Including The Kitchen Sink Rich “Raspy” Shawver If something happens and we have to move quickly to a different area

. We load up our ERK [Emergency Relocation Kit]. Its more sensitive, read politically correct, than a BOB. Then head for the hills or your preferred alternate location. During the travel or at the final stop it will probably become necessary to prepare food to eat. For the hardy he-man a mess kit, a titanium spoork and a sheath knife and we are good to go. If forced to travel via the shoe leather express with our worldly good on our back. This might be the only choice. If we have mechanical transportation available we might toss in a cast iron skillet and/or a Dutch oven as luxury items. And luxury of luxuries a reflector oven. Reflector oven http://www.troop391.net/documents/reflectorovenplan1.gif Along the same lines as a reflector oven you might think about including a solar option to a vehicular kit. I have seen plan on the web for home construction of a briefcase module. Solar Cooker http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/1985_July_August/Burkholder_s__Briefcase__Solar _Cooker http://bsa-troop34.org/Files/Solar_Ovens.pdf Additionally you might want to check into car cooking. This could be useful during a long drive or when stuck in a traffic jam during an evacuation. In most articles it consists of foil packet cooking. Like you may have learned in the scouts. In fact some scout sites teach how to fold the packets and include recipes that work in this method of cooking. You then use the waste heat of the engine such as at the manifold to cook them while you drive. I have even seen a case where someone had some extra space under the hood. They modified the cooling system to route the hot coolant through a coil wrapped around a pot. In essence they made a crockpot that runs off their engine’s heat. Car Cooking http://www.instructables.com/id/E4JKUKQOF4EP287XU5/?ALLSTEPS When it comes to cooking for the family group it is usually the wife or significant other that does the majority of it. The mess kit set up may do for a day or so. Longer if nothing else is available due to the situation. It won’t be long before requests for additional implements start to pop up. As women often have different priorities in the scheme of things. Yes, there are numerous ways to improvise substitutions. And improvisations are needed skills. This is not meant as a slight to our lady preppers. Many of you are just as, if not more, dedicated and knowledgeable as your male counter parts. But generally the men are the leaders in preparation. This article is written to show them there are other concerns that weapons and camping gear. And there is a fair chance you will see the necessity of these kinds of things. You see life from a different prospective. Which is a good thing. Combining both halves of the equation will lead to a much more complete and comfortable experience. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a nearly complete kitchen available. This seems that it would entail a lot of effort. First simply what do you include? Second would be how to pack said kitchen so it doesn’t take up half the car? Which kid do

you leave behind to take the kitchen along? Fear not. The answer has already been addressed. A professor at Penn State has already done much of the needed work and solved many of the potential problems. Jan Scholl, associate professor of agriculture and extension education, for Pennsylvania Expanded Food and Nutritional Education Program has developed a portable kitchen. I congratulate Professor Scholl on an excellent design that is easily adaptable to the needs of the preparedness community. It covers a field not normally part of the first line thinking when planning preparations. The impetus for the development was to provide nutritional educators the necessary equipment for food demonstrations. These demonstrations were often to teach nutrition at low income housing developments. Frequently the educators in the inner city need to travel via the bus system. Therefore their equipment needs to be lightweight and compact for easy handling and transport. At a workshop where people discussed packing for overseas stays, She realized the portable kitchen has wider applications. For travel abroad, those dealing with youth programs or family reunions in parks. It could be usable for anyone that has a need to cook in remote locations such as a vacation in a mountain cabin or summer home. I am simply taking the idea a further step for use in disaster situations. An assembly guide that shows how to put the entire thing together is available from Penn State and Professor Scholl. To order the Portable Kitchen Assembly Guide, send a check for $1.00 (for printing and mailing) payable to Penn State University to Jan Scholl, 323 Agricultural Administration Building, University Park, PA 16802. For more information, call Jan Scholl at 814-863-7869. A PDF can be downloaded at: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/ui360.pdf As Professor Jan Scholl claims the exact make up of the kitchen is highly flexible. If there is something that you cannot live without yet there are things that you figure you will never need or use a simple exchange of items is the solution. The idea is to make it work for your situation. Make it fit your meals and style of cooking. Rather than adjusting how you cook to the kitchen. That is within reasonable limits. At first glance at the list of all those items on the list you would think there is no way it will all fit. Well if you have everything with those huge comfy fit handles or the largest available pieces you could be right. But with a judicious selection and a little trial and error packing it is possible. Remember how much can be stuffed into an Altoid’s tin. As to how much all this will cost? It greatly depends upon you are. If you only go to kitchen boutiques or other high might cost an arm or a leg. Maybe the rights to your first On the other hand with a little smart shopping one or more be realized for a very reasonable amount. how creative a shopper rent establishments it born child to assemble. portable kitchens could

Most of the items needed can be found in major chain grocery stores or at the nearest mart type establishment. But save them for last. You only want to pay full price for things you can’t find anywhere else. Start at yard sales. Most that I have seen have tons of cooking gadgets on sale for next to nothing. I’ve seen complete knife sets where the chef’s knife alone would run for more than $50.00 at $4 or $5 for the set. Then there are the Dollar stores. What can you say sets or multiples of single items for a buck or less? Then there are the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Relief or other community Thrift Shops. Whatever kind your community has. Many kitchen items along with clothing and other very useful items can be

acquired at very, very reasonable prices. Then you go to the Mart to fill in the missing items. But if the only place that one item that is nearest and dearest to your heart is the super deluxe boutique high priced place. Use your own judgement. The portable kitchen is so useful a concept. You might want to assemble several. One to travel with you either as a permanent addition to your car kit or as a grab and go item for relocation. Another might be used to equip a summerhouse or hunting cabin. Either of which could be your planned retreat location. You might even consider incorporating one into a cashe. Yet your plans are to use a RV, travel trailer or maybe a tent trailer. Since they come with a kitchen unit. Why would you need the portable kitchen? Sure they have a stove maybe and oven. A lot already have a sink. Some of the more complete deluxe packages include a refrigerator and even a microwave. With all this they don’t come equipped with the cooking utensils. Therefore the portable kitchen might come in very handy. Not only will it have the items you will need. It will be in a convenient and small package. This will help especially because these travel forms often have limited storage space. That may now be used for other essentials. Call it a package a foot wide by a foot and a half long and about a foot high. Of course you always have the option of starting with a larger base container. A bigger container would allow the inclusion of a more varied and wider selection of equipment. The downside of using the bigger and more concept is that the portability will suffer. Bigger means that it will take up more of your limited storage space. More will make it heavier. Both of which will make it more inconvenient. This could lead to it no longer being included in your plans. This is a list of what the original portably kitchen consists of. [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] Apron Baking sheet [10 X 14 inch] Biscuit cutter Bottle opener [church key] Bread knife in sheath Can opener Chef knife in sheath Colander Cooling rack Cutting board Dial timer Dish detergent [in packets] Dish towel and dish cloth Dishpan(s) Dishwashing scrub pad Dry ingredient scoop Egg timer Foil and/or plastic wrap Funnel [small] Grater Hair cover Jar opener Kitchen scissors Ladle Loaf pan Masher

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] If [] [] [] [] [] []

Measuring cups [dry] Measuring spoons Mixing bowl or small stock pot Muffin tin Paper towels Paring knife in sheath Pastry blender Pastry brush Pie server Place setting [knife, fork and spoon] Pot holders Potato peeler Rolling pin Rubber bands [7 X 1/8 inch] Rubber scrapers Slotted spoon Soap and wash cloth [or moist towelettes] Spatula Strainer or sieve [small] Tongs Trash bags Vegetable brush Wax paper Wire whisk [or rotary beater] Wooden spoon you have extra space, add: Citrus reamer Liquid measuring cup Pie pan Saucepan Skillet 9 x 13 or 8 x 8 inch pan

In 2004 the list was updated and slightly modified. Rather than repeat most of the things again I’ll simply cover the changes. A cake pan was added. The dishwashing scrub pad was dropped in favor of a plastic squeegee for dishwashing. The pie server was moved to join the pie pan on the possible addition list. Now I will go through the list with a description of the item and some of its uses. Finally the modifications and changes that I would incorporate. To start building the portable kitchen you take 2 plastic dishpans. These are about 11 1/2 X 15 X about 7 inches deep. In the first you place a single layer of the wrapping products. They are the aluminum foil, plastic food wrap and the wax paper. Along with this is a partial roll of paper towels that is squashed to roughly the same height as the others. Then any extra odd space has the trash bags. The second dishpan is then nested into the first pan. The rest of the items are then packed into the top pan. When the kitchen is unpacked for use. One pan is filled with hot water and detergent for washing and the other with hot water for rinsing. The dishpans are then your kitchen sink. Think of it that when someone, maybe your buddy, brags how complete his or her travel arraignments are. They might claim they have everything but the kitchen sink. Then you can come back with the perfectly true one-ups-man-ship that yours even includes the kitchen sink.

The order of how to pack the items into the pan is best shown in the assembly guide. Exact placement is a matter of packing and repacking until the best fit is found for the particular item you have for selected. Because of different configuration of each piece can vary from kitchen to kitchen there is no absolute right way. It is only wrong if it doesn’t fit. Apron: Obviously it’s to keep splatters off your clothes. Also as many cooks do the hem can be used as an expedient hot pad. Sometimes you simply don’t have time to chase one down. All in all it is better than a burnt hand. Baking sheet: The small ones made for toaster ovens about 10 X 14 inches. They work in any sized oven if one is available. Especially used for baking cookies or biscuits. They will even work in reflector or solar ovens. You can even fry on it after a fashion. You can even use it to hold items during preparations if nothing else is handy. Also it acts as a lid for the dishpans. Biscuit cutter: Being cheap by nature and finances I would use a soup can to replace it. If you want to make larger biscuits a tuna can will work also. It is best if the top is removed with the side cutter type can openers that split the seam. That way you don’t have the sharp edges. If you do decide to go with commercial cutters there is a better choice than the one shown in the pamphlet. Instead of one having a handle. They are a set of short nested rings in several assorted sizes. Bottle opener [Church key]: The best choice for size and weight are the flat metal bar ones. They have a triangular point on one end to punch holes in the tops of cans. The other end is rounded to open bottles. Although with pop-tops and screw on caps this might become less useful. The small size of the simple stamped bar might help it keep it’s place. There are some that have both parts at one end with a large handle but they would take up too much space. I’ve heard several stories about why it got the name Church key. A sort of mystical or a historic take on it was that monks use to do all the brewing in olden times. To keep their secrets and to protect the beer stored in the lagering rooms. The doors were locked with the very large church owned key. These keys were normally tied to the end of the belt of their robes. So you needed a Church key to get to the beer. Another story of a whimsical nature is that it was coined by a couple of hungover acolytes. The most likely reason was that it started in the 1930’s. Although the first known written references are from 1951. The original church key beer bottle opener was a bar with a circular head with a tab inside used to pry off the bottle top. The shape somewhat resembled the handle of ornate keys used on older locks. These particular types of locks using such large keys were often found on large fancy doors of big buildings. These are especially found on older churches and cathedrals. Hence the moniker church key. It was often asked for that way rather than let slip you wanted a beer opener. The triangular point was later added at the other end when beer started to be packaged in cans. This was before the advent of the pop-top. It was then simplified into the bar that could be stamped out in a single cheap process. For those that have never opened a can with one of these. You need to punch two holes in opposite sides of the top. One is to pour or drink out of and needs to be full sized. The other that can be smaller as it acts as an air vent for a smooth even pour.

Bread knife: I suppose I will cover all the knives in a single block. So will include the chef and paring knives. Along with slicing bread it excels in cutting cake especially delicate ones like angel food. You could replace it with one of those fancy lifetime super-serrated slicing knives. One of their most common demonstrations is how easy their super knife slices a loaf of bread into wafer thin slices. While crushing the same loaf flat with a regular knife. If that kind is your choice. It might give you a bit wider range of usage. Chef knife: It is your heavy-duty workhorse. It does your majority of slicing, dicing and chopping of ingredients. Paring knife: This is your little knife to handle you small jobs and delicate cutting chores. What seems to be missing is a mid-sized blade. For the choices there are the utility knife, the boning knife and the fillet knife. Since you don’t really need all three you should choose the one that covers the most situations. I would think the fillet knife would be the best of them. It has the flexibility for doing fillets that the others do not. The boning knife’s rigidity makes it better for boning out meat. The narrow blade of the fillet knife will perform this job adequately. A utility knife is simply a mid-sized blade for midrange cutting chores that the fillet knife can easily handle. To save weight and because there is minimal space some compromises need to be made. Another knife that might be an optional choice is the Eskimo Ulu. This interesting curved blade has many possibilities. Many a man has had to get a new one. Once his wife has gotten her hands on it and found out how useful and versatile it is around the kitchen. With the handle on the back instead of at the end it makes a much shorter knife for the amount of cutting edge. To see one go to: http://www.theulufactory.com/ Sheathing your blades. You certainly don’t want your knives floating around loose in the kitchen. This could lead to some nasty cuts. Naked blades can easily damage other items in the kit. You would surely dull the edges of the blades. A simple sheath can easily be made. These are very similar to the ones that manufactures use to ship their blades. Just not quite as fancy. Take the cardboard back of a writing tablet. Trim it so that it is a bit longer and little wider than twice the width of the widest part of the blade in question. Fold it in half and tape the open edge shut. Duct tape does a very good job at this. Unless you make it way too big slip in the knife and friction will hold it in place. Not something you would want to use for a sheath knife on your belt. It will work well for packing. Can opener: How else are you going to get the food out of a can. Well you could always bash it with a rock. That tends to be a bit wasteful to the contents. A heavy sheath knife jammed through the top in an X pattern and the four quarters pried up and peeled back as was often the fashion in the Wild West. It will work but you risk snapping the point, putting a nick in the blade and in general dulling the knife. Not really one of the best of choices you can make. OK, so you have a P 38 on your key chain. Most pocketknives, Swiss army knives and multitools have a can opener option. They work in a pinch when nothing else is available. Face it they are a pain in the neck to use. Or more appropriately you might reference a lower portion of the anatomy. After one or two cans that rock over there starts looking better all the time. You must remember that this is a kitchen even if it is portable and abbreviated. A

fully functional can opener is a blessing. Personally I prefer the newer style side cutting ones. They are not significantly larger than the top cutters to rule them out. They do have some distinct advantages. First because of the way they open the can sharp or jagged edges are eliminated. Second if you don’t use the entire contents of the can immediately the lid can be put back on. Sure it won’t be a seal that will keep it fresh. It won’t stop a spill if the can is knocked over. What it will do is that it will be much better at keeping out dirt and bugs than leaving it set open. Clean up: This is made up of several items. For sanitation you need to clean the utensils between uses. You also have to wash the cook and the diners. Dish detergent [in packets]: I don’t know where you would get such packets. To go with what I know I can get. My choice would be one or so ounce plastic bottles filled from the home supply. These can be had mainly from camping equipment supply outlets. One recycling option would be to take a small nasal inhaler. Of course you need to relabel the bottle appropriately. Someone getting a snoot full of dish detergent by mistake. Wouldn’t be your best friend for a while at the very least. Dish cloth and dishtowel: You need something to wash and dry the dishes you clean. Soap and wash cloth [or moist towelettes]: You will need something to wash up the people and this is it. Moist towelettes or Handi-wipes are nice but are one shot deals. For an extended period of several days this would require quite a few meaning a lot of space. But several might be included for times when water is at a premium. Also there is the choice of waterless hand sanitizer. For soap rather than a full sized bar you will probably want to go with a hotel-sized bar. At times or in certain areas these can be hard to come by. You can make your own or a reasonable facsimile there of. Take a bar of your preferred soap. Slice off a 1/4-inch or so slab from the end. Result instant hotel bar in your favorite brand. Wrap the bar in plastic [Saran Warp or the like] wrap. The only real problem you will face is that the first few tries will result in a crumbled or broken mess. You can still you use these bits. That is until you get the techniques of cutting to a reliable point. Because of this problem you want make bars to cover all your other needs also in a batch. The biggest trick is you want to use a sawing action rather than trying to shove the blade down through the bar. Serrated blades tend to work best. If the blade starts to stick while you are cutting. Pull it out and dampen the blade with water. To use the crumbled bits of soap and any leftover slivers from regular bars is simple. Dump these odds and ends into a jar. Make sure the container you chose is such that you can reach into all the way to the bottom. Pour in water to cover about half way up the pile of soap. Over several days the soap will melt down into a puddle. You may need to add a bit more water until all the soap is dissolved. You will end up with a mix of soft soap. Dip in and use as needed. A possible choice for the towels used in the kitchen are those super absorbent camping towels that hold several times their own weight in liquid. They are much better than ordinary fabric towels. The only problem with them is that they are sold at a premium. Read very expensive. There is a frugal person’s remedy. At fairs and flea markets there is usually stuff and tool dealers. You can usually find at least one that sells fake car chamois. These are the same things although they are somewhat coarser. I can live with the extra roughness. Although they do soften up quite a bit after they have met the wash cycle a few times. The ones I got were 20 X 27 inches. The price was 1 for $1 or 6 for $5. Since they are so cheap and you need a smaller size it is nothing to trim one to the desired size.

You can even use them for washcloths. Another advantage they have is they wring out very well so the dry faster after use. Dishwashing scrubbing pad: You can go with plain steel wool or the pre-soaped Brillo or SOS pads. Better than these are the plastic fiber Scotch Brite type pads. I think these are the best choice because they last longer. For the recycling types or those that are cheap like me there is a source of excellent scrubbing pads that can be had for free or for very little. They are also more rugged than those commercially available. They also come in several different levels of coarseness. You may have access at work, through a friend or maybe be able to contact a commercial cleaning business that use buffers for floor cleaning. These buffers use pads that scour the floor. These pads have a circular cutout in the middle of the pad that is remove and normally discarded before the pad is used. They are about 3 to 4 inches across. Because of the stresses the pads are designed to withstand for their normal function they last about ten times longer than the store bought ones. I have used them and they are the best thing I have ever found for scrubbing dishes. The price can’t be beat. In the updated list the scrubbing pad is replaced with a plastic squeegee for dish washing. The squeegee might be nice but I don’t think it will do quite the job as the scrubbing pad on burned or stuck on food. You could go with both, but if you only go with one. My recommendation would be the scrubbing pad as the first choice. Colander: It is used to primarily drain and strain. It separates solids and liquid. The two biggest uses are draining pasta and allowing salad greens to drain off washing water. It can also be used as a crude sifter to separate large chunks from fine material like flour. Cooling rack: It looks like and can substitute for a grill. The difference is that it is of lighter construction. So if used as a grill you need to be cautious about over loading it. Also it has short legs usually less than an inch. It’s made to put primarily baked goods on after they come out of the oven. Because of it’s open and raised nature air can freely circulate around the item placed upon it to cool more quickly and evenly. As a grill it will even work over an open fire as other grids can do. That is as long as its limitations are observed. Cutting board: The function is in it’s name. It is used to cut things on. The trick is selecting the right size. Too small there is inadequate area to work on. Too large it takes up too much of the space in the kitchen. One compromise is the newer flexible plastic cutting boards. Being fairly thin they take up less space and add less weight for their relative surface area. The flex allows the board to be picked up the board with the food in place and folded to funnel the food into the pot. Dial or kitchen timer: Many dishes require an amount of cooking time plus or minus a little bit. You could use a watch and set and watch the pot. But like most people you will probably do something else during this waiting period. This means that you can and probably will get distracted. You could loose track of the time or forget the initial starting time. The end result could be charcoal briquettes for dinner. It would not the most appetizing thing by any means. With the dial timer you set it and a bell rings to remind you of what is going on and to check the food. Dry ingredient scoop: I can use the measuring cups to scoop up ingredients. So on my list this is a rather iffy choice. I would probably say no to it. Egg Timer: The drawback of this is that it is a fixed interval timer. It is rather

precise. They are small so will probably fit. If you expect to deal with a lot of eggs or other cooking that use the same amount of time maybe it has a place. Its single use nature is to limiting to my really wanting to include it. Funnel [small]: An invaluable tool for transferring things especially liquids from one container to another. It is even more important if the receiving container has a narrow opening. Grater: Sometimes things need to be shredded. Most common are vegetables although cheeses and chocolate are frequent candidates to meet the grater. The big multisided box graters are simply too large to fit. There are different single plate ones that come in all sizes of grating holes. The best choice is the kind with one size holes on the top half usually the smaller size. The lower half contains a different sized set of holes. This kind often has a slicing blade between the grating areas. Hair cover: Ok, so this was designed for food demos. Health code says you need one. For your own use the choice to include it is yours. A possible substitute is a shower cap. Jar opener: The kind refereed to in the pamphlet is essentially a square of rubber. It doesn’t give added leverage the way some kitchen gadgets do. It simply improves the grip on the bottle top. It can double as a pot holder/hot pad. Since the contents of the kitchen are flexible. If you want one of those a leverage gadget instead and can find a relatively small one. Do what you want. Here is a trick to help open those stubborn bottles and jars. Hold the jar on its side and strike the bottom of the jar sharply several times with the heel of your hand. Since fluids are relatively incompressible. The force of the strike will be transmitted to the inside of the lid. The reason many jars are so hard is because of spillage or overflow during the filling at the factory. While the bottle is washed it is after the lid is installed. What remains in the threads dries forming almost glue like seal. The shockwave from the hit causes this residue to crack and shatter. This frees up the lid. I use this all the time on the tuff ones. Another way is to heat the lid in a flame or in hot water. The resultant expansion will also loosen the lid. Kitchen scissors or shears: You can use them for everything from sniping herbs to piecing up a whole chickens. They even work slicing pizzas. Ladle: Used to serve soups and stews or simply to transfer liquids. Loaf pan: The most obvious use is as a pan to bake bread or meatloaf. Here you have a choice. The traditional metal or the new silicon rubber pans. Silicon has the advantage of being lighter. Also being flexible it can be compressed to fit in a smaller area. The metal ones have the advantage as it can be exposed to a direct heat source such as a burner or flame. This would allow it to act as a frying/sauté pan or saucepan. Sure no handle but it will work. Both types can double as a mixing bowl or to hold ingredients between stages among other things. Measuring your ingredients: Sure you can use a pinch of this or a guesstimate of that. If you have a lot of experience you can get very close to the right amounts. But over all it will work better if you have a way to measure the amounts used. Dry measuring cups: These are sets of fixed measuring cups rather than the clear graduated cups used for liquids. They come in plastic [preferred] or metal. They are normally in sets of 4 nesting cups in 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 sizes. Some sets add a fifth cup of 1/8 cup. Dry cups measure the same as liquid measure. They are

chosen because they are usually more compact and lighter. The only thing is that dry cups don’t pour quite as well. This is because they normally don’t have a pouring notch although some do if you can find them. In a recent magazine I have seen a new version. These are square which make them liquid pouring friendly. Measuring spoons: Again like the cups they come in sets of 5 in metal or plastic. Normally they are linked together with a ring through the handles. Nominal sizes are 1 and 1/2 tablespoons and 1, 1/2 and 1/4 teaspoons. I’ve seen a fancy high tech one. It consisted of a single bowl. The top of the handle and the back of the bowl slide forward to reduce the volume of the spoon. It had stops at all the standard sizes and included a 1/8-teaspoon stop. Liquid measuring cup: These are relegated to the include only if you have extra room or you absolutely have to have one. First because most are made of glass which is heavy and fragile. Even in plastic their design tends to be bulkier than the nested dry measuring cups. If you decide that you can’t live without having one I have an interesting option. The ones I have seen are made of plastic so it eliminates glass objection. It is of 2-cup design and it’s added feature causes it to be even bulkier. It is square so will pack better than a round one. Still it will require more finagling to squeeze it in. Instead of a pouring notch on the lip it has a spout that originates at the bottom of the cup. This is so it can function as a grease separator. It can when push comes to shove act somewhat in a role as a funnel. Mixing bowl or small stockpot: The curved bottom of a mixing bowl does make mixing easier. If made of plastic it would be lighter but it couldn’t be exposed to high heat the way a metal one could. My vote would go to the small stock pot. Simply because it is more versatile. Furthermore because of it’s shape it will hold a little more. You can mix in it. The biggest factor is it is designed to cook in. Mostly soups and stews yet it can work as a deep frying pan. You can even bake in it after a fashion. Muffin tin: who doesn’t like muffins and the newer silicon rubber. Here the newer choice. Also they can be used for making serving sized portions. With a metal one singularly in the cups. cupcakes. These come in both metal and silicon ones would be probably the better biscuits or other individual single you could actually fry several eggs

Pastry blender: I don’t know about this. It is used to cut the fat component, usually butter, into flour or the like mixing them to form crumbs. Older recipes and cookbooks often mention using 2 knives or a fork to do this. Either would take up less space and are discussed later in the list. Using these alternate means does take longer and are more work but not that much. Pastry brush: In pastry work it is usually used to paint the tops of pastries with an egg wash or butter for browning. But it is not limited to only that task. It can be used to baste meat with juices or to apply barbecue or other sauces. Likewise it can brush any liquid or semi-liquid to something being cooked either before or during the process. Pie server: It is a different shaped spatula. In the updated list it has been transferred to the secondary list along with the pie pan. While it is nice for dealing with pies a regular spatula can do the job. So I don’t think it is really necessary. Place setting [Knife, fork and spoon.]: I’m not really sure why they are included in the demo kitchen. Maybe to show what a proper place setting is. But these items can be used as cooking utensils beyond that as place settings. As working items I

would double up on the complete set and maybe toss in a steak knife. 2 knives can replace the pastry blender. These smaller spoons can be used to stir mixtures that are too small for the other spoons included. And forks can be used to stir or other manipulation of cooking foods like chunked meat even without piercing. I frequently beat up an egg or two with a table fork. Having 2 sets might limit the need to interrupt to wash up. Pot holder: Used to handle hot pots and pans without burning yourself. They can also be used as trivets. A trivet is a device used to support a hot vessel above and to protect a surface such as counters and tables. Potato masher: While these might be some dishes that it might be used for beyond potatoes. Although I don’t really know what would be different. At least when making mashed potatoes I have personally have given up on them. There are 2 types of working parts that are most common. One is a single bar or actually a heavy wire bent into a series of elongated S’s. The other shown in the pamphlet is a circle filled with a grid. What I have gone to is a wire whisk. The looped wires of the whisk easily slice through and crush the potato as well as standard mashers do. Although because of the shape and size it may take a few more strokes to achieve the initial mash. But then instead of using a spoon to mix in any desired flavorings and liquids I whip it with a whisk. The whisk can even scoop up to serve the potatoes. Although not quite as neatly as a spoon. I have done this with both white and sweet potatoes. My end product is as smooth and creamy as any made by the conventional manner. Although the matter of lumps in the mix is more a matter of the amount of processing and effort you are willing to put into the end product. Potato peeler: Yes you can do the job with a paring knife. But the peeler cuts much thinner and consistent slices so there is less waste. Works for anything such as carrots that needs peeling. It can also cut thin curls of vegetables for garnishes. Rolling Pin: Used mainly to roll out doughs in baking. Because of its size and weight it can be used to pound or roll cuts of meat into thin slabs. Rubber bands [7 X 1/8 inch]: They are used to hold the assembled kitchen together. You would need 3 or 4. I would replace these with a like number of bungee cords with hooks. They are more robust and durable than rubber bands. This is mainly when considering long-term storage as rubber bands will deteriorate over time and become brittle and break. The bungee cords will last much longer. Rubber Scrapers: Used to scrape down the sides of bowls while mixing and to get as much as possible out of bowls. They come in various sizes. A medium or large will do for the majority of tasks. But you do want to include a small very narrow one. This is to get the most out of narrow jars, cans and bottles of ingredients. Also to get sticky items out of your measuring cups with minimal waste. They can serve as stirrers especially for batters and to fold in delicate ingredients. I personally like a brand called spoontulas. It is a rubber scraper with a more pronounced cup to the blade. They are a better stirrer and because of the cupping act like a semi-spoon to dish or transfer materials. In the same article with the square cups there was another nifty item. It’s called a Chef’n Switchit Duel Ended Spatula. I have only seen a picture so have no scale to judge it by. It is a steel core silicone device. It is cupped to act somewhat like a spoon. It appears that it will work as a scraper and a stirrer. As a spatula I’m not so sure. The big feature is that it is duel ended with each end a different size. Giving you two tools in one. Slotted spoon: Used for stirring but mainly to serve or transfer food. The slots

in the bottom allow excess liquids to drain back into the pot. I would either supplement or replace it with a spaghetti server. These spoons have a rim of upright teeth like prongs to hold the pasta. Most have slots in the bottom for draining. I would go with it as a supplement rather than a replacement for 2 reasons. First while the prongs are great for handling pasta. They can interfere with reaching the bottom of a pot or pan as well as the slotted spoon. Second while some are as large as a normal slotted spoon. The one I use has a bowl that is shorter and much narrower. Spatula: Used for lifting turning and serving foods. Especially foods that can easily break apart such as cakes, pies eggs or hamburgers. While there is no difference in function get the kind designed for nonstick cookware. It won’t harm other pots and pans. The other spatulas can damage nonstick materials. That way you are safe regardless of the types of pans you have access to. Strainer or sieve [small]: The size you want is often called a tea strainer. The name says what it is made for. They are about the size to easily fit into the typical coffee cup and about an inch deep with a fine mesh. Aside from straining out tea leaves, coffee grounds or other material. It can be used as a sifter for small quantities of flour and the like. Also it can be used for other jobs of similar nature. Tongs: The first use is to manipulate large cuts of meat while cooking. Usually you sear the outside to seal in the natural juices. Then you finish the cooking the rest of the way to desired doneness at a slower pace and lower temperature. Poking it full of holes to move it around defeats the purpose of searing by letting out those juices. Tongs don’t punch holes the way a fork would. They can also be used to manipulate anything solid of not too small a size, even salads. Ever try to remove an ear of corn from a pot of boiling water with a fork. If you jab at it the ear simply sinks away until the pressure is relieved. No corn comes out. With tongs you simply grab it and put it where you want. Trash bags: I’m not sure what kind or size is intended in the original kitchen. These could be the 13-gallon kitchen bags. If you go with these I would recommend one of the brands that have loop handles. The handles make them easy to tie the top shut. This can be useful between uses, during transport and disposal. Also the handles can be hooked over everything from doorknobs to tree limbs. This can support the bag in a convenient usage location. You also have the choice of the large lawn and leaf or heavy-duty contractor grade bags of 33 and 55 gallon capacity. As any good prepper should know of these the heavy-duty types are a better all around choice. Being more rugged they will withstand more abuse. Also they can be used for many other things than simply holding trash. I would say that a combination of the two different sizes would be the best option. Individually either kind is relatively small and flexible. Therefore they can be stuck almost anywhere in the kitchen. From filling any leftover space in the bottom storage pan to mixed in with the utensils in the top one. Here thay would also serve the function of filling voids. Along with their holding job they would serve to cushion and help hold items in place. This would reduce shifting and quiet rattles. Vegetable brush: So it is used to scrub the dirt off the vegetables. But it can be used in dish washing to remove stubborn grime. They also work well on grubby hands and dirty fingernails. Wire whisk [or rotary beaters]: The rotary beater works faster and with less

effort than the whisk. But it does take up much more space and is limited in it’s uses. Earlier I spoke how I used a whisk for mashing potatoes. It is very versatile in stirring up almost anything. It simply takes more elbow grease than other methods. Wooden spoons: These are the best-known pot stirrers. They work for everything. The nice thing is that they don’t conduct heat. They don’t damage the pots. They don’t adversely react with the food. You might think about plastic but they are not as strong. I won’t cover the other items from the supplemental list other than things I would include. So on to the other extras I think are needed. From the supplemental list I think that the 9 X 13 aluminum baking pan can be easily included without any major increase to the setup. The wrapping products that fill the lower dishpan average about 2 inches on a side and roughly 12 inches long. The three product packages and the squashed paper towels would easily fit in the pan. Which would in turn slip into the dishpan. Adding only the thickness of the pan to the stack and a few ounces to the weight. The trash bags can fill in around the pan and any other open spaces. The pamphlet shows 4 boxes of wrapping material but only 3 are listed. Since the original was written the press and seal product has come out. This could be added or it could replace the plastic wrap. If you do include the 4th wrap package it might limit the amount of paper towels included. Instead of simply squashing a single partial roll you could include 2 modified rolls. Rather than squashing roll or fold a number of towels into packs that would fit one inside the pan and another at the end of it. By rolling your own you eliminate the cardboard tube and the hole. Thus allowing more towels for the available space. Because of their nature the folding trick might not work too well on the other wrapping products. Let us say you have the need to eliminate the boxes and the tubes therefore saving even more space. You could try wrapping them on thin dowel rods. But then you would need to cut them with the kitchen shears instead of the packages built in cutters. You could roll several boxes worth of any of these products on thin dowels and they would still fit into the original boxes. Giving more for the same space for longer term needs. Silicon baking Mat: This would be sized, trimmed if needed, to fit the 10 X 14 baking sheet. These sheets make the pan nonstick. It can replace parchment paper for recipes that call for it. It can also be used as a rolling mat. For years I’ve used a plastic sheet to roll out doughs. The dough doesn’t stick as much to the sheet as it would to a counter. Also if you use a dusting of flour to reduce the sticking even further. Clean up is easier. Fold up the sheet and pour the excess flour where you want it. Pie crusts and other thin pastries can be moved right on the sheet. Those that are to be on the baking sheet the mat can be placed right on it and into the oven. A piecrust can be moved, flipped over onto the pie pan sheet and all. Then you peel off the sheet. This means one less step, one less handling and therefore one less chance of damaging the dough. If this is included and you also have the flexible cutting board. The two of them can be wrapped around the rolling pin and held in place with a rubber band. This would possible help free up space in the entire kitchen. Maybe you could add another item or two. I would tuck a few zipper type plastic bags in and around things in both pans like the trash bags. I would go with a selection of 1 gallon, 1/2 gallon and 1 quart sizes in the heavy-duty freezer bags. I would think about 2 each is about right. Since they can be washed and reused they can perform numerous functions for the kitchen. They can hold items between steps. Act as an extra mixing bowl. A tad

floppy but it will work. They can function to apply seasoned coatings, flour, or breading ala shake-n-bake. You can mix messy things such as meatloaf. Put in the ingredients and mix by kneading through the bag. You can even shape it in the bag and drop it into the pan all without getting your hands messy. They can even hold foods being marinated. Among a host of other uses. The argument could be made that any needed would be included in with the food package. But being so useful a couple of extras in the kitchen in case of an unexpected need these could fill the role quite nicely. I’m surprised that at least an instant read meat thermometer wasn’t included to insure proper cooking temperatures are achieved. Most of these including their sheath look like a pencil or pen with a quarter stuck flat to the end. If you perceive the need to measure higher temperatures a candy thermometer could be added. While most of the best ones are made of glass and would be too fragile to carry. There are metal ones that look like the meat thermometers with a somewhat larger dial because of their increased range. Pan handle: This comes from the camping world. It consists of 2 metal bars hinged together at one end. At that end there are a pair of hooks that slip over the rim and press against the inside of the pan. The other bar has a pad or pads that press against the outside of the pan. When the two parts of the handle are squeezed together it clamps onto the rim of the pan. It is an action not unlike that of a pair of channel lock pliers. As they can be moved from pan to pan weight and bulk is reduced by needing only one handle. In the case of the portable kitchen it could be used on the loaf pan, the 9 x 13 pan and the stock pot to move them around in their normal use or if using them as ersatz frying pans. By shifting the handle so that it points upward with the hooks on the bottom it could even be used on the baking sheet. Pie and cake pans: This part is more on the theoretical side. As I have not tried it yet. If you can find ones that are slightly larger than the stock pot. One or the other slipped up around it. This nesting would only increase the total height the thickness of the pan a mere fraction of an inch and not much else space would be taken up. A spring form cake pan that is relatively close in size might work. If just a bit on the small size to fit around the pot. You could release the catch, which might give you the extra play needed to nest around the pot. Depending on how items are arranged in the colander it might be possible to include a pie pan dished side down with some items in the pan. The stock pot or for that matter any of the metal pans can be used to bake a pie or cake. True pies are traditionally round there is nothing that prevents you from making it any shape you desired. As the mathematician says, “ Pi are not round. Pi R squared.” When using the stock pot, talk about deep dish, you don’t have to use the entire height of the pot. True a pie pan works best. But improvisation can overcome obstacles. There are limitations in making the kitchen portable. At the beginning of the article I talked about many people including a Dutch ovens and cast iron frying skillets in their cooking preps. Because you have the portable kitchen doesn’t mean that they should be abandoned. By all means keep them they are very versatile and effective tools whether you are working in the most modern of kitchens or the most primitive of conditions. For the Dutch oven make sure it has legs, as some don’t. Select the size that best suits your needs if you have some experience. Otherwise figure out what you think you need then go a size larger. Dutch Oven recipes http://www.macscouter.com/Cooking/index.htm

As for a cast iron skillet a 10 or better yet a 12-inch model will meet most of your needs. They do make bigger ones. The largest normally found are 18 inches but I have heard of them up to 24 inches. Unless you plan on cooking for really large crowds these are a bit of overkill. Another option for a frying pan is the wok. The best of these are iron also. They work and are cared for in much the same way as cast iron skillets. Essentially they are the Chinese version of the skillet. Although, using a wok does have a few differences when it comes to cooking. For the same relative size meaning diameter they have a smaller main cooking area. Instead of the bottom going all the way out with straight vertical sides A wok has sides that start nearer the middle and slope upward at a shallow angle. They also tend to be somewhat deeper. This gives them a larger volume. Woks are a cross between a pan and a pot. The old fashioned hand hammered kind is the best choice. As they work better for the proper cooking technique. They tend to have a more shallow angle to the sides than the modern Americanized versions that are more akin to a mixing bowl shape. The shallower angle and the texture left from the hammer forming serve an actual cooking function. The flat bottom portion gets the hottest and is the primary cooking area. The further out and therefore the further up you go the cooler it gets although this is relative. This is part of the multi-stage cooking of the wok technique. First the wok is heated to a high temperature. Typically the meat component is seared and partially cooked. It is then pushed up the slope where it is kept warm and continues to cook at a slower pace. The texturing combining with the shallow angle helps hold it in place. Yet it allows the meat juices to drain to the bottom. Then the vegetable portion is stir fried in the center. It is then likewise pushed outward to join the meat. Finally the drippings are combined with thickening, seasonings, and any additional liquids are placed in the middle to form the gravy or sauce of the recipe. Think of it as deglazing the pan in western cooking. When the sauce reaches the desired thickness everything is pushed back into the center. Where all the food is stirred together to mix, coat and heat to serving temperature. A combination of small sized pieces of food, high temperatures and a continuous cycle of cooking with no breaks in the process makes for very quick cooking. This technique was developed to make maximum use of limited fuel resources. Being deeper and having more volume the basic ingredients of the meat and vegetables can be fried. Then a liquid can be added to make it into a stew or soup. Or the ingredients added to a liquid and boiled. This makes the wok a fair to good pinch hitter for both a stew pot and frying pan. Woks can be a versatile and handy addition to a limited cooking array. If you have the know how and have food to cook. The portable kitchen can give you the equipment to produce nearly anything that you could in your home kitchen while on the go.

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