Kitchen essentials I the bulb baster

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Indy Lifestyle Online

If you look at the picture here, you may think Christmas has come early. The object is commonly called a turkey baster, and most people use it - if they use it at all - to lubricate the festive bird with juices and fat from its roasting tin.

If you look at the picture here, you may think Christmas has come early. The object is commonly called a turkey baster, and most people use it - if they use it at all - to lubricate the festive bird with juices and fat from its roasting tin.

But I would propose that a bulb baster is never more useful than in summertime, when we're all marinating and barbecuing like mad. Have you ever tried to dig a little spoon into the gap between the side of a dish and the chicken breasts you're marinating in olive oil and lemon? Damned difficult. You never get enough of the marinade onto the spoon, the spoon slips, your fingers get marinated themselves.

The bulb baster does away with that hassle. Tip the dish so the liquid runs down to one end, then draw up a healthy slug of fluid by squeezing the bulb. Hold the baster over the pan's contents, ease up on the bulb, and voilá! - the fluid flows freely. Needless to say, the same can be done while barbecuing, roasting and frying. You can also use the contraption for drawing fat off the surface of a stew.

Bulb basters are metal or glass. The latter allows you to see what's up the spout, but I prefer metal as it never breaks. Both cost £7-9 in department stores.

Two words of bulbous warning. One: never tip the baster up so the liquid flows into the bulb itself. The rubber from which it's made is fiendishly difficult to clean. Two: some basters make an imperfect join where bulb meets syringe, so they don't draw very efficiently. But then, any bulb is better than a spoon.

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