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Cooking In Someone Else's Kitchen

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
This month we are house sitting for my sister-in-law
Cooking in someone else's kitchen is not easy
I brought my own apron but not my knives
Trying to produce the kind of meal that I can put out at home versus in a vacation home is a vast difference.
I'd like to hear from everyone else as to how they compensate, 'cause I'm not having fun!
post #2 of 20

In the summers I visit my mother's home for a couple of months.  The only thing I like about her kitchen is how clean it is because she's a clean freak and when I cook she cleans up after me yey.  Aside from that her kitchen is horrible.  She has an electric smooth stove top which is awful when you're used to gas stove.  She only has serrated steak knives, no chefs knife!  No cutting boards.  She's one of the old timers who cuts veggies in her hand over the pot.  There are only non-stick cookware.  At least she has a microwave and a FP.  Recently I sent her a La Creuset, a wooden cutting board and some knives as a gift.  I know she won't use them but at least I'll be able to cook more comfortably while I'm there.

 

One thing I find very difficult in someone else's kitchen is their salt container.  I have a bowl of coarse sea salt for seasoning sauced food and a wide salt shaker for seasoning meats.  Give me a slightly different kind of salt container and I'm lost on how to season accurately lol.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 20

I gifted reasonable knives to many of my friends and family. I can stand everything but bad knives. I usuallty carry a stone also. Hell is other people's ovens.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Tonight I tried to make dinner using the spices and seasonings available
My husband would not eat the food!
Oh My Gosh!!!
Miss KK, I pretty much did the same thing, I gave my sister in law a set of knives, but I can't find them! I have to say she is not a foodie or a cook ...
post #5 of 20

Yes, serrated knives are the worst about others' kitchens, their ovens and stovetops are another.  The size of the kitchen is another (no counter space).  I try making stuff in other kitchens and nothing comes out well at all.  I also give a knife as a present when i visit over a couple of days, because i often end up cooking (i like it and they like it).

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #6 of 20

About a year ago I was in Thailand and my friends living there asked me to cook something european for them. Unfortunately, their cookware was horrible non-stick, so I went to local supermarkets looking for a cookware. No chance. Probably, I visited all major supermarkets in Chang Mai, but didn't find no one decent pan. It's a non-stick kingdom.

 

Fortunately, my friend managed to find 6-qt stainless steel casserole and I used it to sear meats, prawns, etc. That was really funny to use high 6-qt casserole instead of frying pan. :)

post #7 of 20

Have a bit of a pet peeve about what's in kitchen in a vacation place.  Most have pretty lousy cookware... totally understandable, I guess.  Imagine someone deciding to put a great, well-seasoned CAST IRON pan in the dishwasher!!  Or scraping the H outta a godd non-stick pan with a metal spatula!!

 

My sister has a great place in the WV mountains with what I consider a well stocked kitchen... a LOT of things came from our Dad's place.  She has a full set of "vintage" Revere-ware pots/pans.  A LOT of people probably aren't used to cooking with other than non-stick, so they might not be all that happy with it... but there are several different sie sauce pans, skillets and a "big" soup/pasta pot.

 

Knives are usually the worst!  She has this set of Ginzu knives that Dad just HADDA have??  Though FAR from great... at least they actually CUT!

post #8 of 20

Hell, if I am on vacation, how could I possibly not be having fun. Besides I figure that the hallmark of a good chef is being able to produce on the fly in a non state of the art kitchen. Those type of situations present challenges, not problems.

Quote:
When we eat together, when we set out to do so deliberately, life is better, no matter your circumstances. Whether it’s a sad or difficult time, whether it’s an ordinary-seeming day, or whether it’s a time of celebration, our lives are enriched when we share meals together.” – Thomas Keller
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #9 of 20

"Necessity is the mother of invention".

 

If I have to work with the tools I am given including the kitchen stove, well that is when my skills are tested. Some of my best meals were done off the cuff with only what knives , pots , pans I had on hand.

 

Working in Governor's Harbour  taught me alot about myself. We reinvent ourselves in ways we never thought possible.

 

 

 

@ Cheflayne: thumb.gif

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #10 of 20
When I used to cater, I did most of it in other people's kitchens and learned what pieces I needed to bring and also to be very adaptable. If we're invited out for dinner at someone else's home they'll certainly have all the pots and pans needed; but I have a real aversion to dull knives. So if there's a chance I'll end up helping out, I'll bring a knife roll with a few knives and other tools in it. However, I check out the lay of the land before bringing it in; the last thing I want to do is insult anyone. Worse that can happen is that the roll stays in the trunk.

I'd rather help out in the kitchen or on the patio than hang out and talk sports (or watch them on TV).

BDL
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Braddah layne, we're having a blast here in HAWAII!!!

It's mainly the pantry that I am dealing with and not wanting to go out and spend BUCKS on basic spices and condiments that are not available.
Everything is SO expensive and paying for a bottle of something g that you'll maybe use once or three times ...

My husband fells for me that we went out to lunch and dinner today!!

I'm trying to stay with in a budget that we set down for ourselves while here.
We had a home that we put out there as a vacation rental for over 10 years, so I know what it's about.
post #12 of 20
I'm just a home cook, but usually do 3 to 4 either BBQs or dinners at other family member's homes each year, including grad parties and some rehearsal dinners. I learned a long time ago, "bring it" if you want to have it, that goes for ingredients or tools. I usually load up 2 or 3 of those large plastic storage containers, with gear/food/etc. However there has been a few impromptu meals, that required some inventiveness to either use the equipment on hand or the ingredients. In those situations you sort of feel like Top Chef contestants dealing with the episode challenge.
post #13 of 20

Last summer right after I had a baby one of my good friends came over to cook us a proper dinner.  He is a good cook and a foodie just like me and since we brought my son home I was not able to be in the kitchen much and relied heavily on my husband's "cooking" to get us through those first few weeks.  Let's just say I was super happy to have a real foodie cooking for me :)  He was making a chinese dinner and brought some things with him that he wasn't sure I'd have including chop sticks, stock, sticky rice and all the ingredients.  He didn't bring knives, but he did bright salt.....confused.gif  It was an excellent dinner by the way.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #14 of 20
I might take my camping kit if I think the place will be poorly equipped.

For my friends' homes, I'll probably bring a knife and a good 12" skillet or specialty pan if appropriate (cast iron, good teflon, wok)
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #15 of 20

Since I am often asked to BBQ at peoples house, I have a checklist of what to bring.  Currently it is:

 

BBQ (Weber kettle as I cannot use propane/gas)

Tongs (BBQ and serving)

Knives

Cutting boards

Chimney starter

Lighter

Lump charcoal

Spices

 

PP

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Another kinda bummer here at my husband's sister's house is that they do not have a grill of any type ... I know what you're thinking ... For me, I grill at a minimum 3 times per week.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

Here's a continuation of the thought ...

How do I keep my product consistent no matter where I cook?

All the while keeping in mind that I am a Home Cook and not a trained Professional  

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

Here's a continuation of the thought ...
How do I keep my product consistent no matter where I cook?
All the while keeping in mind that I am a Home Cook and not a trained Professional  

If you've mastered most of the major techniques, it's kind of a non-question. And having read all or nearly all your posts since you got here, I'd say you've got most of them. So, in your case, my first recommendation would be to relax and trust yourself.

More generally:

The three most important take along techniques -- relating to the three most common, most egregious, technical sins, are probably (1) pre-heating (ovens or pans); (2) not overcooking proteins; and (3) inappropriate seasoning. One thing you always bring is your palate -- particularly as it applies to seasoning levels, more particularly to salt and pepper. While over-salting is a catastrophe, under-salting is far more common. If you don't already know how, learn to season in "layers."

Not exactly a technique, but "Know your ingredients" applies as well.

Home cook or [ahem] "trained" pro, when you cook for others lean on your strengths rather than get to ambitious or do too much experimentation. Remember the Ramsay mantra: "Best quality ingredients, simply prepared." Also, if you're inspired to try cinnamon on salmon, try it on your husband before trying it at your friends' party. Think of us (husbands) as dogs with (slightly) more articulate responses.

Woof,
BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 6/3/12 at 3:42pm
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

BDL, first let me just say how humbled I am

that you had taken the time and read my posts, many Mahalos!

Secondly, your advice is always MORE than appreciated,

I've read your blog and you obviously know what you're talking about

I am truly flattered as a home cook!  Thank You

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

Something else I learned while cooking in someone else's kitchen...

Because I was unfamiliar with the appliances, I came VERY close to burning a few items...

My husband, Mister "I don't know anything about cooking" says to me,

don't turn your back, stand right there and watch "it"

I guess he was right

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