Stepford Ct Wife

Stepford Ct Wife
Art by Anne Taintor

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Okay so I have enrolled in the Martha Cooking school now here comes the tuition bill...

I never knew how inadequate my kitchen was until this book. But that is okay because I am going to go look for sales at: homegoods, William Sonoma, Crate & Barrel and compare that with used/new things on Ebay (always check ebay after looking and always before you buy!). Martha has a very good basic kitchen list that is needed for the book course. She is very wise because she said to buy the best equipment that one could afford for all of these items. So being a student if I have something that is adequate and in the correct material then I am going to keep the item for now. When perhaps I am more skilled then I can upgrade as a I go. So those $10.00 set of kitchen tools I got from Macy's will do because they have served their purpose the last year and a four months here in Stepford, CT.

I am updating the knives that I currently have because I dislike them intensely because they are cheap (chef, paring, utility, paring, serrated ) with a set of Wusthof Classic 8 piece block set. It is also a good set because it has openings for the Wusthof steak knives that I already have plus other tools I need that were on the list. I just got it on ebay for $229.99 including shipping which is a savings of $70 (not including savings on shipping if I bought at crate and barrel online). Also I got it through a website called Ebates which gives 2% of the purchase price back to your Ebates account for ebay purchases. I like Ebates because at certain times in the year they give out a virtual check to my paypal account. The savings are not always that much but it adds up. My first check back I got $15.00 and that is not that bad!

I cannot really start yet until I at least get items for the first chapter so I am reading the basic part of the book and I am going to see what items I need right away for the Soups and Stocks. The other items I can save up for and get as I master the basics, then the soups/stocks. And unlike the Julia/Julie project I plan to take my time to learn the craft and work through the book. Martha in her book says that one should not rush through the basics or just take things out randomly in the book but work your way up. The book is a progression and thank goodness it is not a French book only because I could not cook all that rich food swimming in butter! But Julia Child I do adore you! Also I am glad that I am starting the soups in the winter because then my Hubby will eat them. It will keep him warm since he does a lot of shoveling outside of work and other things that require him to be outside on the coldest days. He likes stews and soups but personally, I am not a soup person at all! I think maybe my hubby will be happy that I am starting to learn how to actually cook instead of just baking everything and doing stir-fry, okay. Yes, he loves my cookies-- and yes he is a guy so pretty much he can stomach most things-- but I need to learn how to cook! I did the whole attempt to do wood working/carving in middle school (instead of "home-economics") so onto cooking!

The being prepared well ahead of time and cleaning up as I go (until I get a dishwasher) is going to be a bit crazy. Does anyone want to be my intern? You just have to clean the kitchen and wash dishes and maybe I can offer college credit-- I personally have enough to spare. What do you want Creative Writing, Chemistry, Biology ,  Nursing 101? Are there any cute tiny mothers who are empty-nesters that love to clean? Don't you hate those kids who had those moms who would clean all the time and were embarrassed by them? I would love to have one of those! So if your background checks out Stepford, CT Wives Club might have an opening!

Also I need to work with onions,and I am sure butter which I dislike very much. I might have to get a pair of onion goggles when I start working with onions and a nice hand soap to get the smell out! But I am going to learn how to be a real cook so onions, butter and soup here I come.! Perhaps I might try my olive oil instead because I really only like to bake with butter because I have to but I have a strong dislike for mayo and butter. I know, that pretty much is the staple for the Stepford crowd here.

I looked ahead and I am going to need to stock up my spices as well. My husband is not going to like the food bill one week. I better look ahead to the recipes and see what I can do and do it a little at a time or he will cry to see a $400 bill and only spices! Also did you know that spices are really only good for 1 year? That is what Martha covers in the basics. So I guess if you are not a big consumer of spices you better just get the smaller packages even if the bigger one is "such a deal."

These are the items I have:


Cast Iron grill pan
Large  stock pot I think 10 quart (she recommends 8 or 10 quart)
saute pans

For Baking:

Ceramic baking dish

Cookie sheets
pie plate (glass)

Loaf pan
Muffin tins
Nonstick baking mat
Rimmed baking sheet
round cake pan X 2 9 inch diameter
Wire rack


Box grater

I have a colander but I need to get in stainless steel
Potato masher
Vegetable peeler
Bench Scrapper (although mine might not be as good I think it is just for baking?)
Flexible spatula
measuring cups
measuring spoons

Metal spatula
slotted spatula
Long handled
metal spoonslotted spoon

Offset spatula
Now I have a mechanical
pastry bag I have to ask if I need to get the Pastry bag/tips

Pizza wheel
Rolling pin (wood)


Chef knife (need to update)

paring knife (need to update)
Serrated knife (need to update)
Santoku knife
Cutting boards  (but I realized that I had to throw out one of mine and get one specifically for meat, vegetables, garlic and onions so I still need to get some).

Now these are the items that I need to get:

Cast iron Skillet

Dutch Oven  5 or 6 quart enamel cast iron, anodized aluminium or stainless steel around a copper/aluminum base (I wanted to put one on my registry list but my brothers and my now husband constantly giggled so I had to take it off the list).
Nonstick skilletRoasting pan/rack (at least 3 inches needed for turkey)
Fluted Tart Pan- 9 inches
Small offset spatula
Adjustible blade slicer/
mandolins (Martha said that plastic is cheaper but okay)

Meat Thermometer
Potato ricer
Citrus Reamer
Oven Thermometer
Candy Thermometer
Pastry brush X 2 one for dry/other for wet (with bristles no silicone like I already have)
Liquid measuring cup (clear, heat resistant and has a spout)
Pastry blender
Biscuit cutter
Rasp style grater
Bench scrapper (not sure if mine is good enough)
Sieve- in many sizes/level of coarseness I need to make sure that it won't stretch or bend)
Wooden spoon X 2 (one for savory and the other for Sweet it has to have no jagged edges)


Boning knife 5 or 6 inch
slicing knifeCutting boards X 4


Food Mill


Angel Food Cake pan