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Like many of us, I have taken this extended time at home to do some experimenting in the kitchen. First, that led me to baking more (because who doesn't need a pie on a Wednesday afternoon?). Then, I learned to perfect the whole roasted chicken, a skill I am hoping translates to my Thanksgiving turkey. 

But when reading the recipes, I always wondered: Do I really need to brush on an egg wash to the dough? Is it really worth it to baste the braising meat in the oven? Short answer: Yes. And it is much easier if you have the right tools. Instead of fumbling through using your hands for egg wash or a spoon to baste, the OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush is well worth the small investment. (Buy it: $8.99, Amazon.com.)

OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush
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This small silicone brush is useful for everything from dinner rolls to galettes to roasted turkey. The multiple layers of bristles feature gaps that hold on to liquid when cooking, but clean easily without clumping. It is odor resistant, because you don't want your Cinnamon Swirl Apple Pie to taste like Braised Beef & Mushrooms or vice versa. As an added bonus, you can throw the brush in the dishwasher when you are done using it. 

I bought this brush last week in anticipation of Thanksgiving turkey, pumpkin pie and dinner rolls, but I can't stop finding things to use it for. I'm not the only one in love with my new kitchen toy—just ask the 4,500+ five-star reviews on Amazon! People rave about how the slanted brush allows you to brush food evenly without spilling or splattering on the counter. It is easily hand-washed and dishwasher-safe, and one reviewed states it was "worth ordering a third time". Oh, and did I mention it is only $9? Whether you are baking bread or roasting a turkey, this is a tool worth adding to your collection.