Essentials…

I was going to write a post about our dinner last night.  Then while preparing dinner I started thinking about what I use most in the kitchen.  What I utilize the most, my favorite “go to” things that I would not want to live without.  I tend to keep things pretty simple so I have just a few basics.

First and foremost is definitely my cast iron.  I love these bad-boys!  I have several, some new some old.  My biggest pan, the one I use just about everyday is the “newest” in the sense that it was purchased new about 10 years ago.  I make everything from scrambled eggs to awesome home fries (on top of the stove or in the oven) 2013-03-11_16-58-38_243The “oldest” belonged to my father in law’s mom, I have another one that size that was bought new 19 years ago.  I have picked some up for free, I found a small one for $2.99 at my favorite thrift store.  I also have a griddle that is utilized at least 4 times a week.  We bought that new about 15 years ago.

These are all my “go to” pans that I use daily, even several times a day.  I can’t say enough about cast iron, especially the older stuff.  I find the older cast iron holds it’s non stick qualities easier and cleans easier.  Treat it well and it will treat you well for the rest of your life and your children’s lives and so on.  You can plop one of these babies on a wood stove or outdoor grill.  Hang over an open fire, or use as an oven with hot coals.  I mostly use mine on my gas cooktop (NOT recommended for smooth glass tops).

Next would be my awesome Mandolin 2013-03-11_16-43-49_672( a Christmas gift from one of my daughters).  This thing is indispensable when it comes to slicing veggies.  We have a huge family, we are cooking for 12 people every day, more when all my children are home.  When we do potatoes…. that’s a lot of “taters precious“.  With this Mandolin you can cut through 8 lbs of potatoes in the blink of an eye.  Slice ’em, dice ’em, cut them into fries… you name it!  It cleans easily, stores easily and is extremely easy to use with very little “set up”.

Thirdly I LOVE my jars.  All kinds of jars… quart, pint, half gallon.  Love them all!  I store all kinds of stuff in them; leftovers, candy, oatmeal, rice, spices…even bacon grease (wide mouth is best for that )2013-03-11_16-50-54_560

Fourthly I would have to say… though not a “tool”, it is definitely an essential in my kitchen!  BUTTER!  Put some butter in a hot cast iron pan and have at it!

2013-03-11_16-52-46_415

All that being said…

What started as a “cooking” post on the oven roasted home fries I was making last night (see above pic) and some of our home raised chicken I was roasting in the oven, turned into an infomercial!

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