Friday, 13 August 2010

By The Way - Addicted to Silicone

I have to confess that the desperate housewife in me is truly addicted to silicone! These days it seems to be a compulsory in today's modern kitchen.

Why I fell in love? Heat resistant (up to 270 degree celcius which makes it resistant to heats hotter than a standard stove), extremely flexible, non porous, dish washer friendly, almost virtually stain proof, pliable and easy to clean, its hard not to like especially when it comes in a variety of attractive colours and moulds that shout "buy me".

Some facts about silicon: made from silica, this non-metallic chemical element comes from the carbon family and is found in almost all rocks, clay, sand and soils. This material is a polymer in which silicone and oxygen alternate in a chain and are bound to various organic radicals, such as phenyl and methyl. Discovered in the early 1800s, but not used commercially until the 1940s, silicone became a household name in 2004 with the introduction of silicone brushes and subsequent bakeware and other kitchen products.

I realised, yesterday evening, as I was happily frying my chicken wings dipped in shrimp paste (hak cheong kai) in my tiny 50 square foot kitchen in Hong Kong, that silicone tools have truly invaded my kitchen.

My trusty wooden frying ladle now sits at the bottom of my utensils drawer savouring its early retirement as I have found new favour in a pair of beloved 16 inch silicon grip tongs that my savvy sister bought for me on my last visit with her in Perth, Australia from 'The Good Guys', a place I have crowned 'silicone heaven'. From the oven to the frying pan, these 'frying tongs' are just so much easier to use and magically manoeverable in so many more ways.

I have also said a quick goodbye to my faithful quilted cloth pot holders in favour of a pair of stylish fire engine red silicone grip glove mitts that make sticking my gloved hand into a 180 celcius degree hot oven, seem almost natural.

Then there is the cuty pink Princess cup cake mould from Le Crueset that has replaced my once favourite metal muffin pan and the Le Crueset seaweed blue colander that now sits on my counter in favour of its Ikea counterpart which was kept hidden in the recesses of my cupboard since forever. My latest craze, my new pastry glazing brush which is so easy to clean as the silicone bristles are stand alone and don't come off easily or stain. 

My conclusion: 'Simply Fabulicious'! 

- Elaine


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