7 Kitchen Essentials for Mastering Julia Turshen’s ‘Small Victories’ Recipes — Plus Where to Buy Them

updated Jun 8, 2020
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As any good cook knows, preparing an amazing meal doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s the concept behind Julia Turshen’s Small Victories, Kitchn’s Cookbook Club pick for June. Each recipe includes a “small victory” moment, whether it’s finding a use for week-old eggs or transforming stale bread into a delicious pudding. Before you start trying the recipes, though, you’re going to need the right kitchen equipment. To help you out, we’ve rounded up seven of Turshen’s favorite kitchen tools, along with our own recommendations for each. Once you have all your gear, pick up the cookbook, and try whipping up a new recipe or two! Then share your comments in our Cookbook Club Facebook group or post a photo of your dish on Instagram, with a short review of the recipe in the caption, and use our #kitchncookbookclub hashtag to be featured on our Cookbook Club hub page. Happy (victorious) cooking!

Credit: Amazon

1. Microplane Grater

In her book, Turshen calls this simple tool “invaluable”: “It makes zesting citrus a breeze, turns Parmesan and other hard cheeses into the finest flakes, works as a nutmeg grater, and is excellent for creating flecks of chocolate.”

Kitchn Recommends: Microplane Premium Zester, $15

2. Stainless Steel Tongs

Use them for everything from transferring veggies to flipping meats. “I like to think of them as an extension of my hand,” Turshen notes in the cookbook. “Once you start using them, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.”

Kitchn Recommends: OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Tongs, $13

Credit: Amazon

3. Kitchen Scale

“It will make your measurements totally accurate, since there’s no room for error (1 cup of flour can vary by a number of grams, depending on how you pack it and how humid the room is, but 120 grams of flour will always be 120 grams of flour),” says Turhsen. “Using a digital scale also means you have less to clean up, because you can simply add all the ingredients to the bowl, bringing the scale back to zero between additions.”

Kitchn Recommends: Escali Primo Precision Kitchen Food Scale, $35 (normally $40)

Credit: Amazon

4. Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

“It’s got an amazing crunchy texture and a clean flavor that is unrivaled, and I love it,” says Turshen about this flaky salt that’s pricey but feels “like a final hurrah” when sprinkled on dishes just before you serve them. For general cooking, Turshen prefers regular kosher salt like Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

Kitchen Recommends: Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, $6

5. Knives

When it comes to kitchen knives, Turshen recommends a sharp chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a small paring knife. “The rest of the options might look nice, but I find they rarely get used,” she adds. “Like clothes you never wear, an excess of inessential knives (all tools, for that matter) usually just end up occupying valuable space and cause you to be unnecessarily indecisive.”

Kitchn Recommends: Wüsthof Gourmet 3-Piece Starter Knife Set, $130

Credit: Amazon

6. Oven Thermometer

Whether you’re whipping up baked treats from Turshen’s desserts section or roasting veggies, an oven thermometer is a handy tool to rely on for accurate readings. “…It is very useful when baking since all ovens, in my experience, are always a little off,” says Turshen.

Kitchen Recommends: Cooper-Atkins Stainless Steel Bi-Metal Oven Thermometer, $8

7. Wooden Spoons

You can never have too many wooden spoons, according to Turshen. From scraping every last bit from the bottom of the pan to being compatible with all kinds of cookware to being incredibly easy to clean, wooden spoons are essentials!

Kitchn Recommends: OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Wooden Spoon Set, $12