I have been planning a big clean-out of my kitchen (and the ridiculous assortment of pots and pans stacked in our cabinets) and a potential reorganization (not that there is very much room to reorganize anything...). And I've been thinking about what things I really need to keep and what can go. Then my mother went and got me this beauty! The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook. (She also gifted me her copy of the ATK gluten-free cookbook after she bought it on Kindle and I got a copy of Flavor Flours from my dad.)

So now I am spending Christmas afternoon basting a turkey and copying all of the "essential equipment" lists from the book into one giant list in a word document (link to the doc in my Dropbox, in case of the cooks and bakers around here want to see the things they recommend) with care instructions. One day I will own nice versions of all these things. One day far far from now.

I'm not the only one absorbed in a Christmas gift. Lest you think I'm rude for ignoring my family (which I am totally doing), my dad is sitting across the table from me reading a book he got from my brother, my mother is in the next room doing the same, and my brother is doing farm chores.

A finally, a question for the hivemind - what is one kitchen thing that you have that is incredibly helpful, but a person wouldn't automatically think to get?

For example, I spent years and years hand-squeezing lemons and limes to get the juice out. I was perfectly happy to keep doing it that way until my roommate brought home a hand-held citrus juicer and my life was changed forever. I love that thing, and I never would have bought one for myself.