Being a kitchen-gear crazy, I like to think that I'm pretty up on what's out there, but the other night I realized that sometimes you've got to go back to stay ahead. I was watching a very early episode of The French Chef, Julia Child's groundbreaking television series of the 1960s, and there she was, majestic and warbly, expounding on the lowly spud and wielding a mashing fork, a gizmo I'd never laid eyes on. It looked like a kitchen fork that had been bent by one-too-many mash-ups with a tater, but, in fact, the bend was built-in, the better to press the tubers into chunky submission.
The little tool seemed so right, so sensible and so out-of-date that I assumed the only one still in existence was shipped to the Smithsonian with the rest of Julia's kitchen. But I was wrong-a quick tour of the kitchen shop in the mall near our house turned up this modern-day (i.e. plastic handled) version of Julia's masher (as did a whirl around Amazon.com where it's called a food fork).
Of course, as soon as I got it home, I boiled up some potatoes and used it to mash them. It was quick and easy and the fork was flexible enough that I could make potatoes that were chunky or smooth or some combination of the two. Then, the next day, I pulled out my new toy to make guacamole. Turns out the fork, which is good for mashed potatoes, is even better for guacamole, a dish in which, if you're like me, you want lumps and bumps and the occasional chunks.
Related Links from Bon Appétit on epicurious.com:
- Subscribe to Bon Appétit - Just $1 an issue!
The Bon Appétit Cooking Club: Party Thai - authentic flavors perfect for a dinner party with friends.
- Give the Gift Bon Appétit - Just $1 an issue!
- The Easy Week: Check in each week for quick weeknight menus and time-saving tips straight from our test kitchen.