I have to share something personal and embarrassing with you. Is it just me?
The it in question is insistence on a very specific implement for a particular job, even though one's batterie de cuisine contains many alternatives. A couple of years ago I counted up 118 gizmos in two drawers under the hob. But, making bread today, I realised that this strange obsession of mine includes even such prosaic things as knives and measuring jugs. Now we probably all have favourite mixing bowls, and they do have to be of the appropriate size. But for bread, it has to be the large metal one for mixing, then the ceramic one for proving. I accept it is just conceivable that changing them round would make no difference to the finished product, but it WOULDN'T BE RIGHT.
And changing the measuring implements? Well, hush your blaspheming mouth. It's the medium size plastic jug for the water, and the small plastic tub for yeast (see the title caption) if I'm not doing sourdough. If it's a sourdough recipe I weigh the salt, and use the same measure. (Don't worry, not at the same time.) But when it comes to topping up the starter - well, obviously it's the same small plastic tub that comes into service. Surely that's obvious to everyone?
I have perfect measuring spoons for my other bread recipes where I measure oil, salt and sugar by spoonfuls. One fine day I will have to change them, but
the two plastic sets which came in Christmas crackers do me very well, and I will be sad when they go.
Finally, to mix? Well, hands to finish off the process, but I start off by stirring with a knife. Not just any knife you understand. Once when writing about bread making I found myself using the phrase a flat bladed knife. Even by the standards of food writers that's pretty stupid - have you ever seen a knife blade that wasn't flat? But I knew what I meant, namely an old fashioned metal side knife, of a type never used any more, and almost all disposed of. Except for this one, my bread stirring knife.
I have a reasonable number of sharp knives, having received most of them as presents. A few of them are quite similar, and they all take on a nice sharp edge, but, for no obvious reason, they assume responsibility for different tasks. In the knife collections of normal people, a vegetable knife is one of the smallest. Not in my kitchen. The big German job does for the onions, and the medium sized Japanese model is always used for segmenting citrus. I could continue, but you get the drift.
I have also been known to get upset if I can't find my normal tasting spoon in the drawer, though I do possess a few dozen others.
Clearly this is too embarrassing to consult a doctor about, so I pose the question to you, dear readers. Is is just me, or are any of you similarly afflicted?