OK Ike…the first lesson is for you.
You’re out on your own. You’re gonna need some stuff. Wanna go shopping?
Let’s start with the equipment. Get in the right mind frame for this. Know that what you’re getting now is gonna be cheap “get me by” stuff. Don’t aim for the really expensive accessories, they’re gonna get lost, broken, packed up and forgotten about. Once you get a little more experience we’ll do upgrades. And if along the way I see we need to add, subtract, or change direction…I’ve got no shame to do so.

To start your kitchen:

  • Saucepan
  • Skillet
  • Stock pot
  • Chef’s knife
  • Paring knife
  • Cutting boards (2 or 3)
  • Rubber scrapers (2)
  • Wooden spoons (2)
  • Spatula
  • Wisk
  • Peeler
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Strainer (Colander)
  • Cookie Sheet
  • 9×9 Baking Pan (glass or metal)
  • Oven Mitt (heavy quilted cloth) (2)
  • Can Opener

I know my list had 20 things on it…you’ll just have to check back…I’m blaming it on old age.

Go to a WalMart, Target or whatever chain “Buy It All Here” store you have in your area. Head to the cooking isle. For the saucepan and the skillet you can probably get non-stick for fairly inexpensive. Aim for 2 or 3 quart sauce pan, an 8 quart stock pot and a 10″ skillet. Don’t worry about non-stick for the stock pot. You’ll use that for spaghetti, soup..etc. You won’t need that feature for it. Check the heft of the pan…a heavier pan will do you better than a light flimsy pan. Yes, you can burn a hole completely through a pan, and it’s not a trick I recommend. Ignore the sets for now…just buy singles. Keep it easy and simple.

While you’re in the cooking isle, check out knives. You’ll need a chef’s knife and a couple of paring knives. Normally the rule for knives is “buy the best you can”. File that for later, at this point, buy what you can afford (you will need money left over to buy food): 8″ or 10″ chef’s knife and some cheap paring knives (get two).

Cutting boards…get small “bar boards”…you don’t need a 5 foot by 5 foot, built in drainboard, strainer, seating for 20 as a cutting board. I like plastic and you can sometimes find sets of the little boards for really cheap. Multiples…you find that’s my rule.

You’ll also be in the right area for the next few things…and I said multiples, cause you’ll need them and there’s nothing worse than having to rinse between stirs to keep your food from mixing. And if you did get non-stick pans, please be sure you’re getting utensils that are compatible. Metal spatula will scrape not only your food out of the pan, but also the nonstick coating..not good. Once again…ignore the sets…you’ll end up getting things you don’t need. On scrapers…if you can find silicone…buy them…they don’t stain and you can cook with them (rubber or plastic when added to a hot pot becomes part of your meal…yuck…there are better ways to get fiber.)

Measuring utensils…my preference is metal, plastic will work fine and save you a bit (upgrade to the better/cooler stuff later)…and you can sometimes find a spoon/cup set. Mixing bowl and strainer: plastic will work fine here, again you might even find both in a set for a little extra savings.

Cookie sheet and baking pan. You’ll need the cookie sheet for lots of different things…and look for one with sides. A true cookie sheet is just that…flat, no sides. But it’s only good for things that don’t want to roll off; so what you’re looking for is a “jelly roll pan”. It’s really a flat, very shallow cake pan that has tons of uses: cookies, garlic bread, bacon in the oven, toast, oven roasted veggies, etc…oh, and: jelly rolls. For the baking pan, I’d recommend a glass baking pan…you’ll need it for lasagne, cake…and well…all kinds of stuff. I promise. Oven mitts…need I say more?…multiples.

Can opener should be the last thing on your list. Pick what you like and what you can afford (no, not electric…manual).

All of your stuff should fit into a small cabinet space plus a little drawer space. I’m getting reviewed by friends at work…so look for this list to change….slightly.

WOO HOO…let’s get started!