Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Kitchen Travel Essentials

We travel a bit for business. When I say travel I mean we go to an island and stay for maybe a year or
more. Since I have done this a couple of times I realize there are things you should bring along to save the trouble of finding them or not getting them at all.
Most islands in the Caribbean have substandard kitchen supplies and now since most of them are being supplied by Chinese products, they also have bad bedroom stuff, curtains, towels, you name it if you are buying from a local shop the towels are half polyester blend and so are the sheets. Just plain awful to use or sleep on. If you are renting a furnished apartment you normally get the leftovers from the last tenant or the cheap curtains and furniture that do the job but don't make for pleasant living. So now if possible I bring it from home, ship it on a boat and remove all the items from the house or apartment I can and store them away until we leave. Saves their stuff for the next lucky tenant and lets me have something that makes me feel like I want to live there.
I like to cook and it is important to have the basic tools you need to do what you want. Not everything, sometimes buying something on island is the best way to go, you might even find an unusual item you can't get at home like a lovely large tawa or those big propane gas burners that are far better than any small gas stove in an apartment.
But for me, there are items I have collected over the years that I like to bring along.

Three really good knives
Big kitchen knife
Bread knife
Paring knife

Pots and Pans
Large stock pot with lid
Med. size pot with lid
Small pot
lasagna pan
cookie sheets

Hand Tools
Kitchen spoon
Kitchen spoon with holes
Kitchen fork
Can opener
Wine opener
Measuring cup
Pepper Grinder
Bench scraper
Vegetable peeler (good one)
Decent potholders
Cotton towels, I really like old cotton T shirts cut in half

Electric Items
Hand Blender serves as a regular blender too.
Convection Oven is much better than the gas range in an apartment.
Toaster, their toasters never work.
Coffee maker cause we like espresso.
Usually the place has a microwave

I have also found that using the dining utensils in rented places is just plain awful. So, I bring just enough of the good stuff we have so we don't have to eat with forks that rust the second time you wash them.
If I can pack items in big plastic bowls with lids I bring them along for baking.
Wine glasses are nice since they are generally poor quality in shops and the kind with tiny mouth rims that are hard to drink from, why do they make those anyway?
We buy suitcases, lots of them and I use them to pack the easily transportable items often on the plane. If it is a large item I can ship it on a boat but it takes longer and depending on the size of the job you might want to exclude the large ticket items like an oven and just get one on island.
On this last job I had a welder create for me a pizza oven made from an old water tank. We call him Bender.

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