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Old 01-24-2010, 09:13 AM   #1
Master Chef
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,970
If you had to cut down or start over

I was looking for a place for this under kitchen equipment but couldn't find just the right spot.

I've had to do this several times in my life, for various reasons. This is something young or newbies might appreciate knowing.

If you had to pare your kitchen down to the very, very minimum, or lost all of it and had to start over, what would your pared-down kitchen consist of?


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Old 01-24-2010, 09:24 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
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For me it would be (and has been) the following:

two large spoons, one slotted, one not, for stirring and serving
one really good chef's knife
one good sized stock pot that can also be put in the oven
one sauce pan
one nonstick skillet
a set of pyrex measuring cups, a 2 cup, a 4 cup, and a 2 quarts. These have doubled for many purposes from watering plants to use as mixing bowls.
a whisk
a metal spatula
a plastic ... I think they're called "spoonulas" now
a really good, synthetic (can be soaked in bleach) cutting board
one good casserole dish
a baking pan with sides (not the cookie sheet kind, you need to be able to use it to bake things like chicken wings)
one pyrex-type pie pan, the larger the better. I don't bake much, but this can double for roasting small birds and makes an excellent serving dish)

I know there is more. But this gets me started. I've had to do it many times because when you travel in the military, you have to separate what you need quickly from what can stay in storage for awhile. The first shipment comes to you pretty quickly (if you're lucky), the rest follows after awhile. Then I lived in a travel trailer for 3 years, crossing the country.

So, I'm sure I've forgotten things. What would be on YOUR list?

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Old 01-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
Your list looks pretty good but I'd really miss our-
. CI dutch ovens
. CI frying pans
. Steel WOK
. 6 quart water kettle
. Big wood spoons
. Cookie sheets
. Noodle board
. Mezzaluna, paring, peeling, and petty knives
. Sharpening stones and steels
. Silicon pastry roller
. 5 quart mixing bowls
. 6 quart deep saute pan with steamer insert
. Stainless measuring spoon set (1 Tbs - 1/4 Tsp)
. Food weighing scale
. Cooling racks
. Colanders & strainers
. Graters

It would seem your stock pot is not too large or your oven is gigantic.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:19 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 2,223
If I REALLY had to go to basics...

1 chef knife
1 good paring knife
1 wok tool/serving spoon thingy
1 spatula
1 wok with lid
1 8 qt dutch oven with lid
1 graduated 1 cup measuring cup
1 casserole pan
1 quick read thermometer
Heavy duty foil
Steel and knife sharpening tools
1 tablespoon measuring spoon

I think I could manage fairly well with just that to cook with. Might have to
forego some dishes, but not too many.....

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: japan
Posts: 462
having been here in japan for about 20 years now, i hope to eventually move back to the states someday. so here's a list of what will definitely be coming back with me.

- my knives & steel: i worked in restaurants from the age of 16 to 35 and eventually built up a nice collection, not for their intrinsic value, but because of the memories associated with old friends and amusing incidents(like the time i sliced open a knuckle with a cleaver while juggling during some free time at work)

- the battered pastry cutter with the red handle i inherited from 1 of my grandmothers

- the rolling pin from my other grandmother

- the fanny farmer cook book of 1927 (i think) from the same grandmother with her handwritten plum pudding and mincemeat recipes

- my little blue falling-apart notebook of recipes collected from one chef or another over the years. 20 years down the line, i wish i had been a bit less cryptic when writing some of them down.

- cast-iron skillet, again from a grandmother

- little box of cake decorating tips (not that i use very many of them anymore)

- a few of my steel sauteé pans

- a few of my stainless sauce pans

- couple of bread pans i've had forever

- ditto for 2 quiche pans

- what's left of a number of ceramic bowls, cups, etc. i made while in college. a lot of nice pieces were broken during the big kobe earthquake here about 15 yeqrs ago.

- the mismatched collection of leftover silverware from various ancestors

- a handful of little tools

- possibly my set of deep mixing bowls

as for everything else, it would probably be cheaper to buy new than ship

let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:34 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,223
CI skillet (ancient and well seasoned)
One big pot
One little pot
One DO
One all purpose silicone spatula/flipper
One really good serving/stirring spoon
One chef's knife
One paring knife
One boning knife
sharpening stuff
measuring cups/spoons
9x13 cake tin
one BIG cookie sheet

I could do just about everything with those items. I wouldn't be happy about it but I could do it.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,970
One thing to remember if you haven't had to do it, this is really all you have sometimes. At least in my life.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:15 PM   #8
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Location: Galena, IL
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One thing interesting to note is that most of the things you, when you have a full kitchen, use a smaller skillet, pot, or knife for, you can use a larger one. On the other hand, when you need to make a pot of soup or cut something large, the smaller size won't work (in other words that paring knife won't do what a chef's knife will; however I've peeled potatoes with a chef's knife; I can make a pot of tea in a stock pot, but cannot make a pot of soup, chili, or stew in a teapot). Over the years, my husband has bragged about "gourmet" meals that popped out of trailers, tents, and houses without furniture. My mom could do it as well.

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