« Seeking Hermits | Main | Basic Kitchen : Equipment, Part II: Utensils »

November 24, 2007



What a great post! I love my toaster oven and Kitchenaid so much, and use them on a daily basis. My spice grinder died yesterday :( and I will get a new one now. I really really have to go get some cast iron frying pans though...
I just started a sorting-out project myself, not the kitchen but the rest of my home. I am selling everything that I don't use (on Craigslist) and donating the money. It feels so therapeutic to get rid of "stuff"!


When we moved out of Pittsburgh, we sold household items on Craigslist, rather than having a garage sale, and it went well - lots of responsible buyers who came with cash when they said they would.

A neighbor and I had had a garage a few years ago with little success . . . Plus, you're good at posting photos.

You might also think about joining the Pittsburgh Freecyclers - that's where I got my food processor and you can get rid of things that way too, but you do have to give them away for free. Still, picker-uppers are generally prompt. Of course there's the Vets, etc, too for that.

Happy sorting. I have a love/hate relationship with this kind of thing.


Love the photo! Just make sure you don't get rid of anything your siblings/friends/kids are attached to... I HATE it when my mother tosses kitchen stuff without asking me. :-)

Lynn D.

I think this is going to be fun. While I don't "love" my microwave, I can't imagine giving it up. I think it is very useful for reheating tea and coffee, much better than sludge that's kept on the burner too long. It reheats leftovers right on the plate you'll eat from with less energy than stovetop or oven and without dirtying another pan. A few seconds in the microwave will revive a less than fresh, muffin, donut or pita bread. I also make lemon curd, jam, hokey pokey (that airy sugar candy) and perfect basmati rice in it. In fact, I am urging my son to get one and no, I am not a great grandmother yet!


Nupur and zp: I'm not sure that most of my stuff is Criagslist material- more little things, really. I sort of envision them on a table- being picked over. I've often found things like cake pans and ladles at yard sales.
Ann-I'll be sure to check carefully before I throw anything out! I do know what you mean- my mother was always throwing out things I couldn't believe she didn't cherish. But she was very tidy.
Lynn-Besides reheating stuff, I forgot that I actually also use a microwave for 2 other things- melting chocolate (at which it can't be beat) and steaming a whole cauliflower, without having it all fall apart. Funny- some veg, like asparagus, go all horrible in the MW, but others- like the cauliflower. taste fine. Also, I have been known to poach a salmon filet in it, on a plate. I do not know what hokey pokey is.


Oh yes, and in further retraction of my rude dismissal of the microwave, I make microwave potato crusts. You spray a round plate with olive oil, spread a single layer of slightly overlapping, incredibly thinly sliced potatoes on it, spray it again, sprinkle with salt, and nuke until crispy and brown- about 9 minutes in my microwave. Then you can top it with cheese, or other fast cooking, pizza like toppings (tiny bits of pancetta), and finish in the oven. This is a very good snacky thing- or supper.


I'd have a hard time living without a little saucepan (1 qt? 1/2 qt? I'm not sure.) I make my oatmeal and little bits of soup in it, and melt butter and/or chocolate. I guess it would be less essential for someone who has a microwave.

Lynn D.

Hokey pokey is also called honeycombe candy; it's popular in England and is the center of the Australian Violet Crumble. Am I just getting more and more obscure? Have you ever made oatmeal in a crockpot overnight. It's great if you have to feed breakfast to an oatmeal-loving crowd and good for the less-refined types of oatmeal.


If you are obscure, I'm right there with you, Lynn. I LOVE Violet Crumble. Do you really know how to make this? Please tell. Yes on the oatmeal, too. It works very well.

baking soda

How I love this post! It's about lists (and I'm known to make lists of almost anything) and kitchen items...the big plus here is that it gives insight in other kitchen cultures (crockpot? microwave and fridge with the apartment?) and the comparing.

Apartments come with nothing here, if you like appliances...buy them! (And take them with you when you move) I know the crockpot/slow cooker phenomenon but they are unknown here.


I keep cluttering up my kitchen with things I love but don´t use. I guess I should toss a few pots and pans, but it´s more the jars of chutney and tins of partridge in escabeche that fill up my space, I think


These kind of lists are always fun.

I live in a microwaveless household. They seem like a handy thing but we don't have a good place to put one and I've never gotten around to making a place for one. Somehow they've just never seemed that essential to me. I notice that blenders weren't on your list and I know I'd miss my blender if I didn't have it. If I had to choose between a blender and a microwave, I'd choose a blender.

In our household the most used pan is a 12" cast iron skillet. Next in line would be the six quart pot which we use for pasta, soups, stews, cooking down a batch of greens, etc., and a 1 1/2 quart pot that we use for rice. But I'd hate not to have the 3 1/2 quart pot because that's a good size for potatoes. And we use the 8 quart pot a lot, and the 1 quart pot. BTW, the pots (pans?) I like the most are All Clad stainless. They're ridiculously expensive but I've collected them at the rate of about one per year over the years. All Clad generally runs some sort of special each year around the holidays where some sizes are offered at a discount, and I have made at least one excellent buy on ebay. I love how solid and permanent they feel and they give me great pleasure. The skillets I like the most are cast iron and though we have never been too loving in our care of the seasoning they still they have managed to acquire a silky finish and food sticking to them is almost never a problem.

I like the idea of a crockpot and I'm very seduced by that whole "dinner cooks while you're at work" thing where you arrive home from work to a house filled with the smell of dinner. It's on my wishlist. So is a rice cooker. And an ice cream maker. But this is where I begin worrying about all these little appliances that are used only occassionally getting out of hand. I see myself suddenly having a whole herd of them.


Karen-It is so interesting to see these differences in things we take for granted. I'm pretty sure that in Pennsylvania, a landlord is required by law to provide a functioning stove in any rental unit. and mostly, if you purchase a house, the seller leaves the stove and fridge.
Ximena-My biggest problems are in the food area, too. You'll see how bad they are when I get to the pantry, and discuss what I'm eliminating!
Julie-I can't believe I forgot to mention my immersion blender- thank you! It's hanging on the wall next to the stove- and I use it all the time!


I agree with you!! These things are essential for a kitchen...


If you are completely redoing your kitchen you should also upgrade your appliances even with new appliance parts . The new appliances are better designed. The new designs and features actually make life a little easier for you. They are also more energy efficient so they will save you on your monthly utility bills.


I make microwave potato crusts. You spray a round plate with olive oil, spread a single layer of slightly overlapping, brilliantly thinly sliced potatoes on it, spray it again, sprinkle with salt, and nuke until crispy and brown- about 9 minutes in my microwave.

The comments to this entry are closed.