Here, in no particular order, is what some of the hardest working innkeepers in the business had to say about their favorite tools. I hope they help make your home life a little easier and your time in the kitchen a little more successful …
Rebecca Gallagher, Historic Smithton Inn
900 W. Main Street; Ephrata, PA; 17522; 717-733-6094
Does an 'appliance' count as a tool?! My favorite tool is our Yogurt Maker. It's a special touch that we serve fresh, homemade yogurt that guests can either eat plain, or add locally made jams or our homemade granola to. Our yogurt maker has individual, single-serving jars which are ideal for guests. Folks from Europe especially like this!
John Harasty and Keren Colsten, Haydon Street Inn
321 Haydon Street; Healdsburg, CA 95448; 707-433-5228
One of our favorite kitchen tools is a stick blender. We use it for making smoothies, blending the egg wash, pureeing fruit for soups. We couldn't live without it.
Nancy Moncrief, Candlelight Inn
2310 Central Avenue; North Wildwood, NJ 08260; 800-992-2632 The one item that we cannot live without in the kitchen is a Braun hand blender (compare prices). It has attachments for chopping as well. We use it daily and it's a quick way to mix eggs, chop nuts, puree fruit, etc. It hangs on the wall so it is always handy. It is the best!
Don & Susan, Farmers Guest House
334 Spring Street; Galena, Illinois 61036; 815-777-3456
We couldn’t do without our Wilton non-stick muffin pans (compare prices). They are so versatile and help us create individual treats for each guest many times a week. We’ve used them to create bacon egg cups, huevos rancheros in a molded tortilla cup, Valentine cupcakes and bacon cornbread muffins.
Kristin Fintel, Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast
28700 NE Mountain Top Road; Newberg, OR 97132; 503-538-3474
I love my ice cream scoopers (compare prices). I have several sizes: one for muffins, a smaller one for cookies and a smaller one for various other things. By using the scoopers, I make sure things I bake are the same size and cook evenly. I also know how many muffins I will get out of each recipe, which is important in terms of being cost efficient.
Mary Ellen Cox, Phipps Inn B&B
1005 3rd Street; Hudson, WI; 715-386-0800
Mine would have to be an older implement known as a foley fork (see image). I grew up using one to mix cookies and pie crusts. They disappeared about 30 years ago -- although I still had a couple. They came back on the market about 4-5 years ago. They were originally manufactured by the Foley company but Ecko made them later on. They may be a Midwest thing. I have introduced lots of friends to them. I would not use anything else for hand mixing just about anything that is mixed by hand. Forget that half-round pie crust thing. My Foley Fork makes a better pie crust. It's great for scones, cookies, brownies, pancake batter and more.
See more great kitchen tool suggestions from innkeepers in Part II of this article.