photography & words by Hung Quach
“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.”
― Thomas Wolfe
The kitchen essentials that we require or can’t live without is a personal choice. There are some factors to consider when deciding what items you want to add to your kitchen.
How often you cook. If your cooking skills do not go beyond boiling an egg or cooking two minute noodles, a pot, a pan and a wooden spoon is maybe all that you care for and all that you need. If you do more than intermittently utilise the kitchen, and perhaps consider yourself to have an extensive cooking repertoire, you will own a comprehensive set of kitchen tools. One that may include multiples of the same items. The question is how much is enough? Can you ever have enough kitchen tools?
For the love of gadgetry. It is overwhelming to think about the number of gadgets invented to make our work in the kitchen easier. The question is whether these gadgets simplify our work in the kitchen or do they create unnecessary clutter? Milk frother, electric can opener, salad spinner, vegetable spiraliser, potato chip cutter and the list goes on and on. If you are one of those people who can’t resist buying the latest gadget, then by all means. You won’t be judged or criticised.
A minimalist kitchen. You do not need a lot in the kitchen to cook a banquet if this is your style. A small set of essential tools is all you need:
Pots & pans - In various sizes to assist in multi-tasking and cooking various elements of the meal at the one time.
Cutting boards - One for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meats. This will prevent bacteria from uncooked meats in contaminating your uncooked produce.
Sharp knives - A dull, blunt knife will only make you work harder in the kitchen. Having sharp knives in your kitchen is not only safer, makes you use less pressure when cutting but importantly will cause less irritation when prepping your food. This comes from past experience when trying to cut vegetables with a blunt knife.
Can opener - If you have tried opening a can with anything other than a can opener, you will understand how imperative this item is in the kitchen.
Colander - A definite essential for boiling your food. You don’t want to stand over the stove scooping out your boiled vegetables one at a time.
Peeler - This item is not necessarily one you can’t live without but it will make your peeling days much easier.
Garlic crusher - Why spend precious minutes chopping a glove of garlic when you can pop it into a crusher.
Scissors – A multifunctional item that is used to cut herbs, trim seafood, open food packets and much more.
Mortar and pestle - For all your crushing and grinding needs. This humble instrument has been around for much longer than the food processor.
Juicer - A simple hand juicer is all you need to get the most out of your citrus fruits.
Measuring cups and spoons - This will help you produce consistent meals every time.
Grater - To obtain the same grated effect with a knife is possible but imagine how much longer that will take.
Bottle opener - This last item is considered the most important by some people. It provides the cook with essential liquids and makes for a more pleasurable cooking experience.