Tool Time

There I was sitting across from a nice guy at a wine tasting and the phone rings. Third missed call from a friend of mine. I was a bit worried.  She always texts, almost never calls. “Just a minute,” I said, “this seems like it might be important…” It was. She needed to know what kind of pan to buy. I told her non-stick. Did she listen? No. Personally, I am not a fan of non-stick. I have found that the coating comes off easily and you need to replace pans every one to two years. That just seems like a lot of waste to me. By the way, did I mention that non-stick can be toxic?

If you really feel you must go with the Teflon, here are a few tips from

keep pet birds out of the kitchen

  • Never leave nonstick pans unattended on an open flame or other heat source
  • While cooking, don’t let temperatures get hotter than 450 degrees
  • Don’t use metal utensils on nonstick cookware
  • Wash nonstick cookware by hand using nonabrasive cleaners and sponges (do not use steel wool)
  • Don’t stack nonstick cookware on top of each other
  • Keep pet birds out of the kitchen

A few other friends of mine have moved recently and have nothing in their kitchen. What do you need to have a really good kitchen set up? Here is my list. Take note friends…


At the behest of  my somewhat neurotic tenant who researches every product before he makes a purchase, I got a three set of Heinkels at Bed, Bath and Beyond for around $60. What the hell did I do without them? I was not living a full life.


I love my copper pots and pans. My mother bought them for me in 1999 as a birthday present. I suspect that they could last until 2099. Forget about this non-stick crap.  You can get a nice set of pots and pans for around $200 to $300 dollars. Do the math. That is $3 a year for 100 years, $6 a year for 50 years, $12 a year for 25 years or $30 a year for 10 years. Mine consists of one small and one large frying pan, one deep frying pan, one small and one large pot, and a soup pot. I also purchased a sauce pan separately.

One decent Wok.

One cast-iron frying pan – my friend claims that these make Dosa’s “crisp”. My tenant owns just one pan and it is cast-iron. Of course, he only ever makes three things and one of them is a sandwich.

Mixing bowls

I like glass bowls. One large and one medium. Although I do have to admit, I have my eye on the set of recycled mixing bowls at Bayview. They are stylin’. For small things like combining spices or whisking eggs, I just use a coffee cup.

Baking Dishes

Casserole pan, two pie pans and nice shallow rectangular pan.  Again, I like the glass ones. What is wrong with a little butter or grease? Set your fat intake priorities, skip the fries at McD’s or get non-fat milk in your latte. Use the butter in your cooking. You’ll be fine.

Other Accessories

Bamboo steamer – get these at an Asian market for cheap

Coffee grinder or pestle and morter

Colanders and a hand seive

Cheese grater

One large and one small whisk

Wooden mixing spoons

Bamboo cutting board

One set of metal measuring cups and spoons

One pressure cooker – Indian market

One crock-pot


An apron, nice hand towels and (most importantly) an open bottle of wine or beer.

You don’t need to get every thing new. The Goodwill or other Thrift stores are great places to get things like crock-pots, cheese graters, colander and baking dishes. I recently picked up not just one, but two, Kitchen Aide blenders for $15 a piece. One for me and one for my friend. However, things like knives, cutting boards and pans I feel are important to get new.

For advise on the wine and/or beer look for my next post on, you guessed it – wine and beer. Cheers!


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