Much of what I write about is home cooking. I have received emails from Foodista readers, wondering how they can make home cooking happen in their circumstances. Here is one such question.
Q. What happens if you don't have a conventional kitchen?
If you do not have a conventional kitchen or just have a kitchenette to prepare food at, you can still cook safely and effectively. A crockpot is a must have for any kitchen, but this is especially true, if you don't have a stove. Crockpots can be plugged in anywhere. They do get warm on the outside, but are compact and can be placed on an end table or simply on the floor if needed.
Crockpots are a common item at any thrift store. I have purchased them over the years from the thrift, and have never paid more than $5.00 for a used one. Look for one that has little wear, a tight fitting lid, and a cord that is undamaged. Crockpots are good for cooking virtually anything in. They can even heat water for tea or coffee, or to wash up with. Trust me. I know this for a fact.
A crockpot is safer than a hot plate. It does cook slower, but if something rests against the outside of the crockpot accidentally, it won't burst into flames.
Try to pick up a crockpot at a thrift store as soon as possible. They will change the way you think about cooking.
Cooking healthy foods means you will have to be able to cut and peel things safely. The next item you will need, is a sharp knife. A short pairing knife can be used for every bit of your food preparation. Yes, I realize it may not be the proper item for all types of food prep, but it can be done. If you can find a cutting board along with that knife, it will make your life that much easier. Buy one that will fit in your sink easily for washing. I mark mine one one side, so I cut meat one one side, and everything else on the other.
So, go to your thrift store and find a pairing knife that is NOT serrated(a smooth blade, not a jagged one). Serrated knifes are garbage and they are unsafe to use. For purists, I realize that there must be good quality serrated knives, but they will not end up in the 5 cent bin at a local thrift store.
The takeaway for today is:
Find a thrift store
Buy a crockpot, a pairing knife and a cutting board, in that order.