Sunday, January 4, 2009

What is in your kitchen cabinets?

I bought a software program for my laptop so I could organize all those slips of paper and newspaper clippings of recipes I had found and stuffed in a drawer, never to be seen again. I have been working diligently on getting all of these into my computer for the last 3 months-I had a drawer full. As I was working through the scraps and clippings, I came across a notebook page I had written many years ago. In many of my jobs, I have worked with people much younger than me. I became like a big sister to some of them and they flattered me by asking my advice-probably since I wasn't related to them they found it easier to talk to me. Most of it was PG, but not always, and this is a family friendly blog so we won't even touch on those points (insert laugh here). However, one thing I have done for many of the young ladies I have had the good fortune to have met over the last 15 years is to assemble a list and recipes for them. They were all in their late teens-early twenties and moving out on their own. They were all very excited and couldn't wait to do things the way they felt they should be done. And then, somewhere in the middle of the "I am going to get this color curtains and I am going to buy this color towels" they realized "Oh my gosh, I will have to feed myself". I am not a chef or a professional of any kind, but a mom who worked, had kids and brought leftovers to work for break time. There were many questions of what do I need and how do I do this and how much will it cost. I came up with a list of things I thought they needed to start with so they could feed themselves and their roommates or friends that come over to hang out. I also gave them recipes for simple items that are easy and taste good and explanations of why and how; why to boil potatoes in cold water, how to create a simple tabletop with candles and mirrors that looked special and costs little. I think I have done this about a dozen times and one of the girls is now turning 30 and just bought her first home and told me that she still uses the lasagna recipe I gave her 12 years ago. That gave me great joy-something as simple as sharing some knowledge was not forgotten. I wonder if my kids will retain anything I have tried to teach them. Apparently not, as the dishwasher was full of clean dishes, there were dirty dishes scattered all over the house and pans on the stove with food still in them when we got home from work. Maybe they will find an older person to relate to and it will come full circle.
Here is my list of what I created for them. I also added on the list of what to purchase after they are more comfortable in the kitchen and also after the paychecks grow a little!
1 large stockpot
1 large skillet
2 and 3 quart saucepan
1 9x13 baking dish
1 9x9 square baking dish
4 cookie sheets (always have 2 ready to go on cool sheets so not wasting energy or time)
A slow cooker
A large roasting pan (turkey is one of the easier things to prepare)
A potato masher
A whisk
A couple wooden spoons
A couple silicone scraper/spatulas (I melted many plastic ones, high heat silicone only for me)
A pancake flipper/turner
A corkscrew
A can opener
A hand mixer
1 4-cup Pyrex glass measure
1 2-cup Pyrex glass measure
A Dry measuring cup set
A measuring spoon set
1 chef's knife
1 bread knife
2 or 3 paring knives
A potato peeler

I know lots of people will say "but what about this, or what about that". Believe me, my family calls me the gadget queen. I have drawers and cabinets full of things I use-some all the time, some once a year, but this list was what I felt that at a bare minimum, they can cook a meal and dessert and feel great that they did it on their own in their own kitchen and they were fed. I included my recipes for meatloaf, mashed potatoes, lasagna, popcorn salad and some bars. I also told them that they need to come up with a dish and make it their signature. Something they learn to make well and use that as your go-to meal when having friends over, be it a roast chicken or a marinated pork loin roast (yum, one of my favorites). People will feel welcome when they know your special meal is on the table for them to share.

I will include the above recipes in the upcoming posts. Since it is our third day on, we are stopping at the local deli and picking up sandwiches on the way to work today!

1 comment:

noble pig said...

That's wonderful and I'm sure was very appreciated. I can't wait to see your recipes.