Recently, I purchased a Bellemain colander along with some Bellemain strainers. I’ve been needing these pieces of kitchen equipment, well, forever. I believe the last time I used a proper colander was when I was living with my parents. That was 20 years ago. While I can’t be certain of the exact time frame, I do know that I’ve been using our steamer to strain the liquid from any and everything we make that requires straining. The problem is, now that I’m cooking more than I ever have, the steamer is turning out to be too small.
Another issue I’ve been running into has to do with rinsing various ingredients. I prepared two recipes in the past week that required some sort of rinsing. The first one said that I needed to wash all the starch off of a few cups of rice and the next said that I needed to rinse some capers. Well, let me tell you that putting the rice in a bowl and holding a splatter screen over it while filling, dumping, re-filling and dumping again is no fun. And losing capers down the sink drain because they slipped through my fingers isn’t fun either. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to justify the expense of this gear I purchased any further. You get the gist.
Today, I was prepared to take a few photos of the colander and one of the strainers for a post on this site. The strainers came as a pack of three. Well, what began as a few regular old photos quickly turned into a photo shoot. The sun was shining and I had some spectacular light streaming through the kitchen window. A few hours later, after some editing in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, I’m happy to show off my photos below. Who knew taking pictures of kitchen equipment could be so fun?
Before I show you the photos, I’d like to talk a bit about the gear. First up is the colander.
The primary reason I purchased this particular colander is the construction. It’s made of stainless steel. Since I began cooking, I’ve fallen in love with this material. It’s strong, doesn’t rust and it looks really good. With much of the focus of this blog falling on photography, the last fact doesn’t hurt.
I picked the colander up for $16.95 on Amazon, which was about half the price of the others I was considering. After looking through the specs of a pretty good number of colanders, I couldn’t find a reason to not go with the less expensive one. And any fears were allayed the moment I opened the package when it arrived. I picked the colander up and felt it. It’s light, but very strong. I tried to push the sides in to see if they were flexible and they weren’t. It doesn’t appear that this colander will lose its shape over time. The holes are fairly small and very close together, which is good because smaller pieces of food won’t find their way through and there will be minimal back splash when dumping large quantities of liquid into it.
The base of the colander looks to be made of stainless as well. It sits very sturdily on the counter top and is very attractive. As attractive as colander bases can be.
Lastly, I appreciate the fact that the handles are strong, yet thin. I recently installed some hooks in one of the beams that runs across our kitchen ceiling to hang pots from and the handles of this piece fit perfectly. Any larger and I think I may have had some issues.
Now, I want you to know that much of what I did below, regarding the photography, was to practice my method. I’m fairly new to this up-close and personal style and since posts on kitchen gear can get a bit tedious, I decided to spice things up a bit. I used Camera Raw to its fullest. Enjoy the first group of photos. The best looking colander I ever saw.
I have to say, we had a lot of fun taking these pics. I decided to use RAW format on my camera because of the flexibility when it comes to editing. There’s a much larger color space in this mode, which really paid off.
Next, I’d like to talk about the Bellemain strainers. These are made of stainless steel as well and look to be of high quality. The set comes in three sizes – 3-1/8″, 5-1/2″ and 7-7/8″ and cost me $9.95. Again, more than half the price of comparable products. Actually, I saw single pieces for double the price of these three. I had to take a chance and purchase these. Even if they turned out not be be to my liking, I wouldn’t lose out that much.
The strainers look good. I haven’t tried them yet, but the handles feel comfortable in my hand and the mesh is tightly woven as to not let larger pieces of ingredients through. Also, the screening feels as though it’ll hold it’s shape through some abuse, but I’ll have to let you know more about that after I used them for a while. I’m not one to give reviews on product attributes I haven’t experienced.
Again, I took a few photos of one of the strainers. The first two photos were taken using nothing but the morning sun and the last one was direct sunlight on the kitchen table. We didn’t use any artificial light. All we used for some of the brighter photos was a reflector board that I made out of cardboard and aluminum foil last week. That’s been working wonders for us.
Please let me know what you think of these photos. Food photography isn’t the easiest thing in the world to get right, but every bit of practice helps.
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