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Sep 27, 2009 06:54 PM

Temporary home- cook's essentials

I'll be living in a really small cabin temporarily- maybe up to 4 months- with a very basic kitchen. I'll be able to take a few items with me and am wondering what my fellow passionate home cooks couldn't live without for the interim. What are the basic essentials?

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  1. Some things that, amazingly, aren't always found in your "basic kitchen":
    cast-iron skillet
    cutting board
    chef's knife
    wooden spoon
    vegetable peeler
    waiter's corkscrew
    pepper grinder

    Tough to take a cast-iron skillet, perhaps, depending on your travel arrangements, but I wouldn't move anywhere or travel long-term without the rest.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      Ditto on the cutting board and a good all purpose knife. They are the only two things in my kitchen that I rarely go a day without using.

      1. re: mcsheridan

        Nice list. I can manage a bit of cast iron- that was actually on my short list. I'm wondering about a small enamel cast iron soup pot.

        1. re: WCchopper

          i would add a rubber spatula, preferably heatproof. if i had to choose, i would swap it out for the whisk, since you can always whisk with a fork. and a soup pot or a saucepan if the kitchen isn't already going to have pots.
          oh, and tongs and a colander, if you eat pasta at all.

        2. re: mcsheridan

          I could get by without a whisk (fork works well enough most of the time), I always need a spatula. I would need a pot as well, maybe a couple one big and one small.

          It really depends on what you like to cook. I'd need a salad spinner, a steamer and a colander but I could get by without them if necessary (for a week or two, four months would be tough).

          1. re: mcsheridan

            I'd replace the corkscrew with a Swiss Army knife. If weight is not a problem I would also loose the pepper grinder and take a mortar and pestle. Doubles up for many things. I've even used the pestle as a rolling pin and the mortar to hold a book open.
            I presume you have electricity? I guess I could live without my food processor, but it would be a bit of a wrench.
            Bowls are more useful than plates. Stainless steel bowls doubly so. With lids - even better. If they stack inside each other then perfect.
            A stew pot of some type - preferably one you can eat out of, with a lid.
            Seran wrap

          2. I use my pizza stone several times a week. I use my coffee grinder daily. I would also bring a Brita type water filter pitcher. Chop sticks can fill in for many tools, so I travel with several disposable ones.

            1 Reply
            1. re: meatn3

              I was thinking chop sticks too- also the spider strainer I have maybe in lieu of the colander.

            2. Dutch oven and some microwave safe plastic bowls with lids.

              1. I have been cooking in the kitchenette of an extended stay type hotel during an interim stage of a move, The items that have come into the most use are my wooden spoon, one serrated and one chef knife, saucepan with lid, saute pan with lid, and tongs. I also like having my favorite soup bowl and spoon with me. Dry goods like plastic wrap and foil. I have access to great produce, seafood and meat, I did bring my favorite olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, pepper mill, and a few herbs and spices, Paring it down to basics has been fun. IT almost forces a focus on simple good ingredients. Oh- and a colander for rinsing and draining.