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Old 11-27-2004, 09:44 AM   #1
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Four or Five Necessities

For all of you who have yet to create the perfect kitchen, I believe there are five or six necessities, not including a quality sink. I invite all seasoned cooks on this site to give their views on this topic as well.

Now don't get me wrong. There are many items that are very handy, and that a kitchen should have. But when you are puting together your first kitchen, and you have very little money, these are what you buy first.

1. One great multi-purpose knife, like a chef's knife
2. One ten inch cast-iron fry pan, Lodge/Wagner/Griswold quality
3. One 2 quart sauce pan, preferably high quality stainless try-ply steel
4. One high quality cooktop with an accurate oven
5. One stock-pot
6. One 6 quart stainless try-ply steel covered pot for soups and stews, or a similar sized dutch oven.

This, of course, does not include stiring spoons, spatulas, cake turners, tongs, whisks, etc.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 11-27-2004, 10:03 AM   #2
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Agree with all the above. I need a good stock pot (??? size is best) and a quality dutch oven [hoping for a LeCrueset, since they are about $50 cheaper at the BX!] Only thing I would add is that if there is a history of iron overload in family - either side - forget about the cast iron....no need to tempt fate. [my soapbox!] Am currently shopping for an alternative - hoping to find a good 14" skillet at restuarant supply - anodized, riveted etc....
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Old 11-27-2004, 12:05 PM   #3
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remember that you can usually do something small in a large pot, but there is no way you can fit a gallon into a quart container. I would personally add a nonstick skillet, and this can be very cheap. You just throw it away when it displeases you, they are so inexpensive. Mom used to buy very cheap ones, then when summer came around and we went camping, they went along with us and she just threw them away at the end of the season (they'd cooked over open fires and were totally blackened). Yes, I know the cast iron skillet supposedly can do everything and more than the teflon skillet, but I haven't had a lot of luck with cast iron (in humid areas they can rust, and every one I've owned has, no matter how I season, oil, etc) and they aren't real great on some electric stoves. That teflon will see you through thick and thin, and when you toss it (I just did toss two after a bad cuban sandwich experience), you aren't going to shed any tears.
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Old 11-27-2004, 04:11 PM   #4
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Goodweed:

This is hard to do!

I guess if you list a knife, you had better list a cutting board! Then what do you take off the list to make room for it?

I would replace the cast iron skillet with a tri-ply stainless. That's my preference.

BTW, you listed 6 items. See, I told you this was hard! :D :D :D
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Old 11-27-2004, 04:20 PM   #5
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I would add stainless steel mixing bowls. One of them should fit comfortably in the 2 quart sauce pan so then you get a double boiler.
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Old 11-27-2004, 04:59 PM   #6
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Now that we're mentioning mixing bowls, rather than that I'd vote for a quart (actually two quart is better) pyrex measuring "cup". It works for everything from mixing bowl to heating soups and stews.

I lived in a very small travel trailer for 3 years, going from place to place, and had to pare my kitchen down to as little as possible. People we'd run into were amazed that I continued to turn out good, mostly-from-scratch meals from my miniscule kitchen. My staples for mixing/storing bowls were a 1, 2, 4, and 8 cup pyrex measuring cups. I've mixed up pancake batter and made and baked casseroles in them, and they're great for nuking leftovers. They pulled yeoman's duties, and are still in my kitchen today.
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:04 PM   #7
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If we're talking cutting boards, if you can only have one, go for a white plastic one (don't remember the name of the plastic, but you know what I mean), about a foot square. The white is good (because it lets you know when something is wrong), but the plastic is what works in this case. On a weekly basis I'd take the board and my coffee cups, and sanitize by soaking in a bleach solution. Took care of the sink, any stained china or plastic products, and the cutting board in one fell swoop.
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:11 PM   #8
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If space is at a minimum, and cost is important, buy a set of very plain white corelle dinner ware. It stood up to three years in a trailer, and with a nice set of napkins and such, look great. You can buy lids for the bowls at outlet stores, and you have one more bonus. Even now I love them for the fact that when my guest list outstraps my china, I can put these simple, thin, white plates on the table and they work (use one simple plate at every other place setting, or at strategically placed places among the china). They are sturdy and thin (ironstone and other clay based settings are lovely, but take up a lot of space and are very fragile). My baby sister bought this for me when I moved into the trailer, and I thank her for it on a regular basis. It's still our "every day" dishes, and mixes with the good china very well.
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:19 PM   #9
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Oh, on the stockpot subject, do NOT buy aluminum. I made that mistake the first time around and did not realize that it discolors and isn't good for anything with tomatoes in it. It was a good quality, too; think I bought it at a restaurant supply store. Ironically, when I sold everything I owned to go live on the road, all of my kitchen ware, even the cheap "mistake" knives and aluminum stock pot, were snatched up by a local restaurant owner! Once we resettled, I bought a good quality stainless steel stock pot (not as big as the aluminum one, though), and am happier with it.
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:32 PM   #10
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hmmm my kitchen stuff i have been using for a long time.

1. 2 qt pot
2. cast iron pan that is 12 inches wide 6 inches deep.
3. Flat non stick pan that is about 10 inches wide
4. Chinese stove top. - big flame 8 inch high flames.
5. 1 large knife - my multi purpose knife about balde 4 inches high 6 1/2 inches long
6. stock pot

instead of buying a spatula, whisks, etc, get use to using chopsticks to cook everything
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