One might wonder what kind of tools are necessary to make the recipes I put here. The answer; not much. In fact, the simpler, the better. All too often, fancy gadgets simply get in the way to where one decides to please one's wife by going out to eat--spending the money that would have enabled one to please one's wife by avoiding working overtime. Plus, until one gets to really expensive stuff, one can really do better at home.
Now, the ingredients to a happy kitchen. Start with a standard gas or electric coil stove. Avoid flat top ranges--they just don't heat well in my experience. Put a few stainless pans (anything with a flat aluminum or copper bottom will do) and cast iron skillets on and around that stove. The best skillets are found, by the way, in antique stores--though Lodge is still making some good products, just a bit heavier. Also find a decent tea kettle.
Now for food preparation; I prefer stainless or stonewear/pottery bowls for mixing, and small plastic or wooden cutting boards for cutting. Whatever you do, don't save your money by buying cheap knives. You'll end up in the restaurant again, possibly with stitches--dull knives slip and are dangerous. Leave them at Target or Wal-Mart and come home with one or two decent Wusthof or Henckels paring/utility knives instead. One restaurant or emergency room visit pays for them.
And coffee? Leave automatic drip behind and invest $30 in a decent french press. Your taste buds will thank you.
Add measuring cups & spoons, spices, and kitchen staples like flour and sugar, and you're ready to be a blessing to your wife. Here's a quick way to do so by making breakfast. In honor of Chad of Fraters Inebritas, it is of course, pancakes. This recipe can be adjusted with buttermilk, fruit, or whatever else you like--even bacon and onions and such.
1 cup flour (whole wheat is preferable IMO)
1 tbsp baking powder (add a little baking soda if using buttermilk)
~1 cup milk
Additionals: sugar (1 tbsp), vanilla, blueberries, banana, apples, chocolate chips, kibble, whatever
Mix flour & baking powder, add egg & milk and stir to get a thick liquid--neither "stiff" nor "runny." Cook one piece of bacon in each of your skillets over medium heat. When bacon is done, start cooking pancakes, flipping them when bubbles form on uncooked side and removing when both sides are cooked well.
Want a richer pancake? Here you go--note that the difference between a Sunday pancake and a weekday pancake is simply the amount of eggs used, and whether the whites are beaten stiff for leavening.
Enjoy on your nice china (here's an example) from time to time with good strong coffee, and leave the newspaper in your driveway. This breakfast is for your wife and you, not Nick Coleman.
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