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Every summer, I vacation at a cottage with a rudimentary kitchen. Since cooking is part of the fun of a house party, I pack a box of my favorite kitchen essentials:

1. All-Clad 14-inch fry pan. Yes, it is a huge pan, but it provides the expansive surface area for better browning. I can caramelize onions for two people in this responsive pan, but I can also cook steaks for six.

2. Wusthof 10-inch chef’s knife. Yes, it’s a big knife, but before you know it, all the carrots are chopped. Mine is 25-years-old and still my favorite workhorse in the kitchen. (I also pack the pull-through sharpener.)

3. Peppermate peppermill and peppercorns. Don’t try to season your food with the miscellany in the cupboard from years past. Bring your own pepper and grinder. I love the Peppermate because it is super-easy to fill and five turns equals 1/4-teaspoon of freshly-ground pepper.

4. Meat thermometer. I adore the Polder probe thermometer because it reads the oven temperature (so many ovens are off-kilter!), in addition to displaying the internal temperature of the meat.

5. Lamson fish spatula. It’s not just for fish; this metal spatula is the best tool for cooking anything in a skillet. The spatula is thin, curved, flexible, and available for right or left-handed people. The super-sized version is wonderful for the grill.

6. Edlund stainless tongs. The 12-inch tong is the best size for turning foods in the kitchen or on the grill.

7. Stainless whisk. Once, I forgot the pack the whisk and I had to buy another immediately. A 10 or 12-inch sauce whisk in invaluable for cooking or baking.

8. Bench knife. This little square of stainless steel is so useful in so many ways: scooping vegetables, cutting doughs, plus cleaning up.

9. Microplane grater. The best grater for zesting lemons, grating parmesan cheese, and grating nutmeg.

10. Coffee maker. Anything better than waking up to a delicious cup of coffee? I take an extra box just for the electric espresso make, but a French press is easier to pack. Don’t forget to include your favorite coffee beans and burr coffee grinder.

11. I like to bake, so I also pack a pastry blender, pastry rollpat for rolling out the dough, rolling pin, pie plate, and cake pan.

12. I also pack my favorite ingredients so that I make breakfast on the first morning: Plugra butter, eggs, heavy cream, oranges, and bread.

May your vacation be filled with delicious home-cooked dinners!

One Comment for “What To Pack for Summer Vacation”  

  1. deercreek36

    In today’s world, most of us will have stay-cations. A good list if you want to cook at home, too!