Recently, it came to my attention that a lot of my clothes don't fit me anymore. And those items that used to be baggy, now fit comfortably. Since I no longer walk to work every day, nor do I walk around town to get breakfast or coffee or the occasional haircut, I've gained just enough weight around my waist to make more than a few pairs of my pants not fit.
So I spend 30 minutes on the treadmill every morning. I also lift a little and do some basic Yoga, but the focus is on the walking. I never realized what a huge difference that made to my weight until I was getting dressed one Sunday morning and had to "suck it in" to get my black suit on, which I just bought last September.
I don't eat badly, for the most case. Yes I still par take in the ritual of eating junk food, but not like I did when I was in High School. (Cold Pizza and warm Coke anybody?) But I'm also NOT on the Health Nazi regiment of eating either. You know what the difference between me and a health-nut is? Nothing. We're both going to die, only I'll have had Foie Gras, Baked Brie, Chicken Shawarma, Baby Lamb Chops, turkish coffee and a host of other Food-Taliban no-no's - And I've loved every second of it...
Anyways... Today on the treadmill, I got to thinking about the items I can't live without in my kitchen. Surprisingly, the list is relatively small. There are tons of gadgets and unique items I use frequently (My Ibrik for example) but could live without if life so dictated...
But it goes without saying, what CAN'T I live without? Here the short and crucial list:
1.) My Chef's Knives
No item so useful, so elegant, so sexy as a fine-assed chef's knife. I use Calphalon and keep four types on hand at all times.
8" Chef's Knife
6" Chef's Knife
2.) Calphalon Cookware
Oh yeah... I have a lot of Calphalon. The items that I use the most are my three saute pans (8", 10" and 12"), my two stock pots (8 Quart and 12 Quart), and my sauce pan (1 Quart). You just can't do much better than Calphalon - Giggety!
3.) Blender, Food Processor, and Hand Mixer
All three items, made by Black & Decker, have proven essential for dessert making. If you've ever had one of my cheesecakes and their accompanying sauces, they all start with excellent ingredients and these three WMP. (Weapons of Mass Production)
4.) Wooden Spoons
Plain, old fashioned wooden spoons. It would be a tragedy to wreck that sexy Calphalon cookware by scraping metal across the bottom of it, so I -like any sane cook- use wood. Hehehe... Wood.
Charcoal is family tradition. Fathers teaching sons how to stand around in front of a grill in checkered pants holding an MGD... Gas, on the other hand is a professionals must. When you have 6 to 12 to 20 people lined up waiting for an entree, charcoal dudn't cut it. I grill just about everything, as I rarely fry meats. Even in the dead of winter I try to grill as much as possible.
6.) Mix Tapes
There is something about the way I work... I don't know what it is about me, but I need music when I work. Punk rock, DnB, Slut Rock, Funk, Turntable, Trip Hop and Isaac Hayes. I need rhythm when I work, I need a beat... I try not to over emphasize what's on the tape, because I never want it to detract from my work, only to aid in it. I guess that's why I like electronic so much, very little going on lyrically but a lot going on with beats and grooves. Also, I hate it when someone brings a mix tape to the work environment and wants you to analyze every track in all it's artsy glory. HEY! I'm choppin' shallots here! I don't give a good fuck about some Weezer spin-off!
And that's really it. Those are the essential items. When I make dinner, I usually don't stray too far off that list. Yes, there are tons of other items like Mixing Bowls, Squeeze Bottles, Cutting Boards, Coffee Makers, and Cutty Sark, but they don't do much outside of provide for a well-stocked kitchen.
One item oddly missing from my to-die-for list is a Kitchenaid Professional Stand Mixer. I've wanted one for years and have yet to actually go out an buy one. Meringues, Cheesecakes, Breads, and a slew of other culinary delights could be at my finger tips if only I went out and got one. (ahem) Christmas is coming soon dear readers...
Yo La Tengo - Sugarcube
Isaac Hayes - Them from Shaft
Klint - Diamond
Richard Hell & the Voidiods - Love Comes in Spurts
Paul Oaknefold - Ready, Steady, Go