Monday, September 29, 2014

Ruminations on kitchens

We are yet again able to cook meals, for which we are very thankful. We can make do with almost any setup. Witness cooking meals with a microwave in a hotel room. But we have had a lot of opportunity to ruminate on kitchens, specifically how they're equipped, in rental units. The equipment is invariably kind of crappy --a ragtag assortment of non stick pots and pans, yet another ragtag assortment of knives that never includes a chef's knife, tiny cutting boards often made of glass -- and makes cooking a challenge. It is obvious that the owners don't want spend a lot of money equipping a rental like a restaurant kitchen, but it finally occurred to me that that thinking is just misplaced. Because in order to have a highly functioning kitchen, the list of necessary equipment is astonishingly short, so you could acquire high quality versions at low total cost.

Chef's knife
Paring knife
Large wooden cutting board
1 large pot (probably a cast iron dutch oven, which would be nice for oven work too)
1 medium pot
1 frying pan (all pots and pans made of stainless steel or cast iron)
1 large bowl and 1 small bowl (probably metal)
Some coffee making device, a cone would suffice
Some utensils: tongs, big spoon, spatula, whisk

Optional: not non-stick jelly roll pan, cookie rack, another cutting board for garlic and onion, colander, Kettle, grinder of some sort to make paste foods like hummus, bread knife

Now of course our home kitchen has more than this, and largely I'm okay with that because we prioritize cooking so highly. But it's good to think about these lists on occasion to make sure we don't end up with an unwieldy collection of cheap gadgets that we rarely use.

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