Get the right stuff for a great new life in your kitchen

You do not need an enormous batterie de cuisine (pots, pans and all the kit) in order to be able to produce a good meal for yourself.  When it comes to cookware, as with so much else in life, quality rather than quantity is what you need.

set of knivesKitchen knives and chopping boards
When buying knives avoid buying sets, you will probably find that you only use one or two of them on a regular basis and the rest sit in their block gathering grease at the side of the cooker.

The best kitchen knives are made from stainless steel with a high carbon content.  Cheaper stainless steel knives are fine but the do need to be sharpened regularly.  Never store knives loose in a drawer. Not only do you run the risk of cutting yourself as you rummage about, they also get damaged knocking against other cutlery. Wooden knife blocks or magnetic rack are the answer.

Chopping boards should be thick and made of wood.  They are vital as cutting food on the worktop will soon ruin it.  Marble or granite will be damaged most easily.

Pots and pans - the heart of the kitchen
Again quality always wins over quantity.  Don't buy large sets that come with lots of different items that you may rarely if ever use.  Cheap pans have thin walls and bases and will warp and then burn your food.  The handles will quickly work loose too.  Dont forget if you are using electricity you need to have pans with a perfectly flat milled base.

Stainless steel is best and most expensive.  Anodised aluminium is good as it has excellent heat conduction.  For serious weight lifters cast iron pots and pans are the business.  One small and one larger cast iron casserole (with lids) will be fine for any eventuality including that all important first chicken casserole for two.

To stick or not to stick
Non stick is useful for cooking some things such as porridge or scrambled eggs although it is pretty pointless using a non-stick pan for simply boiling potatoes or pasta.  Probably best just to buy the one.

KitchenAidAnd now for the electrical things
Laying out loads of dosh for a top of the range mixer may seem extravagant but compared to how much you spent getting married and divorced it's a bargain.  Let's face it a good mixer will last longer than the average marriage these days.  It
 is the centrepiece of the kitchen gadgets and none of the good ones are cheap.  The Porsche Carrera of kitchen mixers is the KitchenAid but is very expensive.

You can drool over the fabulous enamelled colours which include a wonderful shiny black and pillar box red but be very careful which one you choose.  These beauties are built to last a minimum of twenty years so the chances are you will be changing your kitchen décor well before you need to replace your mixer.

Kenwood is also a fine brand and has attachments which will turn it  into a food processor to include mincing, slicing, grating, pasta making, and pressing citrus juices.  What more could you want. 

Looking after your need for good food and nutrition is a vital part of keeping in good shape to help the adjustment to a new life.  Doing this does not depend on lots of cute and shiny kitchen equipment.  Buying good ingredients and cooking with love and enthusiasm (plus some of our great recipe ideas) will do it.  However, having some good kit to do it with will make it a lot easier and a lot more fun.


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