How to Slice an Onion: Cooking Basics and Beyond--Hundreds of Tips, Techniques, Recipes, Food Facts, and Folklore [NOOK Book]

Overview


If you can slice an onion, you can cook almost anything. That's the first premise of this book. There are dozens more, all underlining the happy thought that cooking is easier than they tell you it is. The recipes and tips here--and there are many--are simple: it's flavor that counts, not a list of ingredients longer than a kitchen cabinet can bear. The methods are uncomplicated (mix vegetables and olive oil right in the roasting pan; why bother with a bowl?). Kitchen mythology, we learn, is one thing, and ...
See more details below
How to Slice an Onion: Cooking Basics and Beyond--Hundreds of Tips, Techniques, Recipes, Food Facts, and Folklore

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview


If you can slice an onion, you can cook almost anything. That's the first premise of this book. There are dozens more, all underlining the happy thought that cooking is easier than they tell you it is. The recipes and tips here--and there are many--are simple: it's flavor that counts, not a list of ingredients longer than a kitchen cabinet can bear. The methods are uncomplicated (mix vegetables and olive oil right in the roasting pan; why bother with a bowl?). Kitchen mythology, we learn, is one thing, and food history another. Mythology: the need for expensive slot-top box holders for knives. History: Did you ever wonder who Granny Smith was? How to Slice an Onion demystifies the culinary arts, making cooking simple for the beginner and opening new possibilities for the experienced cook. It's a kitchen companion, a friend at hand when you stand at the stove, a fascinating and amusing look at the history of the food we eat, and a charming guide to the fundamentals and finer details of good home cooking. For the beginner, the accomplished chef, and even for those who just like to read about food, this book is a good friend to have in the kitchen.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Author Crumpacker (The Sex Life of Food, Old-Time Brand Name Desserts, Old-Time Brand Name Cookbook) provides a running start for those new to the kitchen in this down-to-earth guide to cooking. Beginning with the properly sliced onion, Crumpacker explains the hows of cooking as well as the whys: readers will learn why roasting a chicken upside-down is preferable (it keeps the white meat moist), how you can salvage overcooked scrambled eggs (a little butter or sour cream), and the best way to crush tomatoes for homemade marinara sauce (by hand). These and other tips won't bowl over veteran cooks, but Crumpacker's simple advice will rapidly build cookery confidence in those used to dining on canned or pre-made products. Crumpacker manages to hit most of the high points, including vinaigrettes and sides, pastas, classic mains like pork chops and roast chicken, desserts and even simple infusions like Eau-de-Vie and Limoncello. Though bolstered with recipes, Crumpacker's crisp prose makes this volume a winner-the next best thing to having a chef at your side as you prepare to tackle a new dish.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

People
Delectable.
The Washington Post Book World
Perfectly browsable, richly poetic.
The Wall Street Journal
Hilarious.
From the Publisher
Advance Praise for HOW TO SLICE AN ONION:

"Beginning with the properly sliced onion, Crumpacker explains the hows of cooking as well as the whys: readers will learn why roasting a chicken upside-down is preferable (it keeps the white meat moist), how you can salvage overcooked scrambled eggs (a little butter or sour cream), and the best way to crush tomatoes for homemade marinara sauce (by hand)....Crumpacker’s simple advice will rapidly build cookery confidence in those used to dining on canned or pre-made products. Crumpacker manages to hit most of the high points, including vinaigrettes and sides, pastas, classic mains like pork chops and roast chicken, desserts and even simple infusions like Eau-de-Vie and Limoncello. Though bolstered with recipes, Crumpacker’s crisp prose makes this volume a winner—the next best thing to having a chef at your side as you prepare to tackle a new dish.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for Bunny Crumpacker and her books:

"Delectable."

People

"Perfectly browsable, richly poetic."

The Washington Post Book World

"Hilarious."

The Wall Street Journal

"Simple, attractive recipes."

—John Thorne, Outlaw Cook and Simple Cooking

"Clever insights and lyrical aphorisms."

Publishers Weekly

"Vivid and utterly fascinating."

Library Journal

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429964388
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 780,200
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Bunny Crumpacker

Bunny Crumpacker, a New York native, has been a professional caterer, editor, newspaper columnist, and school community relations officer. Her book reviews appear in The Washington Post. She is the author of The Sex Life of Food, Perfect Figures, and two cookbooks based on food and recipe pamphlets issued from 1875 to 1950--a chronicle of American cooking in those years. She and her husband, a record producer, lived in the Hudson River Valley region, just north of New York City.


Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


HOW TO SLICE AN ONION
1THE KITCHEN BATTERIEEquipping Your KitchenPancakes and fritters, Say the bells of St. Peter's. Two sticks and an apple, Say the bells of Whitechapel. Kettles and pans, Say the bells of St. Anne's. --"The Bells of London," anonymous 
The only equipment you need in your kitchen: a pot, a pan, a knife, a fork, and a spoon. That's what it all comes down to. (And in a pinch, you could give up the fork.)But everything comes in small, medium, and large ... and there are dozens of varieties of each ... and there are so many other things it would help to have ...Just know that you can spend a fortune equipping your kitchen--but you really don't need to. Shiny pans do not a good cook make. Most good cooks use battered pots and pans they've had for years, and they love them and wouldn't part with or replace any of them. Bon Appétitmagazine, some years back, asked a variety of well-known cooks and chefs about their favorite kitchen equipment. Julia Child chose an old nonstick frying pan, one she used with butter and oil--that is, not as nonstick--because it was just the right size for what she needed most often and the sides sloped the way she liked; the handle was metal, so she could put it in the oven. Other cooks chose such unexpected things as a compost bucket, a French coffee press, a glass teapot, and a whisk. Yes, somebody chose a copper pot--always nice, but so expensive--and somebody else, a heavy-duty mixer. But a surprising number of choices were for the simple and mundane. A teapot and a whisk.KnivesThere are a lot of myths about kitchen equipment. Most, it seems to me, have to do with knives. Yes, you need to know how to handle a knife. And, yes, your knives should be sharp. (Sharp knives cause fewer accidents to your fingers, because they need less pressure to cut. Jacques Pépin adds that if you do cut yourself with a sharp knife, at least it's a clean cut. Cold comfort when you're bleeding? Probably.) But knives needn't be wildly expensive. And above all, they needn't be--shouldn't be, for my money--stainless steel or carbon steel. High-carbon knives are a little harder to find than stainless steel knives, but they hold their edge much longer, and are much easier to resharpen. They're on the expensive side--but you'll keep them longer and find them easier to work with. Amazingly enough, you can find good ones on eBay, which can save a great deal of money. Last time I looked, the first two listings were for the Sabatier knife company's high-carbon chef knives at just over fifteen dollars each. (Sabatier guarantees their high-carbon knives for a lifetime.) New, they cost in the neighborhood of a hundred dollars and up. High-carbon knives are never shiny, except maybe on the day you buy them. They're quickly discolored by the acids in food; they tend to rust; they don't glow the way stainless steel knives do. But they're so much better to work with.Care and Sharpening of KnivesKnife sharpening is part real, part myth. Real: You need a steel--the long, cylindrical blade that works like a file; it can be metal or ceramic. You run the entire length of the knife blade up and down the steel, holding the knife at about a twenty-degree angle, and doing both sides of the knife. That realigns the blade's edges. Official advice is to use the steel every time you use your knife. After I do that, I run my knife blade across the bottom of a stone mug--the unglazed bottom is rough, and helps keep knives sharp.Every so often, no matter how diligent you are about using the steel, your knives will need more work. The best thing to do is find a knife sharpener--a person, I mean, who sharpens knives. You may have to mail your knives; if you're lucky, the knife-sharpening man will be local, and you can just bring your knives over. The Yellow Pages will help.If you can't do that, use an electric sharpener or a sharpening stone. With a stone, use the rough side first, with a light coating of mineral oil, and run the entire length of the blade across the stone, heel to point, holding the knife at about a twenty-degree angle again. After you've done that on both sides several times (several means twenty or so, until it feels almost sharp), turn the stone over, repeat the mineral oil coating, and again run the length of the blade up and down the stone--both sides of the knife.It helps to take good care of your knives. Keep them clean and dry. Don't put them in the dishwasher. (Use the steel, use the knife, wash it, dry it, put it away.) Don't use knives on hard surfaces like plates--they'll dull very quickly if you do that. Cut and slice on cutting boards made of wood or plastic; if you don't have a cutting board, add several to your list of what you need to find. (It helps to have at least threeseparate cutting boards--one for onions and garlic, one for chicken and meats, and one for everything else.) Knives shouldn't bang into each other, but you don't need a knife holder (one of those slanted boxes with slots on the top for knife blades).Know, too, how to hold a knife. That's not kitchen equipment, but it is good kitchen practice. Don't extend your index finger to the top of the blade; that may feel right at first, but it doesn't work as well; it doesn't give you as much control or power as holding the knife with all your fingers curled around the handle. The fingers on your other hand--holding the food you're cutting--should be slightly curled under, so the knife works against your knuckles and doesn't cut into your fingers.What size knife do you need? The standard answer begins with a chef's knife. A chef's knife is a large utility knife with a triangular blade; it can mince, chop, and slice, and is probably best known for "rocking" over a mound of herbs, onions, or garlic, chopping them quickly. The important thing is a knife you feel comfortable with--a knife that feels right in your hand. That's why I'm not going to say an eight-inch knife, or a twelve-inch knife--or even just a chef's knife. Hold various knives in your hand; whatever feels right works. That is not always the most expensive knife. Plastic-handled knives are fine. Some paring knives are so cheap (under five dollars) that you don't need to worry about resharpening them on a stone--when they get dull, buy a new one. I use very few knives: a five-inch paring knife is my favorite--I use it for almost everything. (Paring knives look like smaller versions of chef's knives.) I have another, slightly longer knife with a serrated edge; it's handy for things like slicing lemons, tomatoes, and--surprise!--sandwiches, because it doesn't press down on them as it slices. I also have a chef's knife, which I use much less often, a boning knife, a large bread knife, and a santoku knife (mine is not Japanese, and has hollowed-out scallops on either side of the blade). The only knife I couldn't work without is the paring knife. That's what feels best to me, and that's what matters. Whatever works works.Pots and PansWhat, then, are the other kitchen essentials? And what would it just be nice to have? Pots and pans are essential, like knives, but they, too, needn't be top-of-the-line. I have several copper pots that I never use anymore--despite their excellent heat-conducting abilities, I don't want to spend time polishing them and I feel guilty if I don't; even worse, when they've been used enough, they need to be retinned, which means time, energy (taking them somewhere or packing them up and mailing them), and money. The pots I use most often are a set of four stainless steel saucepans in varying sizes, the kind with layered bottoms (aluminum, copper, and stainless steel); they were gifts an amazingly long time ago. If I had to, I could give up one of them, leaving me with small, medium, and large. One of the pots came with a double-boiler insert, which is very handy; it sits inside the two largest pots. (I also use the insert when I'm making ice cream without a machine, to put directly in the freezer.) But my favorite pot is bigger--it's an old Cuisinart pot, wide and deep, with a steamer rack insert. I use it to boil water for pasta, to steam vegetables and dumplings, and to make stock, soup, stew, braises, relishes, and jams, and it can go in the oven when I want it to. It, too, is stainless steel. It's a very happy pot.Those are the saucepan essentials--one big pot and two or three smaller saucepans. Sauté pans also matter. Again, it's best to have two different sizes--a small (nonstick, if you like) pan that can be used to fry two eggs or make scrambled eggs or an omelet (it should have sloping sides) and a larger frying pan with straight sides. Metal handles are helpful, because they make it possible to put the pan in the oven. My favorite frying pan is ten inches across and has straight sides; it's very sturdy--but its handle broke off some years back. It was plastic, and I'm glad it's gone, though I didn't do anything to hasten its departure. The pan can now be used to brown and sear on the top of the stove, and then it can move along to the oven to finish cooking. 
Short of my old stockpot, my favorite pot for stews and soups is a Le Creuset (heavy iron, coated with enamel) that can go on the top of the stove or in the oven and look lovely on the table. (My pot doesn't look lovely on the table, except to me.) They're available online, through catalogs, and in stores. Le Creuset pots and pans are heavy, sturdy, and handsome, and they're also expensive. (But they last a lifetime.) Iron pots (without enamel) are another possibility--they're considerably less expensive, last several lifetimes, become nonstick through good use and care, and almost always work well, assuming you have a lid, should you need one. Iron pots and pans can be found in hardware stores and at flea markets and garage sales. Unless you buy a factory-seasoned new iron pot, you'll need to season it, and used iron pots probably always need to be reseasoned.That's what you need for the top of the stove, then: saucepans of varying sizes, a large stockpot, and at least two different size sauté pans. All can be made of stainless steel, plain or combined with other metals, or enameled cast iron, or just plain iron.Seasoning Iron PansTo season or reseason an iron pan, coat it with vegetable oil, solid shortening, or bacon grease (you'll have to cook some bacon first, but that's not too much of a hardship). Heat the oven to 250 or 300 degrees, and put the pan in the oven. Leave it for fifteen minutes, remove it, and pour out any excess grease. Put it back in the oven and bake it for two hours. Let it cool and wipe it dry. To keep it in good condition, use it at first with foods that are high in fat. Clean it while it's still warm by rinsing it with hot water and scraping away anything that has stuck to it--don't use a scouring pad, soap, or a detergent. Make sure it's thoroughly dry. Store it without a lid on top.Mixing Bowls, Measurers, Tongs, Spatulas, and WhisksNext up, in my own personal order of importance, are the things you need before you need the pots and pans: measuring cups and spoons, tongs, spatulas, whisks, and the bowls you mix things in. Mixing bowls don't have to be matched sets of three--though that's always nice. A mixing bowl, after all, is just something you mix in. If you're mixing a lot of things, you need a larger bowl. And if you're mixing small amounts of things--well, I don't need to tell you, do I?I do my mixing, for the most part, in a large clear plastic bowl that looks like a giant measuring cup or a laboratory instrument. I use a small Portuguese bowl for smaller things--it's very pretty, but it's not part of a set. I have nothing against matching mixing bowls; I just happen not to have them, and I believe they aren't necessary. Matching, that is. Mixing bowls--whatever they may be--are definitely necessary.You also definitely need measuring cups and spoons. Measure liquid in a standing cup--the glass or plastic kind that holds one or two cups. Measure dry things (like flour and sugar) in freestanding smaller metal or plastic cups, the kind that come in sets of four: one each for a quarter cup, third cup, half cup, and whole cup. (This is the kind you sweep the back of your knife across, when it's full, to level the measurement of flour, for instance--to be sure you have exactly what you think you have.) Measuring spoons come in bunches, too. I like metal ones--they're sturdier and a little easier to wash; they also feel good in the hand.Tongs, spatulas, and whisks are all marvelous inventions. The best tongs are the long kind that you can lock into position when they're not being used. They're amazingly handy, like an extension of your fingers, and, among other virtues, they make it possible to move food around without piercing its surface. Spatulas are essential for foldingwhipped cream or beaten egg whites into a batter, and they work for many other things as well; if they're heat-proof silicone, they're handier. Whisks are wonderful. Purely wonderful. They bring together all sorts of things, eliminating lumps, smoothing surfaces, expertly blending mixtures ... I recommend two sizes: the normal, everyday size and a small one, handy for mixing things like salad dressings. Balloon whisks are considerably larger, and are essential if you're whipping cream or egg whites by hand.Sheet Pans, Loaf Pans, Roasting Pans, and RacksThere are specialized pans that make various cooking projects easier and better: sheet pans for cookies, for instance. They should be heavy and sturdy--cookies on lightweight pans burn easily. Silpat baking pads on top of the pans make cookie making much easier when it's time to remove the cookies. Silpat is the brand name for silicone and fiberglass mats that come in various sizes and eliminate the need for pregreased baking sheet pans. Loaf pans work for bread, meatloaf, and paté, though all can be made on plain baking pans. Eight-by-eight-inch square pans are especially versatile and very handy to have. Supermarkets usually sell glass square pans in their pot section, no matter how small it may be. Big roasting pans work well for turkeys and roast beef--much better than the heavy-duty foil pans you can buy at the store. Those aren't heavy enough to be really sturdy, but I'm not nuts about cooking in foil, in any case; whether or not it's bad for you, it simply doesn't feel healthy to me. You don't use roasting pans terribly often, but when you need one, you need one--they're kind of hard to improvise. They need to be heavy and sturdy, with good handles, and if they come with their own rack, so much the better. Racks are a good idea, in general--under a chicken (if you choose not to use sliced onions, the way I do--as on page 89), or for cooling cake or cookies, rather than keeping them in their pans, where they continue to cook, or piling them on a plate, where they steam as they cool and begin to look like something out of a Dalí painting. Also helpful is a smaller roasting pan (about nine by thirteen inches), to be used for all sorts of things, from lasagna to a batch of brownies.Double BoilersA double boiler is a tower based on water. It's a short tower, just two pots high--but two, it cannot be argued, is more than one. The bottom pot has to be larger than the other; it holds water, kept just below the boil. It's a fine way of making some sauces, melting chocolate, and--should you have the time and the patience (I rarely do)--scrambling eggs. It can be improvised, with two pots of different sizes, one sitting atop the other, but it's a great luxury to have one of your own. Double boiling in the oven means a large pan holding a smaller one, or several little heat-proof dishes; the larger pan holds hot water, to act as a blanket, steadying temperatures, for the inner pan--especially fine for making things like cheesecake and custard; the even heat works to their advantage and it's much safer than simply braving the oven, no matter what they say about how if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. No; if you can't stand the heat, use a double boiler. There are always choices.Colanders, Strainers, Peelers, Skimmers, Graters, Mashers, and MoreKitchen toys are wonderful. You just have to restrict them to those that are moderately essential--not only because of money, but also because of space. There are limits to what can be squeezed into the kitchen junk drawer. Mine holds things I've had for years and havenever used (three ice cream scoops, two ice picks [why?], and a variety of other gadgets)--but I'm not ready to part with them. Yet it also has stuff like a cherry pitter and a milk frother, perfect when I need them, even though I don't really need them often. I have learned not to buy too many new gadgets. I look at them, admire them, am tempted by them, and say to myself, "But where would I put it?" and my resistance is thus fortified.There are things, though, that are enormously useful. Nothing works as well as a colander for draining pasta or salting eggplant, cucumbers, or cabbage. Strainers work for a variety of things--potatoes after they've been boiled, vegetables that have been blanched, custard sauce after it has thickened, stock after the bones and vegetables have given their all, and a host of other necessities. Strainers can also be used to sift flour. And, if necessary, they can double as colanders.A swivel-bladed peeler is a simple thing, but blessed. Yes, you can--and perhaps should--scrape carrots with a knife rather than peel them (so many healthy goodies just under the skin), but nothing works as quickly or as well on a potato or a bell pepper. There are two kinds of peelers: straight edged and serrated. The former is for carrots and potatoes and other things of that ilk; the latter works nicely for peaches and tomatoes, which otherwise have to be dipped in boiling water and peeled by hand--perfectly doable, but not quite as fast.A four-sided box grater works well for many things, especially thinslicing things like cucumbers, but even nicer for grating are a microplane grater (for lemon zest, for instance, or hard cheese) and a zester (different from a grater, a zester is a small instrument that peels tiny strips off a lemon or an orange that can be used as they are, or stacked and sliced into even smaller pieces. It's fast and easy to use and doesn't take any of the bitter white along with the flavorful peel; accomplishing that with a knife is an art form). A nutmeg grater can be a small thing, or it can look like a black pepper grinder (another essential!)--but when you want freshly grated nutmeg, nothing else works quite as well. Citrus reamers--for juicing oranges and lemons--help most if they double as strainers; otherwise, hold a lemon in one hand and squeeze into the other, letting the juice flow through your (clean) fingers, which catch the seeds. Such is the hope, at least.There are a variety of potato mashers available--my favorite is the old-fashioned kind, which has curved thick wires on the end of a handle. It makes chunky mashed potatoes--and does nicely for crushing tomatoes or beans. If you like silky smooth mashed potatoes, a masher with a compartment for holding the potatoes and the need for a certain amount of arm strength is what you want. Don't use a mixer or a processor--they gum up the works.Food mills serve a wonderful purpose when you need them--to sieve something you want to mash or purée at the same time. They're moderately expensive new, but you can find them at flea markets, and they usually work just as well when they're used.Processors, Immersion Stick Blenders, Spoons, and MoreOne of the most expensive things I'd recommend buying is a food processor--a good one. Yes, one can manage without a processor. But so many things are done more efficiently, faster, and better with a processor that I think they're well worth what they cost. Blenders are nice, but I don't have room on my counter for both a blender and a processor, and I don't like the idea of hauling either one out every time I want to use it. I choose the processor, and I leave it out all the time. Processors do things blenders can't--and in greater quantities. You can mix batters in a processor, make cold soup, blend frozen drinks, whip cream, grate or slice carrots or cabbage, chop nuts--make almost anything but mashed potatoes. They're fast and efficient for a wide range of tasks. I use mine not quite daily, but almost, and I love it for itsspeed and power. In it, I make everything from gazpacho to cheesecake, from coleslaw to muffins. I whip cream, make egg salad, blend soup, mix guacamole or biscuits or pie crust, prepare smoothies ... It is my favorite kitchen appliance--I use it more often than any other, except for the stovetop and the oven. I have a standing mixer, and I treasure it--but if I had to, I could manage without it, as long as I still had the processor.Immersion stick blenders are lovely for puréeing soup right in the pot. They're easier to use with hot soup than a processor (and easier to wash), but they're a luxury--the standing processor does the same thing; you just have to be careful about splashes and spills. Ice cream machines are nice, too--the electric kind that don't need salt and ice. They're fun to use, and they make it possible to have frozen cream in twenty minutes. (But it's also possible to freeze ice cream mixtures in ice cube trays or freezer containers, as long as you remember to mix them in the middle of the freezing, and again before they're served. See page 230 for a recipe for ice cube tray ice cream.)I haven't said anything yet about can openers. There isn't much to say. If you use cans, my dear, you need a can opener. And a beer-bottle opener, the church-key kind, because if you stick its point under a jar lid and pry it up just a little, you can open the jar without further ado. Yes, you can also open beer bottles with it. And you need corkscrews to open wine bottles. Then there are the big spoons--a giant tablespoon for serving up, a slotted spoon, and a ladle. Sometimes they come in sets on fancy racks you can hang on the wall, but I think they're handier in a kitchen drawer--or a big jar--near the stove. Wooden spoons are essential for stirring. It helps to keep a gathering of wooden spoons (and other long-handled gizmos) in a big muglike holder next to the stove. Also stuck in mine is a wooden rolling pin (the tapered kind), but I don't use it very often.An instant-read thermometer is a great help when you're roasting a chicken or meat--it tells you exactly what you need to know, and all you have to do is remember to use it. An oven thermometer is good ifyou aren't sure whether your oven is accurate--if it heats to what you've set the dial for; and a thermometer for your refrigerator and freezer are helpful in the same sort of way. Clip-on-the-pan candy thermometers are nice when you're making jam, candy, or custard, but the only essential is an instant-read thermometer; without it, you're operating on guesswork, unless your fingers and your eyes and ears are truly experienced and trustworthy. Until they get to that point, it's best to use a thermometer.Did you ask about salad spinners? They're nice. But they're big and bulky and take up a lot of room, wherever you keep them. An alternative is to fill a bowl with lettuce leaves and water, swoosh them around, lift out the lettuce (don't drain the bowl, which would get the grit back into the lettuce), shake it, and spread it on a terry-cloth towel, which can be wrapped and refrigerated--making for lovely dry, crisp lettuce whenever you need it.A few years ago, Mark Bittman (who writes The Minimalist column for the New York Times) wrote that you could buy something very like this list of kitchen equipment--what the French call the batterie de cuisine--at restaurant supply houses in any city for under three hundred dollars for everything. Prices have undoubtedly gone up since then (as has the cost of the food this is all about), but the idea is still a good one, and close to true. Other possibilities: garage sales, flea markets, and eBay, the online auction Web site.I've left out many things that are nice to have, because they aren't essential. In this category are microwaves, for instance, juicers, slow cookers, and rice cookers. I don't like the idea of microwaves, though I wouldn't mind making popcorn--or melting chocolate--in one. Slow cookers have advantages, but what they do can be duplicated on your stove, even if without the buttons. Rice cookers seem silly to me; all you have to do is use twice as much water as rice, bring it to a boil, turn the heat down, cover it, and cook for fifteen minutes. Did you add salt and olive oil or butter? Please do. Brown rice takes longer, but it's almost as easy. I do have a mandoline--not the big (beautiful but expensive) French kind, but a handy little plastic one, with just a handle, a frame, and the essential slicing blade. Mandolines make perfect thin slices, and they do it quickly. The expensive ones sit on your counter and are very sturdy; for less money, you get to hold one in your hand or rest it on your bowl. They're nice to have--but a box grater with a slicer on one side or a carefully wielded knife does almost as well. I also have a cherry pitter. I only use it once a year, when cherries are in season, but it's good to have when I need it.There's more--there's always more. Some seem obvious: a pepper grinder; a saltbox to keep on the wall near where you work; cake and pie pans; pot holders and hand towels; a coffee pot; a kettle ... And some aren't essential, but you might like to have them: an electric spice grinder; a toaster oven ... It's nice to have a holder of pens and pencils nearby, so that you can make notes on a printed recipe for remembering next time ("too sweet--use less sugar!")--or for jotting notes on a shopping list. That means you need a pad of paper, too.In the end, it comes back to the beginning: all you REALLY need is a pot, a pan, a knife, and a spoon. You can make miracles with just that little.HOW TO SLICE AN ONION. Copyright © 2009 by Bunny Crumpacker. Illustrations copyright © 2009 by Sally Mara Sturman. All rights reserved. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)