Monday, December 24, 2007

The Essentials Part Two: Want vs. Need

Some of the things I use every day in the kitchen are, in the world of MRP, needs, not just wants. On the top of the list in the needs category is a really good knife. I've gone back and forth about the differences between German and Japanese made knives. I have both- the Henckels five star series representing Germany, and the beauty below speaking for Japan. She's a Shun and she's become my favorite.

Notice the purty wavy lines. Like a Samurai sword.

There is much to say about knives. The main thing is this: get a good one. It'll make your life in the food prep department so much easier you'll actually want to cook even if you don't think you like cooking. And for the rest of what there is to say about knives, I give you Alton Brown:

This teapot is a want but it sure is nice to have. I start my day off with a cup of green tea in lieu of coffee. Like a Samurai.
Sauciers are more of a need at this point in my game. They're great for making a lot more than sauces, too. The Caribbean blue one is made by Le Creuset, the shiny one is All Clad.

The next items are definitely needs. You can't cook without shallots, garlic, or olive oil. I realize that these are ingredients, but what good are all the fancy pants pans without the right things to put in them?

You want prep bowls. You can measure out everything you need, if you're into measuring, which I'm not. It's still nice to have some place to out all the stuff I slice and dice before it goes in the pot. These have lids, too, which is nice when I over slice and/or dice.
And all this other stuff is mostly want, with a few need. You absolutely need some good tongs. These are made by Oxo, and they're my favorite. I have one other pair, but they were in the dishwasher. That's why I have three- cause one is always in the dishwasher. Whisks make the creation of sauces much easier. The wooden spoon I include because of its beautiful patina. I've been working on that stain for over ten years.
Now you know what to get yourself when you start returning all those unwanted Christmas gifts.

The squirrels are getting feisty around here, so that means it's blowgun time. I'll try to get some video for all the dudes who read this site in hopes of more lung-powered mayhem. Merry Christmas.


Ben said...

Dude... you and my Mom. She wont even let me touch her wooden roux stirer. It looks like yours but times ten. It was her Grandmothers. I can't wait to tell her about yours. She will be pleased to know that you are continuing the tradition.
And a merry merry Christmas to you and your missus.

Anonymous said...

So do you want a good knife or are you happy with your awesome Japanese one? I have a large Wusthoff I never use, if you would like to have it you can :)

Medium Rare Please: said...

No- use it! Go cut up an onion right now!

Colleen Rieth said...

Loved the knife video. I will not covet though. I'll hang with my Chicago cutlery until my which time I'll be dropping Andrew many hints!!! Maybe if I just put that video on the desktop...