I’m a new cook. A year ago, I could not make more than a cheese quesadilla or something frozen that requires unwrapping the plastic and sticking it in the oven. Then, I started cooking, and I discovered a newfound love – for my crockpot, my skillet, and a really good knife. Here are my newbie-chef favorites:
-My crockpot. Starting off in the kitchen is intimidating, but throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pot is not. My sister, who knows I’m a little grossed out by raw meat, suggested this one to me. “Just wash some chicken and put it in the pot, and with a little crockpot magic it’ll come out cooked,” she told me. “Really?!” I said, incredulous that I would not have to cut or really even spend much time touching the raw chicken. “Really,” she said. I came home after work, the first time I tried it, and when I walked in the building I smelled something good. Somebody’s having a delicious dinner, I thought, walking into my apartment. Opening my door, I was pleased to discover that the somebody was me!
-My cast-iron skillet. It can cook on the stove and in the oven! And the flavor builds with time, and it also just seems so durable and there for me. It’s also really heavy, and it’s a skillet, so I feel like a legitimate cook with it. Only drawback: the handle gets hot. I need to get one of those rubber covers for it before I burn my hand. Remembering that the handle gets hot is not my strong suit.
-My little coffee maker. Ok, so I’ve had this for a while, and it’s not a new cooking favorite, really. But I love it! It holds four cups and it’s not complicated, I just fill it and turn it on. No fancypants espresso for me at home. That’s why Starbucks exists.
-MY IMMERSION BLENDER. This is what made ketchup possible for me! I am a bit clumsy and I inherently dislike messes, so being able to just stick a blender in the pot and let it work it’s magic, rather than transfer in and out of my upright blender, is amazing. Kudos to my brother on this suggestion.
-The really good knife. I have to say, it sounds boring but it’s wonderful. My boyfriend may appreciate this even more than I do, as he is the Salad Master and helps me chop things when I’m freaking out because I started cooking before remembering to chop a key ingredient.
-My mac’n’cheese pot. Does this pot have a name? For years that’s all I used it for. (I’ve been told by my first reader that this is actually called a “saucepan”). Now I use it to make quinoa, sauces, and… yeah I still make mac’n’cheese from the box sometimes.
P.S. I wish I could take pictures of smells, so you could smell my crockpot dinner too. Since I can’t, I’ll just have to encourage you to make a crockpot dinner for yourself!