Originally published on Food and Fond Memories on May 9, 2011 by sandyaxelrod Leave a Comment (Edit)

A man smiling and holding a cone shaped strainer on his head

It IS referred to as a China Cap after all!

A cone shaped mesh strainer sitting on a butcher block

My new chinois

As I have already told you my favorite gifts are food related. Only someone like me could look at a gift of a saute pan for Valentine’s Day as “romantic”. My Mother’s Day present was certainly no exception to the rule. For years I have wanted a chinois or china cap as it’s called in restaurant kitchens to add to my batterie de cuisine. We had one that we used to death in our catering commissary. It was so battered that I threw it in the trash when we closed so I guess I have coveted one since 2005. I found one that I thought about buying at Sur la Table but couldn’t justify spending the $72.00 price tag when there were so many other things I needed more. Last week Steve discovered a restaurant supply store not too far from us and went in to browse. Lo and behold there it was but he didn’t buy it because there were three sizes to choose from and he had no idea what it was really for and why I wanted it so much. At dinner that night we had the big chinois discussion. So to clarify I pulled out my trusty “Food Lover’s Companion” and read him the definition: “chinois [sheen-WAH] A metal conical sieve with an extremely fine mesh, used for pureeing or straining. The mesh is so fine that a spoon or pestle must be used to press the food through it.” I think that made it as clear as mud to Steve but he pretended to understand. The week passed and we made plans with Brian and Eve to celebrate Mother’s Day on their boat and that was that, I thought. On Friday Steve came home from work and I was drying my hair so I didn’t really hear him come in. All of a sudden I looked up and he was standing before me with the absolutely cutest grin wearing my Mother’s Day present, my shiny new perfectly sized china cap! I broke up laughing so hard I could barely catch my breath and when I finally stopped laughing I gave him a great big smooch. Don’t you think he looks adorable? I sure do. Thanks honey for really understanding me.