Field Trip: Must-Buys from the U.S. (Part 1: Kitchen Utensils) 美國必買心得 (1: 廚具 & 生活道具)

A few months ago, I went on a business trip to the U.S. I grew up there, but haven’t been back in about 6 years or so.  Aside from the work-related tasks, I also had just a bit of time to stock up on some favorites. A lot of people  ask me for advice for “must-buys” in the U.S., and for Taiwan, and I just have to say, I have no hard and fast rules except for one general guideline. Buy the items that you can actually use in your daily life. Otherwise, it’s likely to become just clutter.

As I noted here and here, I always try to buy items from my travels that I can incorporate into my daily life. These items usually fall under three main categories: (1) kitchen tools, and other lifestyle tools (2) cosmetics and (3) stationery .  In this series of posts, I would like to share the items I bought.  I thought of first taking photos of all the individual items, but we have been having some seriously abysmal, dreary weather here in Taiwan, so the natural light has been scarce. I decided everything would be more clear if I used stock images.

前幾個月去美國出差  回到以前成長的世界, 有機會生活在熟悉的環境裡, 聽跟說熟悉的語言,真的很開心。 雖然很忙碌, 但還是抽出一點時間買了一些小東西 帶回台灣用。這次買的東西可以 歸類成三大項目:(1)廚具(2)化妝,保養品 (3) 文具  。我們先聊聊廚具吧!

First in the series are of course the  food and kitchen tools.  I was fortunate enough to shop at the Le Creuset outlet in the Woodburn Premium Outlets, and some of the kitchen stores in the same shopping complex.  The prices were so good for all the cookware. I was seriously tempted to box it all up and take it back to Taiwan.  However, practicality returned, and I realized that I should remember my luggage limit. However, there were still really good deals on the rubber spatulas, which can be bought individually, which means colors can be mixed and matched!

這次是去美國奧勒岡州 (Oregon State) 這個州比較特別的是, 日常生活用品,食物還有衣服都是免稅。 所以有些東西真的會比較划算。 我剛好有機會去 Woodburn Premium Outlets. 這個outlet 有 Le Creuset.  當然鍋子是搬不回來的, 但我買小而巧的廚具~ 像耐熱矽膠炊具,還有保存奶油的容器。這個容器很特別, 好像在台灣沒有看過!(在不久的將來會在我的 Instagram 分享奶油容器的使用心得)。 另外在不同的廚具店也買到 OXO 的樺木攪拌匙, 還有 JarKey.  Jar Key 是廚具界的 “不求人” 有了它,什麼瓶罐裝的東西都能打開!可以參考這裏的影片


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I also bought one item that you cannot find in Taiwan.  The butter crock. Sigh. Finally.  In my hands. Can’t wait to have perfectly spreadable butter for all my lovely bread. 


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Other purchases included the “Jar Key.” (I used to have one, but someone “borrowed” it and never gave it back. Rude!) Basically this genius gizmo lets you open jar lids with a flick of the wrist.


Image Source: BRIX

No more banging jars on the edges of counters for me, no more waiting for that muscular man to come rescue me when I need to open a jar of jam. Nope, I am a woman of independent means when I have the Jar Key.

I  bemoaned the lack of reliable wooden spoons in Taiwan, so I had to make sure to get one during my trip to the U.S.; the one I settled on is from Oxo. It’s beautifully made and I can’t wait to use it.


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Another favorite item that I bought first out of nostalgia, because they reminded me of my carefree college days in the Pacific Northwest, was a Nalgene bottle. I sometimes fantasize that I will hike the Pacific Crest Trail (this is really a figment of my imagination, if you know me at all, you will know that walking up the stairs in the MRT station is considered a “hike” for me… or check out my last attempt at hiking here).  But anyway, if I decided to embark on a nature walk, I’m ready.  For everyday life, Nalgene bottles are great because they are BPA free, virtually indestructible, and resists odors.When filled to capacity, the bottle is a bit heavy for me to carry around in my bag, so I leave it on my desk at work, and pour it into a water glass.  It’s a great size because I fill it up twice a day, and it helps me keep track of the water I’m supposed to be drinking.  (Note to self, coffee is not water, coffee is not water) In the summer, I’ll throw it in the freezer, so I can have icy cold water all day long.  Plus, it’s such a pretty pink color. Love it!


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I’m so happy to have had the chance to bring these items back to my home in Taiwan. I love seeing them (and using them!) everyday. Stay tuned for my next posts on my cosmetics and skincare buys, and of course, my stationery buys!

Please note: most of  the kitchenware you see here came from the Woodburn Outlets, Oregon.  Other items may have also been from Target.

*This is not a sponsored post.  I paid for all items with my own money, and all experiences and viewpoints expressed are my own.



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  2. wow, i had no idea that a butter crock even existed. after seeing this blog post, i googled the butter crock to read how it even worked. doesn’t the butter get wet? i know that oil/fat and water don’t mix, but still… also, i know people who just leave butter out in a covered butter dish, but i’m assuming that the butter crock method is superior because it sure looks fancier. is it because the water in the butter crock keeps the butter cooler than when it’s only in a butter dish?

    • Hi HT! Good question… the butter crock looks great in my kitchen, but it’s still empty. Now you’ve given me the motivation to try it out ASAP. It’s starting to get really warm here in Taiwan, so I’m curious to see how well the butter will hold up (I’ll report back soon) Thanks for reading! 🙂

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