On Wednesday, over at "A Cup of Jo," Joanna Goddard asked her gazillions of readers to list their five kitchen essentials. Be sure to click that link where you'll see an old friend cooking eggs in a steel pan and having a cigarette. You'll be glad you did.
"A Cup of Jo" is one of my favorite blogs and I'm in huge company; she covers the hipster mom demographic perfectly, posting about urban apartment life, fashion, beauty routines, relationships, travel, and food. Ms, Goddard so successful that she has a team of contributors and rents office space. (Me, I'd be thrilled to have a desk with a drawer.) Many of her posts explore parenting, which should be of zero interest to me but I keep reading, especially when she reports the funny things her two little boys tell her. (I'll be a great-aunt soon so perhaps some of that kid stuff will come in handy.)
Don't you miss Don Draper? I didn't realize what a sorry state my life has become without him. I must do something about this as soon as we're done binging on the new season of House of Cards.
Now, back to the Five Kitchen Essentials: I went through the early comments and was stunned that hardly anyone mentioned bread. I suppose lots of people are still on the gluten-free bandwagon. Not me. Bread is Number One by far on my Top Five.
I feel nervous and unsettled when we are out of bread; I race out a few times a week to pick up an Iggy's Francese from the farmer's market (or Bacco's gourmet grocery, off-season), a warm baguette from That Darn Patisserie on Newbury, or Star Market's sunflower-seed and honey loaf. If we're in the car, we'll head to When Pigs Fly in Brookline for soft German pretzels and one of their many fruity, nutty loaves.
My husband thinks my urgent need to have bread in the house is odd, possibly a legacy from my Depression-era parents, but he reaps the benefit of never being without toast and sandwiches.
The other four items on my list are equally prosaic, chosen because I simply can't stand to run out: milk by the gallon, cheese, peanut butter, and tea. We have a few cups of tea every day and we always have at least a year's supply so I rest easy until we run low on a favorite flavor (like Harney's Vanilla Comoro) and I need to go on pilgrimage to Cardullo's or the Concord Cheese Shop, or Polcari's in the North End (or Paris, for Mariage Fréres' Butterscotch or Noël). I also stockpile butter and other nut butters because they go on bread; we are all about bread in this house. Tea and toast.
Cookies and all the various forms of chocolate are not included on my list because they go without saying. I would not go without them (cocoa, Lindt chocolate bars, Nutella, Nesquik, chunks and chips for baking, brownie mix....) any more than I'd let us run out of toothpaste or bathroom tissue. Chocolate is in a different category entirely, a Life Essential, not a Kitchen one.