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8/19/2014 11:22 AM grooming • 0 Comments

Setting Up Your Kitchen

We men are easily duped by sparkle and shine. Women, cars, toys, and gadgets galore, desired simply for the promise of possibilities. Often, the purchase or the chase is the highlight of those acquisitions, and it's all downhill from there. Setting up a kitchen can often feel about the same. There are countless gleaming objects and machines that sound important, but leave us baffled.

 

Learning to cook, or more importantly, learning to cook "well" is tricky. Most people assume that a lack of gadgets will somehow limit the outcome. Walk into most homes and there are countless items hung from hooks, stuffed in drawers and perched on countertops. Each may signify a moment or story, but most likely an impulse or just a very persuasive touch of some advertising genius. The truth about any part of our lives is that we men need a handful of anything to survive, and the same few number of items to flourish.

 

In the kitchen, begin with one good knife—not too heavy, not too light, not too expensive, not too cheap. It should fit well in the palm of your hand, and have one of two shapes: either a standard chef's knife, or a Japanese chef's knife or "Santoku."

Whichever one you purchase is the only knife you need. But take care of it. Don't knock it around with other metal items. Do lightly wave it across a honing steel from time to time, rinse it immediately after you slice anything acidic and, no matter what, don't let your friends use it!

 

Second, you need a cutting board. Not too small, not too large. Definitely not that hard, clear plastic number that slips and gives no purchase to your knife as it comes down on the board.

 

Get a wood one approx. 14" in one or both directions, give or take. If you can't find wood get the bright white synthetic type that all restaurants use.

 

Get a few steel mixing bowls, get them large, it makes life easy to mix in a big bowl, and then gently pour the contents into another big bowl.

 

Pots and pans: Get a heavy stainless steel or aluminum sauté pan with metal handles. That way you can sear something on the stovetop then put it directly into the oven to finish. You also need a deep pot with a lid; this is for pretty much everything else that you're not searing in the first pan.

 

You don't need measuring cups; you won't be baking anytime soon. You definitely don't need a stand up-mixer or measuring spoons. And tell your mother to stop getting you fancy dishes. You need bright white plates and bowls so you can see the colors and textures of all you create set against a clean and brilliant background.

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