On our drive home from a day-long hunt for hiking boots for our upcoming Acadia National Park odyssey, John and I inadvertently stumbled upon one of the largest cooking stores I've ever seen, Chef Central. This enormous store, with very effectively displayed small appliances and kitchen tools, is located on Rt. 17 North in Paramus, NJ.
Yes, I purchased a few items:
1. A much-needed digital refrigerator thermometer.
2. Unbleached parchment paper.
3. A small fondant rolling pin (not that I roll fondant, I just wanted a small rolling pin).
4. A 1/2 oz. melon baller (read: small cookie scoop).
5. An 8 in. mini whisk (so I could return Mom's to hers -- I've had it for years now).
I also have to admit that in our travels around the state yesterday, we also drove down to Marlton, NJ, home of L.L. Bean and a pretty sizable Sur La Table store. There I bought a new 13 in. splatter screen made with a fine mesh and a spice roaster.
John was taken completely off guard when I excitedly grabbed the roaster off the shelf, knowing precisely what it was. It looks like a tiny pan with a mesh screen that lifts off.
"What is that," he asked.
"It's a spice roaster!" I replied, nearly knocking all the other Asian cooking tools from their places on the shelf. "I'll use it to heat the spices for our Indian recipes."
When I saw that it was only $10, I was thrilled. Our hour-long trip south was not in vain after all. John had been trying on pair after pair of sun glasses with no success, while I struggled to find hiking shoes that fit just right.
Eventually, I found the right boots, but not after collecting several bags of new cooking gear and Trader Joe's groceries (there's one in Marlton and there's one on Rt. 17 N, just up the road from Chef Central and a few blocks south of Campmor, where I bought the boots). I'd prepared for Trader Joe's by bringing our smallest cooler packed with nine freezer packs. The groceries required all nine because it was 90 degrees outside, and we stopped for Mexican food along the say.
Once again, I wonder what I did to land such a wonderful guy. John not only encourages my experimental cooking efforts, but looks out for cooking supply stores for me. It was John who found Chef Central. He's the best!