THE one piece you cannot live without...

browneyedgrrlMarch 19, 2007

not necessarily for everyday cooking, but the one piece you *cannot* bear to part with..ever!!! I'm slowly starting to "chef" erize my kitchen and want to start buying individual pieces each month and I'm just trying to get an idea of what everybody cannot live without. Thanks :) :) :)

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I have an old black cast iron chicken fryer (about 3 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter), well seasoned. It was old when my mother got it 40 years ago.

I'd keep it, and not just for sentimental reasons; it can do some things that other pots can't. For frying a mess of fish, it can't be beat. For searing a steak, it's great.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 4:19PM
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My 20 year old 11 cup Cuisanart food processor. My most versatile cookware item is nonstick inside and out Wok.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 5:12PM
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My 3.2 quart Demeyere Atlantis saucepan. I use it all the time, and it's much better than any other saucepan I've ever used.

I've even thought about getting a second one, because I often find myself needing a second saucepan, and I like it so much better than my other ones. I don't find that I need something bigger, or smaller. But... would it be just too weird to have two identical saucepans?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 7:01PM
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Probably my well seasoned cast iron frying pans, different sizes. One is over 50 years old, which DH took from home when he left.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 7:05PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

After the essentials, and I do consider the KA FP and mixer to be essentials, I would say the nice two pot steamer. It's great for green beans and other vegetables's only Revere Wear! So much easier than one of those expandable steamers or

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 6:21PM
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Also, after the essentials, I have an old electric french fry slicer that makes curly fries. It used to be a pain to make fries but with this and an electric fryer, it's so easy.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 9:08PM
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I make old fashioned oatmeal almost every morning and brown rice several days a week in a 1.3 qt Mauviel Cuprinox copper saucepan. Getting the simmer exactly right is essential for the best results with both of them. The heavy little copper saucepan is the only one I've used that reacts quickly enough to burner adjustments to get it right on the first try.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:45PM
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My cooking has changed so much in the last year. I now cook for my elderly parents. My new pressure cooker has proven to be the best investment. I can cook several meals in a few hours. Great item, versatile, and so easy to use. This is also the perfect item for people who do most of their cooking on the weekends.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 9:05AM
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I have a really old, heavy-duty garlic press that I use all the time... if you like garlic you will find it worth your while to find a really good one instead of buying the pre-crushed stuff in jars. ("Good" here is a balance between how well it works and how easy it is to clean... there are a variety of nifty garlic grinder things out there, but without a dishwasher I shudder to think about them.)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 9:10PM
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My well-seasoned wok!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 6:27PM
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For sentimental reason I would say my well-seasoned, cast-iron skillet, however, I just invested in a Le Creuset, 6.75 qt, oval French oven. I love, love, love, love it!!! It was truly worth the investment. I do not have a gas stove, and it still works like a charm.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 12:17AM
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My Fissler frying pan. Just got a new stainless steel frying pan on a trip to Europe last year because the sales person was talking about how you can grill meats without using any oil. The pan has a strange textured bottom so you don't need oil but it doesnt stick! It has a funny name like Crispy Steel or something like that and can't wait to find it here because I want to get one for all my girlfriends.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 1:13AM
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pearadise, i just got an LC, too, same size and shape, in blue. I had a smaller red oval and a larger green round oven, but I couldn't resist! Can't wait to use it... Anyway, that's it for me as far as LC (otoh, i could use a grill pan...)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 2:35PM
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For cooking, it is my LC non-stick (yes, they make one) fry pan with the ridges inside. Can't remember what they call them, I think it is called a "grill pan." Hubby and I have grilled salmon fillet several nights a week and this pan is perfect for searing and leaving the nice lines of the fish. Also, salmon being rather oily, it keeps the fat away from the fish.

I pre-heat the pan on "5" for about 5 minutes; spray w a little cooking spray, then sear the skinned and boned fillets about 2 minutes on each side. Then they go under the broiler for another couple of minutes to finish. We have lots of LC pans, but this is my favorite.

I second the comments about the KA stand mixer. I cannot live w/o that for breads, cakes and cookies. For pie crust, I use the KA food processor bc you really do need a blade for that.

Picking just ONE item is really hard!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 2:35PM
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my Cuisinart grill/griddle/panini maker...
it has changeable, dishwashable non-stick plates (one set smoot, the other set ribbed) can be used open or closed...and imparts great grill marks to meats.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 3:46PM
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Really hard to choose just one-- but I would add my All-Clad Copr-Core 8 qt. saucepot-- use it for pasta, soups (when I don't use my LC), etc. It heats large quantities of water, simmers stock, soup, etc. and cleans easily. I've used it for years and it still looks new. I think it depends on your style of cooking, as well as where you are in life. (empty nester, cook for groups, freeze) Also my All-Clad 3 qt. saute' pan-- use it for everything.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 1:14AM
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There is a lot of favorite cookware in my kitchen. But if I only had one choice it would be my cast iron wok. It's a heavy CI and will not warp like others(steel) I have tried. A amazing piece that I use constantly and cleans up in a jiffy.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 3:14PM
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I could probably live without most of what I own and be perfectly happy, but the piece I use most often is a 3 qt. stainless saute pan. The high sides make it work for a variety of uses, and I find it particularly useful for sauteing fresh greens.

I also like my 3 qt. "mini stockpot" because it's adorable and it's the perfect size to make just enough soup or stew for two people to eat for a few days.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 11:14PM
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My All-Clad 4 qt. saute pan and my AC 3 qt. sauce pan both with lids and loops. I have no problem with AC handles :)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 6:55AM
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A very good quality 8" chef's knife. I have several of them, but my favorite is a high-carbon Sabatier. Notice I did NOT say stainless steel. For incredible sharpness that and ease of sharpening, it's hard to beat high-carbon steel. Yes, it rusts if you leave it wet for too long, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. As far as length goes, 8" is probably the best size for general purpose duties.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 4:35PM
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22 years ago I bought a Dansk 12.5 inch quiche dish at a Dansk outlet store for $13. It was so striking: white porcelain, crisply fluted, beautifully proportioned. Afterwards I was fearful my MIL, who had the tongue of a viper, would say something about the purchase. Afterall, she'd raked me over the coals for paying $3 for a fluted pie plate at a garage sale instead of buying a plain one for a dollar. What on earth would I, a young wife with a baby, need a HUGE quiche plate like that for? Pretentious yuppie entertaining? I'd never use it, it was a waste of money, how silly of me, etc. It was a long while before I used the dish in her presence; by then she'd moved on to other subjects for criticism.

Lately it's dawned on me how much I love this dish. As the years have gone by and the family grew, I've made family sized cornbread, cobblers, & casseroles in it. I've made double pie recipes for big blueberry pies for 4th of July cookouts, pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving & Christmas, or lovely apple pies in Fall. I've used it as a serving tray to bring drinks & sandwiches to friends on the patio. It's served as a platter for mountains of chocolate chip cookies at PTA functions or cheeses for buffet suppers. It's been such a beautiful functional piece that's served a variety of purposes well. There are many things in my kitchen that I like a lot, but the Dansk quiche plate is the only piece I love.

And the irony is: some day I'll probably pass it on to a daughter-in-law. I'll tell her this story and hope that she'll get as much happy usage from the dish as I have.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 8:47PM
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