All You Need on Vacation is a Cast-Iron Skillet

The New York Times 8.5.09

And, despite the charming photo above, we mean one cast-iron skillet. That's the opinion of writer Jhumpa Lahiri (author of Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake), who gets nostalgic about vacation house kitchens in today's Times dining section.We love Lahiri's description of the typical summer house kitchen: "Part of me loves to navigate the culinary wilderness of rental homes: the stale McCormick spices, the speckled enamel stockpots in which countless visitors have boiled their corn." Who hasn't stood in that kitchen? Used those pots?

But while Lahiri starts by mentioning all of the things she has stuffed in the back of the car in previous years (groceries, her own pepper mill, tandoori spice rub), she says this year was different. No room. So she made do with what the kitchen had to offer and realized the versatility of one good cast-iron pan.

Read the artice: Note to Myself: Take the Kitchen

The title is misleading, actually, because her adventures in simplicity turn out remarkably well. Maybe there's no need to pack the kitchen after all.

Related: Five Desserts to Cook in a Skillet

(Image: Flickr member cybrgrl, licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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