Friday, April 24, 2015

Beginning to Cook

I have often made light of my inability to cook and how slow I am at the most basic tasks. You may as well laugh as to cry about it. What I want to know from you more seasoned cooks out there is what should a kitchen have? Assume that I have nothing--this isn't true, but it is easier than making a list of currently owned kitchen items--and that my goal is to make most of our meals at home, relatively from scratch. What should I and my kitchen have?


bearing said...

Mark Bittman's tome How to Cook Everything. It is my default bridal shower gift.

Chef's knife, paring knife, knife sharpener. Choose fewer, better quality knives over a whole set of discount knives. I like Victorinox knives. Spyderco is our knife sharpener. Also need a bread knife unless you only ever buy sliced bread. Plastic cutting boards that fit in your dishwasher.

Big soup pot. Steep-sided handled pan with a lid. Nonstick skillet for eggs. Couple smaller saucepans with lids. I never spend very much on nonstick ware because the coating doesn't last unless you are super careful, so I replace them every couple of years. A pot that is mainly for boiling liquids, like a big stock pot, can also be cheap.

9x13 glass rectangular pan. Then, Either a second one, or a 9x9 pan. Good for brownies, lasagna, mac and cheese.

Baking sheets. If you are starting with essentials and adding on, start with rimmed baking sheets because they are the most versatile: can be used for cookies, pizza, etc.

Saran wrap and a deep ceramic bowl for steaming vegetables in your microwave. Colander for draining stuff.

If and only if you love rice, a rice cooker is a great thing to have from the very beginning, but it can wait. A slow cooker probably is good to have right away.

Vegetable peeler, box grater, measuring cups and spoons, pot holders, assorted heatproof spatulas and spoons and scoops. A whisk and a set of mixing bowls. You can economize on these.

Anonymous said...

Kroger has a pretty good kitchen wares aisle. You could always just pick things up as you need them. You may find that you need more/less than you think!

I am looking at my dishwasher and seeing what I've used in the past two days:
Nonstick skillet big enough for family size scrambled eggs
Silicone scraper for eggs or batter
Big stainless mixing bowl
Chef's knife
Large cutting board
Large saucepan with lid
Measuring cups (one set of stainless for dry measure, one 2 or 4 cup glass for liquid measure)
Pyrex 9 x 13 pan
Blender for smoothies in morning

And that's it! My cabinets hold much fancier stuff, but that's what I use day to day for my simple, quick but homemade meals.


The Sojourner said...

-Big pot

-Big flat-sided skillet (so, not slopey like a frying pan)

-Pasta strainer

I make dinner from scratch nearly every night and I use that combination a ridiculous number of times. So much so that I have two of each of those items. Pasta With Stuff On It for the win.

Our pots and pans are Farberware stainless steel and they are not very good for scrambled eggs unless you use a vat of butter (the eggs stick something awful) but otherwise I have big pink puffy hearts of love for them. We've had them 3.5 years and the handle on my favorite skillet is a little wiggly but otherwise they look basically new.