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Friday, March 29, 2013

Stocking Up the Kitchen



Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on this blog.  It’s been a long winter and I’ve been super busy with teaching, doing programming, and playing in the band.  Sorry it’s been so long, but I’m back and will try to do better.

I started this blog by telling you that I had about 2 years until I go fulltime, but that I was already making plans and buying some items that I’ll need…or at least items that I want…when I’m fulltiming.

Some of these items are rather mundane.  For example, my flatware is basically a mixture of cheap pieces that do not match and look rather…well, cheap.  So, I decided to buy some new flatware.  I can use it now and I can use it when I live in my RV.

Reading about most people who live in RV’s, I decided I really don’t need a 144 piece 12 place setting.  Many people only carry enough for the two of them.  Being single, I guess I could get by with a single place setting:  one spoon, one fork, and on knife.  But that sounded a little sparse, so I decided a 4-place setting would be adequate.

I wanted to get something substantial so it will last me for a long time.  While I was searching, I came across an item that I’ve been wanting for a while but did nothing about.  I love iced tea and really wanted some long-handled tea spoons.  On Amazon, I found several sets.  After looking at the different styles and reading all the comments from others, I decided I would buy the WFM Manaos Bistro Ice Tea Spoon, set of 4.  I like the simple, clean style and the fact that it was 18/10 stainless. 
My Ice Cream/Iced Tea Spoons

But just before I ordered, I saw a similar set of spoons from the same manufacturer called the WFM Manaos Bistro Ice Cream Spoon, set of 4, for the same price.  The users’ comments said that it was somewhat sturdier than the Ice Tea set, so I opted for that, instead.  I’m glad I did.  I loved the plain styling and decided that would be the style for all my flatware.
My Stainless Steel Flatware

The WFM Manaos Bistro flatware is available as sets of 4 identical items.  This made it nice for me, because I could just order them as I had the money.  Being 18/10 stainless, they aren’t cheap, but they were exactly what I wanted.  So, over several months, I ordered sets of forks, dinner knives, steak knives, teaspoons and tablespoons.  Eventually, I decided that I tend to use a lot of forks throughout the day and ordered an extra set of 4 forks.  Now I have a matching set of flatware that looks nice and in a style that I like…clean, not too feminine, and sturdy.

I had already decided that when the time comes to move into an RV I would use my existing dishes, which is a very large set of Winter Frost (white) Corelle that I’ve had for several decades.  Again, when I actually load up my RV, I plan for a set of 4 dinner plates, soup/cereal bowls, and pasta bowls.  I also tend to use the smaller lunch plates a lot, so I hope to carry 8 of these.  I guess this will all depend on how much storage I have in the kitchen area.  The rest will either be given to my brother or stored in his basement in case I break a few.
My Thermal Cooker

A couple of years ago I bought a Nissan Thermos 5 liter thermal cooker.  I’ve used it several times for making stews, chili, and so forth.  The pot can be used without the Thermos cooker and is large enough for me to use for pasta and so on.  I have five WearEver fry pans that will be more than enough, as well as an old double boiler pot which can also serve as two different sized pots.  I believe that will serve me well for most of my stovetop cooking without me buying anything else.

For oven use, I have a couple of silicone muffin/cupcake “pans”, as well as two silicone loaf pans.  I may add a couple of silicone cake pans and cookie “sheets”.  I also have two stainless 12” pie pans (I like BIG pies ) with silicone edge protectors.  I believe I’m set for cookware at this time.
My Manual Food Processor

I once had an older food processor, but it finally died.  So, I found a manual “processor” called the Kitchen King Pro Complete Food Preparation Station.  It had great user comments and for under 25 bucks, I figured I couldn’t go wrong.  I’ve used it several times here at home and have been very satisfied.  The bowls are small, but again, I’d only be cooking for one most of the time, and occasionally two (if I get lucky!).  And, being manual, I can use it even when I’m boondocking.  Sounds like a plan.

Finally, I decided I needed new drinkware, too.  What I had was again several unmatched glasses, a couple of acrylic “glasses” and so forth.  I’ve never had problems with using acrylic, except that after a while they get little internal cracks and aren’t clear anymore.

This time I decided to try some polycarbonate drinkware.  They aren’t cheap, but are supposed to last a long time.  I bought 2 Tervis insulated 16 ounce tumblers from Simplysmartliving.com.  They are clear with a few simple rings etched around the body.  They are double walled, thus the “insulated” nomenclature.  I don’t know how much actual insulating value they have, but the double wall does seem to eliminate the sweating on the outside when I use them for ice tea.


I was so happy with them that a year later I order two more with two travel lids that press onto the top.  Later I added a matching set of 4 twelve ounce short tumblers, two 2-liter pitchers, and two stem wine glasses...all polycarbonate.  And yes, they are all BPA free.  I’m thinking of a couple of pilsner glasses yet and then I’ll call my drinkware collection done.

 
So, by now I figure I have most of what I need to prepare and eat food…and have a few drinks, too.  Obviously, eating is a priority for me (lol).  But it was something I needed (or at least, wanted) and I can, and do, use them at home now.  Then, when I’m ready, I can move them into my RV.

Each of my items was chosen to be sturdy, long lasting, and to match my “style”.  Obviously your choices may well be different.  I hope I’ve chosen well.  So far I’m really happy with my choices.

Well, that’s it for today.  My next entry will be about some other items I’ve purchased or plan to purchase for life in MyBigAssRv.  One can’t live on eating along…ya gotta watch TV, too.

Disclaimer:  I am not associated with the companies that manufacture, sell, or distribute any of the products that I write about.  However, some of them, including Amazon.com may advertise on my blog.