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Jul 7, 2008 01:22 PM

9 Items or Less, Your Culinary Time Capsule

After following the, "Bucket List" and "You in a bottle" threads I thought it might be cool to see how all of you Chow Hounders would sum up your love of food in 9 items or less. Assuming nothing would spoil what food items, cookbooks, cook tools, take-out menus etc would you put in your time capsule? For me:
1) a jar of salsa
2) a jar of kim chee
3) lemons...lot of lemons
4) bottle of wine, (Red Burgundy, Champagne or Sancerre)
5) french fries
6) menu from Hot & Spicy Thai with chicken fried rice circled
7) Cast Iron Skillet
8) Epoisses
9) A copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking

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  1. Great topic. Difficult choices. I'm speaking strictly for me right now, since my food tastes keep changing.
    1) dark chocolate
    2) Laurel's kitchen bread book-because it is my most-used cookbook
    3) aged gouda-chocolate and gouda are just two things I keep in my fridge almost all of the time.
    4) microplane grater (UGH! I've barely started and I'm already almost half-way used up my choices!!!) Although it's not the most essential kitchen tool I have, I'd include it, b/c it represents the kind of gadgets I like, because it is very versatile: it grates cheese, chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, and nutmeg! It is a cinch to clean and a cinch to use, and one of the best $15 investments I've ever made. I really love this gadget to pieces. It's superior to any grater I have/had.
    5) ginger in all forms-to represent the spices I use and the different forms. I use it in savories, as well as in drinks, as a digestive aid, and in desserts!
    6) rice (I don't eat it so much anymore, but it's such a part of who I am!)
    7) my 3 knives (probably the most essential tools in my kitchen)
    8) a bento box (jubako) with a sampling of all of my parents' osechi (my most favorite holiday food)
    9) I'm torn. Lemons, an edamame (which will represent all soy products I eat), or umeboshi. I think I'm leaning towards edamame. But if you gave me 10 choices, #10 would be a meyer lemon. :)

    It's hard to condense all of my favorite foods, drinks, take out joints, gadgets and condiments into just 9!

    3 Replies
    1. re: anzu

      1) My smoker
      2) Prime Porterhouse steaks
      3) Don Julio 1942 tequila
      4) King crab legs
      5) Lobster
      6) my chefs knife
      7) Sriracha sauce
      8) pork ribs
      9) jalapenos

      1. re: anzu

        LOL I know, I changed my like 4 times before I posted....really is diffacult.

        1. re: anzu

          Ok, since GB mentioned 2 lists, I'm taking the liberty to list my "second" list. :) this is how my childhood "list of 9" would look. Interestingly, after making the list, I realized that it looks very western and non-Japanese, in spite of the fact that our meals were for the most part, very traditional.

          What I did was list the first 9 things that I had strong or fond memories of, so I think this means that the more rare or "special occasion foods" were emphasized (probably the rarity made it a more memorable thing?).

          1. cambell's soup (my mom's favorite "side" when my dad was on business)
          2. baguette, sausage links and havarti cheese from local butcher we used to frequent
          3. barley tea
          4. a box of cereal (can't decide which one--cherrios, kix, life, lucky charms (as an occasional treat)--one of these.)
          5. onigiri--Japanese picnic food, and until second grade or so, my default lunch box food.
          6. hot pot (nabe)- we had this a lot during my teen years. My dad was/is a big fan of this during the winter. I used think it was so boring, but now (sigh), it's like comfort food.
          7. apples (apple-picking was a tradition for us)
          8. Nick's pizza from my hometown
          9. kit kat (the favorite of all those candy bars and other junk food we used to eat. Also, I associate it with halloween, and to this day, I still buy them once a year and use the halloween giving out candy thing as an excuse.:))

          Wonder bread should probably go on there too, since we grew up on that stuff, but I already listed a bread item, and that was more of a special treat, so I'll go with that.

          Very different from my current list!

        2. Really interesting question. I hope many others will chime in as I'm curious as to what people will say. It was really difficult it to narrow it to just 9.

          1. a yukon gold potato -- it's my favorite all-purpose potato. I have fond memories of making mashed potatoes as a kid on a Saturday morning and watching cartoons.
          2. copy of The French Laundry cookbook -- not only is the food wonderful there but you can appreciate how much work goes into a meal when reading all the steps involved.
          3. a mangosteen -- my favorite fruit in the entire world.
          4. Huy Fong's sriracha -- my favorite condiment in the entire world; just like bacon, it makes everything taste better (except for desserts)
          5. extra spicy soon tofu -- one of my favorite comfort meals; also I had to pick something reflecting my Korean heritage
          6. highly fragrant jasmine tea -- when I drink this, I'm transported back 30-something years as a kid hanging out in the back of my dad's jewelry shop
          7. Le Creuset dutch oven -- probably my most used item in the kitchen -- make everything from stir-fries to soup to braises in it; while I'd love a wok, I just don't have the room for it right now
          8. a slice of NYC pizza -- ate a ton of them as a kid; there's nothing better than the simple combo of dough, tomato sauce and cheese in the world
          9. a box of Pierre Herme's macarons -- life-altering; so delectable and love his intriguing flavors; truly a sensual experience

          2 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            1. Pool Hall chili, grew up with this in the mountains of KY
            2. Cincinnat chili, discovered this in college
            3. Dungeness crab, why we can never live anywhere except the West Coast
            4. My favorite wooden spoon, not much bigger than a serving spoon, I have used it for 40+ years. It fits my hand.
            5. A cast iron skillet, no Southern Belle can go without one.
            6. My recipe for Chess pie, a wedding present.
            7. My huge accordion file of recipes. These are the tear outs, internet, friends handed to me recipes.
            8. My 5 burner DCS
            9. My husband who taught me to cook and to eat something besides meat and potatoes.

            1. re: Janet

              Very cool answers....that 1942 Tequila is on my husband's list too! I love how rich in personal history some of these answers are...very interesting.

          2. Holy, was this hard! Alright, this is the first everyone else, I'm sure it will change on any given day.
            1. slice of 3AM funky pickle pizza
            2. bottle of champagne
            3. lobster
            4. Hello Dolly squares
            5. Grammy's raisin brown bread
            6. Yukon gold potato (someone else said it, and I agree!)
            7. apple pie with cheddar cheese (without it is like a kiss without a squeeze)
            8. Mom's recipe box, given to me from my sister after mom's passing...such treasures!
            9. Kenya AA coffee beans

            2 Replies
            1. re: KayceeK

              I have to ask, what is #AM funky pickle pizza?

              1. re: bubbles4me

                Funky Pickle is THE best hole-in-the-wall pizza join in Edmonton Alberta. After a night out on the town, nothing beats it. Odd ingredient combos, but the crust, the sauce, the additional toppings including even honey, add up to the perfect night-ender.

            2. 1. Lobster
              2. Aborio rice
              3. Large leaf basil
              4. A Cuore de Toro tomato
              5. A fresh fig
              6. Sweet ricotta pie
              7. Ruggeri Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Cartizze
              8. My 12" Wustof chef's knife
              9. Edward Gioggi's "Eat Right, Eat Well the Italian Way".

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gio

                The author's name is Edward Giobbi. I hit the wrong keys.......

                1. re: Gio

                  the Cartizze is a good one, Gio. definitely a keeper.

                2. See, the problem is, there are two lists - how I would like to be remembered (the cook I aspire to be!) versus how honesty compels me to answer, based on my cooking predilections at present. Sigh. Honesty always wins.

                  1. chef's knife
                  2. homegrown heirloom tomato (I'm leaning towards Black Prince - they were the best I grew this summer)
                  3.imported Italian pasta
                  4. recipe files and breadbaking notebooks (does this count as one item?)
                  5. one of my le creuset pots
                  6. slab of green & blacks organic dark chocolate
                  7. stoneground local flour - it goes into everything from bread to cakes to dumplings
                  8. one of my pottery bowls - I love collecting handmade ceramics
                  9. one of my favourite cookbooks. Something by Chez Panisse, Elizabeth David or Jane Grigson, I can't choose.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Gooseberry

                    Some time, when you are so inclined, would you be willing to post about some of the Grigson recipes that you like? I have her English Food book, but haven't used it yet.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Hi MMRuth, I don't have her English Food book, unfortunately. I have Good Things, Fruit Book and Vegetable Book. The last two are brilliant, one of the early cookbooks to list recipes by ingredient, so when I want ideas about what to do with X, I go to the whole chapter on X.

                      Perhaps more than any individual recipe, I love how she wrote. She was so knowledgeable about the literary and academic backgrounds of different foods and ingredients, and yet her tone is without pomposity. I find her warmer than Elizabeth David when it comes to tone, sympathetic to the reader but very commonsensical.

                      I've made lots of her recipes, but perhaps her arbutus jelly - prickly pear and passionfruit "jelllo"- is my favourite. Sorry I can't help you with your specific cookbook! Although hopefully I'll own it one of these days...

                      1. re: Gooseberry

                        Thanks - I'll look into the other two as well.