My Fall Kitchen Essentials

We are moving soon. Not far, about 80 miles away.  But still it has become very difficult for me.  Yes, I am sad about leaving our house, our friends, our church, our school and our life as we know it.  But I have made peace with the transition’s emotional facets.  We have squeezed in much quality time with our dear ones and have plans to return often.  My difficulty now comes in the form of my stuff.  I have to sort through all of our possessions and decide what to keep.  It is actually much easier and more cathartic than I had anticipated to get rid of a lot of it.  My struggle lies in resisting the urge to buy new stuff.  And no time is compulsive buying more difficult for me than the last four months of the year. Fall! Thanksgiving! Christmas! They are all so much fun, and everything that they bring with them is just too dang charming.  Usually, I sheepishly smile at my husband while I unload my autumnal treasures and vow to try harder next time.  But I have no such luxury this year.  We can’t take it with, so I can’t buy it.  My self-discipline has kicked into overdrive…and I need an outlet!

I have decided to turn my attention to my under-stocked kitchen.  As someone who creates food as often as I do, you would think that I have every gadget out there.  But the fact is, I’m a lousy planner.  So when I realize I don’t have this or that for a recipe, I just make due.  Also, the essentials that I do have get used a lot, so some of them could stand to be replaced.  Most of what I need is compact {ie: easy to pack into a moving truck} and pretty affordable, so I have been able to talk myself into the practicality of this endeavor.


I can’t let the year end without making some kind of caramel confection.  And it’s easier to make caramel without sugar than it is to do it without a candy thermometer.  I used to have one of those glass tube ones, but I bet you can guess what happened to it. No matter, it was getting all foggy inside anyway.  I have heard good things about this Polder Candy Thermometer, and it doesn’t seem to be susceptible to the problems of it’s predecessor.


I alway need new cookie sheets.  I get a year or two of use and that’s about it.  People who own these  Airbake Ultra Cookie Sheets say that they work perfectly after 5+ years.


For years I’ve fumbled with foil on a hot pie plate.  I kept telling myself, “It’s not worth the money…”  Now I’ve decided that $8 is a small price to pay for this  Adjustable Pie Shield so I can have golden crusts and burn-free fingers.


I left my last set of ramekins at my son’s Christmas fair while I was running the decorate-your-own-cookie station.  My old ones were very basic.  This set of Wavy Square Ramekins, Set of 4, White are just so much more my style.  Eggnog Creme Brulee, anyone?

I bought a pie plate at Crate and Barrel a few years ago.  It was a lovely white-washed color with dainty little flower prints.  One morning, after his fill of homemade cinnamon rolls, my then-one-year-old pulled my beloved pie plate off the counter and it smashed into a thousand lovely pieces.  He was fine <3, but my pie plate was gone.  I have a few pyrex ones, but I long for the pretty again.  Thanksgiving felt empty without it last year.  The 10-Inch Ivory Antiqued Pie Plate in this set reminds me of my old friend.


I have never had a kitchen timer.  Trust me when I tell you there have been more that a few times that I wished I had.  The timer on my microwave gives off one low, pitiful beep and then leaves you high and dry.  Deb at Smitten Kitchen recommended the Fox Run Retro Kitchen Timer with Magnet.  And as you might have guessed by now, when she says jump; I say, “How high, Deb?!”



I have recently learned that lighter colored metals keep your cheesecakes from burning.  Kaiser invented the spring form pan, so I figure they know what they’re doing.  This Kaiser Bakeware Basic Tinplate Nested Springform Pans is the only set I looked at that didn’t have a single reviewer complaining about leaks.


I have also never had a cooling rack, and with Christmas baking right  around the corner, I think it is about time to remedy that.  The Wilton Nonstick Cooling Rack is a decent size and it the only one that doesn’t seem to have rusting problems.




I love having flavors to experiment with.  And this set of Sweet Brown Extract Flavors seems to have some good one’s for this time of the year: Chocolate, Coffee, Ginger, Caramel, Hazelnut and Vanilla.



I have forever longed for a decent roaster.  The closest I ever got was one for like $20 at Bed Bath and Beyond that, of course, became all peel-y and gross and is now long gone.  I am ashamed to say that we have used disposable aluminum pans for the last two Thanksgivings.  Well, no more!  My husband will balk at the price of this  Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster with Rack   {although as far as these suckers goes, it’s pretty reasonable}.  I think that I can win him over when I tell him how much easier his Turkey Days will be for years to come, since he’s the one who mans the turkey.

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