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Hey, Harper! Any Idea How to Stock a Basic Kitchen?

Why, Yaaaas! I have an idea or two.

The idea of trying to start up a kitchen can be pretty daunting. Especially if you are young, have little money, and have a limited idea of what you might need. I follow a few rules; one provided years ago by my friend Brian P's mom. Mrs. P had an interesting story. She was a young German woman who fell in love with an Italian boy in Europe after WWII. Neither one spoke the other's language. They immigrated to Canada, bringing with them their post-war sensibilities. The one I have often used as a rudder in my life is, "to buy the best you can afford and take care of it." In a toss-away world, this seems like increasingly important advice.

In creating this list of kitchen essentials I have, therefore, attempted to keep quality (and therefore longevity) in mind, as well as budget. I cook in a tiny kitchen and keep single-use tools to a minimum. I have three knives and have never found myself longing for a fish boning knife when technique and a small paring knife will do. Keeping things to a minimum helps keep the budget low as well.

A great cast iron pan will last a lifetime. It heats evenly, holds heat steady, and will give you the ability to cook on the stovetop as well as bake in the oven.

Pair your new cast iron with a fish spatula, I am a fan of anything OXO Good Grips, and you are halfway to a great meal!

I totally swear by this non-stick skillet, and in my AirBnB the guests have yet to ever scratch it - A feat if you've ever had a vacation rental!

Love Ikea? Me too! Especially some of their 356 line. This $10 pot does triple duty as it's big enough for soups and sauces, but small enough for supper for one.

Need to drain pasta? Prepare cocktails? Powder the top of a cake? Get some strainers.

A Good Grips, grippy, cutting board will keep your knives sharp, gives a good sized surface for cutting and stays in place!

Knives, beautiful only need three, two will do to start!

And make sure you get this super great Y-peeler! They come in threes, save the other two for stocking stuffers!

I love a square measuring spoon, as they fit in most small jars. Classic Pyrex measuring cups can't be beat. And you will need a spatula to scrape it out. (As well as for licking cake batter from.) Finally, a set of baking sheets - roast a turkey on them, bake a sheet cake, and have some fun!

You are ready to have some fun and cook almost anything with ease! (I once hosted a dinner party for ten in a basement apartment with only a spoon and a single Corningware casserole pan, can you imagine? ...with this list, you are safe to welcome Gordon Ramsey to supper with ease!

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