Essential Equipment (And Some Other Stuff That Is Handy)
A serious food processor: I’m using my mom’s old 10 cup Cuisinart with no problem, but there are lots of brands out there. What will be key is the power of the motor. I would say to go no lower than 600 watts.
A serious blender: Again, power will be key.
A strainer: To have a chinois strainer with a stand and pestle is my dream, but any reasonable fine-mesh strainer that fits over one of your bowls or pots will work fine. You just want to be sure that it has hooks on the end opposite the handle to make it easier for you to apply pressure while you are forcing soft solids through the mesh.
Silicone spatulas: Have a range of sizes on hand. These will help you scrape containers clean and are also good for forcing soft solids through a strainer.
A Potato Masher: This tool is good for other uses, such as mashing up all kinds of other items. And you can do the mashing right in the pot.
A Potato Ricer: These are not only for making mashed potatos! I’ve used one to soften up left-over polenta (see the posting on polenta for details), and they work amazingly well for squeezing almost all the water out of frozen spinach and other frozen greens.
Whisks: A French Whisk and a stiff Balloon Whisk should suffice, but a Ball Whisk is good to have on hand too. My mom has a nice one with silicone balls.