Over the years, our seaside vacations have presented the opportunity to try my skills at cooking in a variety of kitchens. They have ranged from a tiny efficiency with a two burner and a mini-refrigerator on one side of the living room, to an enormous, isolated space designed to be used by the servants in an old Arts and Crafts bungalow we rented in Edgartown, MA.
This is the time of year when we begin to think summer excursions, looking at apartments and houses, and deciding where I will cook this year. It also seems like a good time to begin sharing our tips on cooking in a vacation rental.
Of course, I pack my knives – an 8-Inch Chef's Knife and an Opinel French Picnic Knife. I’m teased because I bring my own knives when I go to a friend's house for a potluck dinner. If you cook seriously, your knives are extensions of your hands and it could be dangerous to use the dull ones you find in most kitchens.
If you want to pack ultra light, I would at least pack the Opinel French Picnic Knife. With that, you can prepare a wonderful tray of fruit and cheese like the one above.
These two are packed in a canvas tool roll with tongs, chopsticks, a waiter's corkscrew, OXO Peeler, Small Diamond Steel to keep the edge on my blades, kitchen shears, a Digital Instant-Read Thermometer, and a wooden spoon. This case was meant to hold screwdrivers and pliers but it has worked for years for my cooking gear. Today, it's easy to find a knife roll to carry your favorite tools if you prefer.
Watch for the next installment of my tricks for mastering cooking in a strange kitchen.
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Words: Penny Cherubino
Photos: ©2012 Penny Cherubino