Smells Like Teen Spirit
Rattle Those Pots ‘n’ Pans – all you need for a mean
You don’t need a lot of equipment to cook well, but there are some
must-haves. If you’re still living at home, hopefully your family’s
kitchen will have everything you need. But if you’ve just moved out,
see if you can blag your family to help! Check out what equipment there
is in your new place first and then head for the shops. Don’t worry
if your budget is tight – most chainstores such as IKEA sell cool
cheap equipment – and don’t forget charity shops, car boot
sales and junk shops are all places where you can pick up some amazing
bargains. You’ll be surprised what people throw out – often
the stuff is new or hardly used.
The Cutting Edge.
You’ll need one sharp knife, medium size.
worth spending a reasonable amount on as this is probably a cook’s
most important tool! Make sure the blade isn’t too wobbly and buy a
cheap knife sharpener too – there is nothing worse than trying to chop
your lovely veggies with a blunt knife. Serrated ones like Kitchen Devil
are pretty good too.
A chopping board is vital – plus,
if you can manage it, get a separate bread board (avoids that stale garlic
taste on yer toast!!) They come in thick plastic or wood and are pretty
cheap from supermarkets and hardware shops.
Wok & Roll.
A wok will double
up as frying pan and you can make really excellent stir fries with
it too! They’re cheap from Chinese supermarkets
or good hardware shops. Buy one that isn’t non-stick, then
season it first to get an all-natural non-stick surface – lasts
longer and better for you. It’s not difficult and there’ll
be instructions on the wok when you buy it. Never use water or detergent
to clean – just wipe with
kitchen paper as soon as you’ve finished.
Aim for three pans if possible - one biggish one for pasta and
soup making, a medium one plus a little one for sauces.
Steamers are really useful for –er, well,
steaming veggies and all sorts. You can buy cheap little metal ones
that will fit inside your pans. The Chinese bamboo ones are also good cos
you can heat up leftovers like rice & stuff in them too – especially
useful if you don’t
have a microwave.
Extras – not essential but fun if you are a cookaholic like most
of us at Viva!
Colanders are handy for draining hot food, tho you can
do it by carefully hanging onto the lid while letting the water
out of a pan, or using one of the tiers from a metal steamer! Sieves are
good for getting the lumps out of flour and stuff – useful for baking.
Both of these items are pretty cheap, especially the plastic varieties.
Pressure cookers are eco-friendly and fast. They work by
cooking food under high pressure, meaning you use less gas/electricity cos
they do it quickly. I love mine for cooking beans and soup. It’s a bit
like having a small hissing dragon in the kitchen – and perfectly safe
if you follow the instructions.
You don’t have to own a food processor or liquidiser
type machine but if you get into cooking they really are worth having.
The hand-held liquidisers are amazing – you can whizz up soups and
sauces in the pan and the better versions have extra attachments
for chopping nuts, breadcrumbs and stuff. Some also have whisks for making
also loads easier to clean and take up less space too! If you want
a food processor they chop up veggies, make pastry and everything (which
blenders don’t do), but are
big and bulky and a hassle to wash up. Then there are juicers - but that’s
another story… .