Cook’s Toolbox

ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS a new home-cook asks is, “Besides food, what do I need in order to cook?” Fortunately, someone has supplied the answer.

Despite the odd spelling, is probably my favorite foodie website. Its editors send out a daily email filled with recipes and kitchen/household management tips, many of which I dutifully print off in anticipation of future and present use. They recently published a guide to equipping a home kitchen called “All The Kitchen Essentials You Need — For Just $310,” with the advice that you can cut that relatively low, low price for 20 items by browsing thrift shops, garage sales, etc.

Acknowledging that $310 may be half the monthly rent for some people, the article points out that “you can easily spend nearly that much for a single set of cookware or knives (heck, for a single pan or knife), and we’re not just outfitting you with a set of pans, but with everything you need to take an empty kitchen from useless to delicious.” Even if you don’t take them up on their specific recommendations, it’s good to have a general checklist for assessing your own cookware inventory: “Got it…got it… need it…want it…” A couple of things aren’t on the list (cast iron skillet, microplane or other grater, bread knife), but it’s otherwise a decent general handholder. Good hunting!

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