One Skillet Wonder: Tools

Cooking is one of those pastimes that few can live without. It is a pleasure to find fresh ingredients in the refrigerator and to make the time to whip up a tasty and hearty meal that children will ask for seconds and adults will as well.

Several caveats for this blog:

  1. It doesn’t take a great chef to be a good cook. These days there are so many recipes on the web, it is more about picking what you like than anything else.
  2. If you follow a recipe to the T, then this blog is not for you, because so much of it depends on what we have at hand. The rest is trial and error.
  3. If you are afraid of error, get out of the kitchen. We all have them and this blog will try to give examples of the good, bad and ugly.
  4. Start with good ingredients, good spices and well chopped meats and veggies (if you have a good sous chef it can speed up the process). I married a great sous chef. And she is a date watcher, meaning that she throws out spices when they are old (more than one year). Spices, like most ingredients, have expiration dates. The fresher the better. It is key for a good outcome of your cooking.


Skillet – The best tool to start with is a cast iron skillet. Preferably 11″ across and 2″ deep. Smaller ones are fine, as long as they are cast iron. And you will want a lid of some sort for steaming.

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Knives and utensils – I love sharp edges of all types: knives for paring, bread, chopping, cheese; and scissors for cutting and serrating. I like different spatulas and spoons for my cooking, with a preference for metal spatulas and durable plastic spoons.

Recipes – If you want a hard bound cook book, it is hard to beat the Joy of Cooking. An old stand-bye for lots of ingredients that would make James Beard proud.


Gas, baby

I know a lot of cooks who have electric stoves, but I have never been able to control the heat and the overall effect with electric. I prefer gas. It seems to work best.


Key ingredients

I am a spice guy and like to keep them close at hand include fresh onions, garlic, basil, coriander, turmeric, olive oil, salt and pepper. And Old Bay seasoning for fish.