- Food and Cooking
What a Complete Kitchen Should Have
I'm afraid I am a newbie in the kitchen.
Growing up, I remember we had this subject "Home Economics" in Elementary. It became "Practical Arts" in High School. Although named differently, the subject matter taught was practically the same: teaching us the rudiments of how to be a homemaker. Forget about ideal. Or good. Just a simple, can-do homemaker will suffice.
It was the most sleep-inducing subject for me. Cooking, cleaning, sewing and anything about home keeping was never my forte. Aside from the boring, tedious tasks, there were also lots of practical projects to do which I hated with fervor: sewing aprons and house dresses, crochet, tatting, knitting, cross-stitching. Uggggh. If not for my late Grandma (bless her!), I would never have passed those subjects. Thanks to her, she was the one who would finish all my projects (blush, blush), otherwise I would have flunked them. I only hope my Prac Arts teacher will not be able to read this now.
Fast forward about 25 years later . . .
I lost my job in a foreign land, and the only thing I could think of to support myself was to cook and supply lunch to some friends who did not have time to cook their meals. I had to do it, otherwise I'd hit the street and starve. It was then that my passion for cooking was developed. I realized that it wasn't really boring, after all. Suddenly, all I can think of is cooking this, cooking that. Always cooking. I never thought I could be addicted to this chore. I found it to be very therapeutic for me. At the time that I was looking for a job, and very desperate, cooking kept me occupied, and steered my thoughts away from morbid imaginations.
Needless to say, now I'm hooked. My favorite place in our house is, after the bedroom, the kitchen. Although I already have a good job, I still spend my free hours in the kitchen, cooking, experimenting with cookies, cakes, pastries, anything that catches my fancy.
If my Grandma was alive today, I'm sure she would never have believed the transformation in me. Three hundred sixty degree turn.
So, with my new-found passion, allow me to dream on what my ideal kitchen should be, or have. I cannot afford everything, although I'm close to having almost all of these equipment (budget, budget . . .) but I can always dream, right?
My ideal kitchen should have:
- An oven. I'd love to have one with a digital temperature reader and an automatic timer. What I have now is the very basic type. It can bake, but I want one complete with the whistles.
- A stand mixer. No, not just a stand mixer. It should be Kitchenaid. An orange one. Then I can bake and knead, and still look fresh because I won't get tired doing all the beating and the kneading manually. And if I want to do spring rolls, or meat balls, my Kitchenaid can do the meat grinding. And should my fancy takes me, I will make my own ice cream, with every flavor imaginable. One day I might crave for chocolate ice cream, the next day I will a have strawberry flavored one. Then the next week, who knows, avocado, perhaps? Hmmm. Lots of ideas. All yummy ones.
- A food processor. This time, any brand will do, as long as it can do the job for me: grating, shredding, slicing, pureeing, mixing. Whew! Endless possibilities!
- Bread Machine - that is, if I'm feeling lazy to do the baking myself, I'll just dump all the ingredients into this baby (wet ingredients first, please!) and in three hours or so, voila, a kitchen smelling of wonderful, homemade bread! And if I don't want to be bothered watching my bread while it's baking, I'll just program the hour, go to sleep, and wake up to a loaf of sweet bread. My idea of heaven. Mmmmm.
- A blender. If I want a glass of fruit shake, or make a pumpkin soup, where else would I go? Grab a blender, of course. I have this thing about avocado shake (haven't tried it? You should, pronto!) I sometimes have a craving for it even when I am suffering from cough and cold.
- A set of baking tins. I didn't realize one needs a lot of baking tins until I started baking myself. Ideally, one should have at least: 2 9-inch round tins, 3 spring form tins in different sizes, 2 cookie tins, 2 cooling racks, 2 square tins, 1 baking tin for chiffon cakes, a roasting pan, 2 loaf tins and those tins used for muffins and cupcakes. Or, if you prefer glass, go ahead, buy those baking pans in glass.
- Wire Whisk. Buy the best.
- Spatula - rubber and offset. I have a collection of different types of spatula, I honestly do not know what to do with all of them.
- Measuring Spoons and Cups
- A set of kitchen utensils, which includes ladle, turner, soup ladle, tongs, shears, butter brush, etc.
- Can and bottle opener
- Fruit and veggie peeler
- A set of sharp knives. Very sharp knives.
- Wooden Chopping board. Mine is made of a large slab of hard wood because aside from chopping everything, the other side sometimes doubles as a kneading board.
- Cooking pots and pans. I have been dreaming of a Contemporary Calphalon set, but sigh, it's just a dream. A good set should have pots in different sizes, a sauté pan, a saucepan, a wok, and a stockpot.
- Oh, how can I forget the Rice Cooker? It's a crime for a Filipino to forget this. If you didn't know yet, we eat fried rice for breakfast, steamed rice for lunch, steamed rice for dinner. Sometimes we also eat rice porridge for snacks. Now you know, we're not very fond of rice - lol!
For now, these are the must-haves for my kitchen. I know there are plenty of things that I have not included here, but those are not necessities for me - yet. Maybe soon, when I graduate into advance cooking and baking.
Meanwhile, dream on!