat. Suitable for oven cooking for 10 minutes at 400°F.
- Care: Deglaze and rinse with hot water to clean; do not use detergents or dishwasher. Do not soak. Dry and oil lightly after use. Store in dry place.
- Place of Origin: France