First things first


So you’ve just walked into your very first kitchen…now what?

Well, this is where we work out what you need and what you’ve got and maybe get started on a wish list for future food-adventure-type-equipment.

Time was a girl would leave home with the contents of her “Hope Chest,” put together over the years before she spread her wings (got married).Then, those things added to the wedding gifts she might have received, meant she’d have the tools she needed to run her home and kitchen.

We’ve moved on since then. Thank heavens.

However, very few young people do start a new home with anything other than having all their dreams of independence magically and effortlessly fulfilled.

So let’s get serious here and have a think.

I’m going to set out a list for one person, living alone. I’m going to assume you have a stove/cooktop, an oven and refrigeration of some description.

This is just a list – we’ll discuss what each of these should look like and the type of quality you may or may not need in separate posts. Don’t worry, I’m not going to send you off without directions!

First you’re going to need something to put your food on and to eat off.

A basic table setting looks like this. You’ll want:

  • a dinner plate,
  • a bowl,
  • a mug,
  • a drinking glass,
  • a knife,
  • a fork,
  • a spoon, and
  • a teaspoon.

Bare minimum. Keep up with your washing up and that should be enough. You’ll end up wanting more, but that’s a start.

To get the food into the pot, you’ll need these tools:

  • 2 cutting boards,
  • a paring knife,
  • a chef’s knife,
  • a grater,
  • a tin opener,
  • 2 mixing bowls (one small, one larger),
  • a wire whisk,
  • a colander/strainer,
  • a vegetable peeler,
  • a measuring jug, and
  • a set of adjustable scales.

On the cooking side, you’ll want

  • a frying pan,
  • a saucepan or two (preferably a small and a medium) with a lid,
  • a trivet of some description to rest your hot pots on,
  • a pair of tongs,
  • a wooden spoon or other stirring implement,
  • an egg/fish slice, and
  • a ladle/serving spoon for soups and casseroles.

These are all optional. They will all make your life easier.

You can spend a small fortune buying the ultimate in design and brand, or you can go vintage (secondhand) and gather stuff you aren’t afraid to use.

The latter option means the whole cooking thing will be just a little less scary too. I’m all for that.


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