Some strange people cook as a means of relaxing. Why don't they go to a spa?
My family says that I am “funny” about my food. I love food but am particular about properly cooking and bursting with nutrients. As a result of my self-imposed special diet, I stay primarily in vacation rentals with a full kitchen. While I may eat at fabulous restaurants with delectable local cuisine, I also cook. The other day, my partner laughed at me because I recently traveled with a rolled-up chef’s bag filled with all my professional knives. She joked that the airline might think I could hijack the plane with the many blades in my checked luggage. Unfortunately, they add about 10 pounds (4.5kg) to the scarce real estate of the 50 pounds (20 kg) airline weight limit per piece.
So, I am shopping for options. I love my large chef’s and accompanying peering knives, so these are necessary. Two is a good start. My hands have grown accustomed to the weight and balance, and I am always thrilled by the easy slice of even tomato skin under the surgical steel blade. I will need some blade protectors to cover them. Perhaps the ones from Amazon would be a good option.
Tools to Scope, Flip, and Stir
Normally, some rentals come with the cheapest prep utensils because guests break stuff. But I need quality tools to cook with. I may use steel, but I often find that it could damage the nonstick pans, and while silicone is en vogue, I am old fashion and trust making my food with wooden utensils. Before my next big travel, I will get myself a set of these wooden prep utensils from Amazon. I can forego the tongs, but you should get one if you plan to do this. I can’t find tongs made of wood.
What about Cans, Wine, and Something to Cut Bags
I have a Swiss Army knife that my poor hands are getting tired of using since the grip is small. Therefore, I need a wine bottle opening. (I know, it sounds like I drink lots of wine, but I do not). I also need to keep a can opener handy and a peeler. I use the peeler not just to peel but also to slice carrots to make a salad. The version in the link claims to be for seniors with arthritis. I am not there yet, but these will do.
Then I need some measuring spoons. I am a dash-of-this-and-a-dash-of-that guy, but I need my measuring gear when I bake or follow a recipe. Again, they have to be as lightweight and compact as possible. I still need to take clothes and toiletries. Recall real estate is in the suitcase?
Remember, I am talking about long vacations in a rental home like Airbnb, Vrbo, or something like that. For a one-week rushed vacation where I only take a carry-on, I would get tackled by airport security as a terrorist, not an eccentric eater of fine meals. I could simplify my life and buy a new kit like the one here. But I don’t like simple. Plus, I would not get to take my favorite knives. It’s so much easier for those who will always eat out and not be funny about their food.
I welcome recommendations from amateur cooks who enjoy preparing meals while traveling, for vacation, or as digital nomads.