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Thread: A new start

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Columbia River Gorge
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    3,565

    A new start

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    I'm about to embark on an adventure at 38 years old that many of you went through at a much younger age. I will be living in my very own place!! Exciting and a bit intimidating at the same time. I was in a relationship for 17 years with a man who was 26 years my senior. So I never really went through the "establishing my own space" phase. I basically moved in with him, he had all the stuff you need and I never really had authority in the relationship to make decisions about house and home. That's not what this thread is about, I'm over it. What it is about is...

    I would like to hear from you bright ladies of TE the things that you have in your life that you could not do without. That one item that is a functional pillar in your day to day life. I want to set my new place up minimally. The goal is to keep the clutter down. So I'm looking for advice on things like... would you get a toaster oven? My place has a stove, I don't use microwaves, so I was thinking I'd start searching garage sales for toaster ovens.

    I have very little. A bed, a dresser and a bookshelf is the extent of the furniture. I have pots, pans, utensils, dishes, a little cookware, towels and a couple of floor lamps. That pretty much sums it up.

    Thanks for your input!!
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
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    5,251
    The one thing that I can't live without is my single coffee cup brewer. I don't use it for coffee, but for hot tea and hot cocoa. It makes boiling water in about a minute or two. I use it almost every day. Of course, they DO make pots for boiling water, but that takes too long in the morning.

    I do love my toaster oven. I use it more than the real oven.

    That's so exciting for you!! I hope you enjoy having your own space and all the freedom that comes with it.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    I wouldn't want to do without:

    My Convection Oven Toaster Oven (used for everything from toasting bread to roasting a whole chicken)

    My fuzzy logic rice cooker (soup, oatmeal, quinoa, and of course, rice)

    My water boiler - I actually like it better than the one cups. It's fast, and has multiple temperature settings. Nice for tea, oatmeal, french press coffee, adding more water to soups, etc., etc.

    Congratulations!!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,054
    My coffee maker, my rice cooker, my microwave, my electric skillet, slow cooker, electric blanket and heated throw. Enjoy your new surroundings and freedom.
    2011 Specialized Secteur Elite Comp
    2006 Trek 7100

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I wouldn't buy a toaster oven. A toaster oven is clutter when you have a perfectly good oven that does everything at toaster oven does. Living simply, I think, means making do with what you have. You have an oven. Make do.

    I'm guessing you have been using a toaster oven at your last place, and that's why it even came up at all? If you want one, get one, but I wouldn't rush it. You might find that you don't need it.

    I think whatever you end up missing after a few weeks on your own will be the things you want to buy.

    I'm kinda jealous. But, I'm in that "almost done with childrearing" stage, and I've never ever lived on my own (without kids).

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    355
    a good quality toaster/convection oven preheats much faster and saves a LOT of energy over a conventional oven. But, one should emphasize "good quality." There are a lot of really crappy toaster ovens out there that don't do anything well. If you go with a toaster oven, get a good one. I have an Avanti Elite (I can't remember but probably cost me like $150), and I use it 100 times as much as my conventional oven (which I rarely use...maybe for a turkey??).

    an electric kettle (again, good quality is a must) is also essential, imo.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,841
    I have a toaster oven, but not a toaster.

    Yes, it's kinda redundant when I have an oven, but... I use it for things that I don't want to heat up an entire oven for. Put pieces of bread in, bake a potato, bake a butternut squash, heat up stuff... I think it uses less energy/electricity because I'm heating up a smaller area, but I could be wrong.

    I don't have a coffee maker, I do have a cappucino/expresso machine - because I can make single portions and I like cappucino better than coffee anyways. I do have one of those electric kettles to boil water for tea, or half the time just use it to boil water for couscous or whatever. Rice is a dietary staple, so I have a rice maker & that steams vegetables too.

    I guess I could do all that on a stove... but...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,769
    Dogs, a desk, a good chair and lamp for reading.

    I don't much care for kitchen gadgets except for a toaster.
    On the rare occasion I make coffee at home it's ground coffee in a filter in a tea strainer then. hot water poured over
    Last edited by Zen; 02-14-2010 at 02:58 PM.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
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    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    i've had a toaster oven for years, since you asked. The oven uses a lot of energy, the toaster oven doesn't. if you want to bake 1 potato, it seems silly to heat up the whole oven.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Definitely the toaster oven! It's great during the summer when I need to bake or broil something, but don't want to heat up the whole house. Also, a good coffee pot, and a cast iron grill pan/griddle.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,209

    One vote for the toaster oven

    When you live alone, you are cooking small quantities - a toaster oven is a must have in my opinion. I have never owned a toaster. But as Alton Brown counsels, an appliance should have multiple uses.

    I use my toaster oven almost every day for something or other. Roasted vegies. Nuke a potato, then 10 min in the toaster oven to dry it up a bit. Heat up leftovers. Microwave is good, but some things go better in the toaster oven. Bake 4 cookies (if you have cookie dough in the freezer, already formed into balls). Make a toasted sandwich. And of course it's good for plain old toast, including bagels. A toaster can only make toast and may not be able to handle bagels. A big oven takes a long time to heat up, and uses tons more elecltricity to do so. For me it's a no brainer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    My experience with toaster ovens is the inexpensive kind. I think I could get into a convection toaster oven, though. Didn't even know they made those!

    I can't do without my microwave. Well, I could, but it would change everything. But then, I haven't cooked a meal for only one person in 27 years!

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chi-town
    Posts
    3,265
    Crock Pot. Cookbook: Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. It will teach you all the basics of cooking with a crock, and has great recipes.

    Seriously. You can put food in there and let it cook all day or all night. You can make a lot and freeze some in single portions, and come home to dinner all made for you. Uses very little energy, space, time, or even skill.

    Tonight I'm making a Hot Fudge Spoon Cake in the crock pot, and that recipe alone is reason enough to buy both crock and cookbook.
    ................
    A sofa of some sort. Don't skimp here. I went cheap with every sofa I ever bought. You want to be able to read on it, sit and laugh or cry with a friend, and offer it to a loved one who needs to spend the night. I got rid of my last cheap sofa when I moved in with my husband. We love/hate his sofa - it's ugly, but it has two recliner sections, which have been invaluable as I've had two foot surgeries since meeting him. Several family members have slept here while visiting us, and my stepdaughter's college friends have crashed here. A good, big sofa is worth it.

    Congrats and welcome to your new adventure. All best wishes.
    Last edited by Lise; 02-14-2010 at 03:34 PM.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bridgeport, PA
    Posts
    232
    Wustoff 7" Santoku knife. My bf bought me one for Christmas...probably because he was tired of using my crappy one ...I don't know how I managed before.
    "The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community." -- Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    Do you have the counter space for a toaster oven? We don't, so we don't have one.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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