Kitchen essentials

Stocking a kitchen is as daunting as climbing Mt. Everest. At least, it was to me. When I had my first kitchen, I looked at it and thought “what the heck is supposed to go in here?” I knew basics like dishes, cups, forks, spoons, knives, napkins, a toaster and a microwave. I knew that I needed stuff to cook with, like pots and pans and spatulas. But I had no idea which ones to pick, how many to pick or even what I was supposed to do with half of the stuff! It was aggravating, intimidating, and expensive. I didn’t know who to turn to for help.

That’s the point of this section. It’s designed to help you figure out, piece by piece, what you need to have a complete kitchen, what gear you need to be a successful cook (like Rachael Ray, “I am not a chef, I’m a cook”). While some brands are recommended, you do not have to use those. I have a $10 frying pan that I’ve been using for 3 years and it’s the best pan I’ve ever had. My large stock pot–I’ve had that for so long, I don’t even remember when I got it! None of the products I use are a fancy name brand and they work perfectly. Your food will not burn just because you use an off-brand pot. I promise.

This section will also act as a guide for stocking your pantry and your freezer. I will guide you, step by step, in how to have a stocked pantry and freezer so that you can make plenty of meals without having to make last minute runs to the grocery store or-*gasp*-resort to take out. These basic essentials will cause you save money and consume way less calories. Plus, if it’s cold out, you don’t have to leave the house again.

Just like the novice mountain climber, you need a guide to help you conquer your kitchen. Allow me to be your sherpa.

3 Responses to “Kitchen essentials”

  1. K.R. January 5, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    Can I be the first to comment?! Can I? Can I? YES!

    Oh my dear sherpa, please help me figure out all those things that can only be described as doohickeys and thingamabobs are meant to do. The William-Sonoma catalog scares me, not just for the potential to suck up my entire paycheck but because I don’t know how to use those things.

    I’d also love to know how to spot quality in normal, everyday items. Like a spatula that won’t break or warp but doesn’t cost $50.

  2. red_wagon January 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    I could use a decent spatula too. What’s sad is that my fiance and his family didn’t even know what a spatula was until they met me…

  3. AJ January 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    KR,

    They sell quality, normal items at Bed, Bath and Beyond as well as Target or your nearest store like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx. As to a spatula not warping, if it has a wooden handle, you can use a natural oil on it that will make it a little more water resistant. Look for after holiday sales at Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel for higher end items.

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