Tools of the trade

When was the last time someone asked you the stranded on a deserted island question? You know the one. If you were on a deserted island, what one thing could you not live without? Or some version of that. In prehistoric times, like around the 1980s, the answers were books, walkman, tennis shoes. These days we’re talking iPhone, iPod, iThings.

Well, I have some iThings that I find essential for my cooking sanity. I am by no means saying you have to have these, nor am I supporting or advertising for any products. I’m just sharing some of my favorite gadgets, they may make your life easier too.

  1. That little rubber thing is a garlic peeler. I can’t tell you how much I love this thing.
  2. Good knives. What they say is true, if you buy good quality products, they’ll pay for themselves. It is an investmet well worth it. You want knives with good weight and sharp.
  3. A meat tenderizer. This one is nifty. It is reversible, so I have a prongy side and a flat surface on the other side. This one does double duty.
  4. A lemon juicer. ‘Nuff said.
  5. Good whire whisk
  6. Thermometer
  7. Wine corkscrew. If you have nothing else, you must have this.
  8. A stainless steel soap. It removes odors from your hands like magic!

As far as hand cranks go, those are it. In terms of kitchen electronics, there are just a few items I’d add to my couldn’t live without you list.

  1. A good mixer. I’ve had a basic Kitchen Aid for almost 10 years now and it is still going strong.
  2. A good blender. Margaritas anyone?
  3. A microwave. Somethings just need nuking.
  4. A deep fryer

Not a terribly elaborate list, is it? What are some of your kitchen essentials?

Living like the Joneses. Ha!

In NoLa for our honeymoon

We’re everyday people, just another couple next door. We aren’t necessarily traditional. To be honest, we both have our own way of not blending in. Linz dons a crazy goatee and I like mixing and mis-matching my attire. Conventional we are not. Like most people we know, we are lucky enough to have steady jobs and steady bills. We often sacrifice what we want for what we need. We would love to vacation 6 months out of the year rather than squeeze our vacations into 4 weeks. We are, I guess, living the American dream.

We’re newlyweds still. We e-met in March 2008 and got married this last June. We are an eHarmony couple, even though we both doubted we would find someone we’d want to marry. Somehow we did and we know how lucky we are to have navigated to that website when did. We are a testament for all the cynics and naysayers out there, particularly ourselves.

home sweet homeThat’s just a little segue into this: we are not living lavishly.¬†Our 2 bedroom condo is about 1,100 sf, which is a bit of a squeeze without being crammed. Our kitchen is a 10-foot long by 3-foot wide galley, not an awesome restaurant style kitchen, though we dream of one. But our little kitchen serves us just fine.

We both love food, preparing and eating it. Finding someone who enjoys cooking was a really big plus for both of us. When we planned our first date, we both agreed that cooking together sounded like an excellent plan. It would give us something to concentrate on other than the initial awkwardness of meeting for the first time. And so we did and have done ever since.

More often than not I will come up with a¬† menu of sorts and Linz will busy himself with all sous chef responsibilities. He dices and chops everything, he swears I’m not as adept at this task as he is-WHATEVA! And we both try to clean as we go. But there have been times when our little kitchen looks as if a search warrant had been served on the premises.

What I’m trying to say is that you don’t need a fancy setup to do some mad cooking in your kitchen. You don’t need a whole lot¬†of appliances or equipment. The thing you DO need is a desire to try your hand at it and to see what magic you can whip up. So drop the excuses and get those pots out!