Bash and Chop

Bash and Chop

 I was asked the question….what are my favorite kitchen tools?  If I had limited storage, what would be the kitchen essentials that I would recommend to a new bride?

Without a doubt my first pick would be a heavy duty mixer.  Whipping, kneading of dough, mixing…all made easier with this tool.

A good food processor would be next.  The ability to chop up a pile of vegetables for soups or salads in record time make this appliance high on my list.

A good set of pots and pans with heavy bottom and straight sides are used daily.  I’d add a good cast iron skillet to that mix also.

As for smaller items, I cannot stress enough the usefulness of silicone mats for cookie sheets.   These prevent the overbaking of cookies and provide a non-stick resting place for caramel or chocolate-covered goodies.

Dinner was almost derailed recently when I could NOT find the vegetable peeler.  I now have TWO of these handy tools.

An unusual but very useful kitchen tool is called a bench scraper.  This flat piece of metal with a handle on the end fits into the palm of the hand.  Use it to divide bread or cookie dough, break open fresh garlic cloves or scoop up a pile of chopped veges from the countertop.

I keep a couple of these unusual tools available for gifting to hostesses or brides-to-be.

My most recent purchase had the name “Bash and Chop” on the box.  This pretty much describes what the tool is used for.   I was reminded that THIS is what we do when we gossip about others. 

We verbally BASH their actions and CHOP them up in little pieces behind their back.  When we nurse a critical spirit, it will always affect others negatively. 

Here’s a picture of this useful kitchen tool should you wish to have one for yourself.  A recipe for Garlic Infused Roast Beef is there also…and be reminded that ‘Bashing and Chopping’ should only be done in the kitchen.

Confectionately Yours,


PS-I cannot get the picture to upload as yet.  Search ‘bench scraper’ and pictures of this tool will come up. :-)


1 3-4 lb roast beef (prime rib, sirloin tip, rump roast, eye of round )
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1/2-1 c. parsley, loosely packed in cup (or 3-4 T. dried parsley)
3-5 T. Worcestershire sauce
8-10 cloves of fresh peeled garlic
1/2 c. onions, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 pkg. Au Jus gravy mix

Rub the roast liberally with the Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. Make several slits in the meat and push in the peeled garlic cloves (depending on the size of the garlic, you should only need 1-2 bulbs).

 Heat a large skillet and brown meat on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the roast in a large pan and place vegetables on top. Pour about 1/2 cup water into the bottom of the pan.

Cover with foil and bake according to the following: 12 minutes/ lb + 12 additional minutes. If roast is over 4 lbs, add 10 additional minutes to this, over 5 lbs, add 15 minutes.

Uncover from foil for the last 1/2 hour. Add additional water to the pan if needed. Allow to rest in juices for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan and slicing meat.

Remove the garlic cloves as you slice. (They have infused the meat with flavor and should be discarded.)

Strain the beef juices from the pan and discard the vegetables. Skim the fat from the juice. Add the gravy mix(es) and enough water to have a well flavored thin gravy. (Au Jus gravies are very liquid, rather than thick.)

 If serving immediately, heat the Au Jus and pour over the meat. If serving later (I have prepared this up to 2 days in advance), pour gravy over meat, making sure all the pieces come in contact with it. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Reheat, foil covered, in 350° oven for 40-60 minutes. This roast is more tender if made in advance and reheated.

Note: I have made this dish for up to 250 people by freezing it in advance and reheating covered until hot. I use the tip, rump, and eye of round as this technique will give a well done roast rather than a medium rare.

Tender roast beef sandwiches are one of the highlights of this dish-be sure to make a big enough roast to enjoy leftovers.