Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away!  Do you know where your pans are?  Right about now, panic is setting in for newlyweds everywhere who are trying to have their first Thanksgiving on their own turf or at their new in-laws’.  Maybe they are brining a potluck item or are actually cooking t-h-e  dinner.

Whatever the case may be, the 5 pans a bride must have are:

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Saute pan – A 12″ sauté pan will allow you the space to quickly cook large pieces of meat or fish or vegetables.  A must have pan to quickly pan fry fresh fish, chicken, vegetables, or other meats. It’s like an “anything pan.” If you need to add liquid halfway through to braise, then you can in this pan. It is versatile, which you need all pans to be, since you are limited on space.  See a few of them hanging up above the stove.

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Dutch oven – 5 1/2 Qt. Another must have. I have a red Le Creuset just like the one on top of this stove, and I love it! Register it. Le Creuset will last decades if you care for it properly. You can brown meats in it, then add liquid and braise. You can make sauces, stir fry, sauté vegetables, heat up soups, or roast a small turkey or any meats in the oven. Here is the Williams-Sonoma website to order.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/7072390/?catalogId=52&sku=70723…

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Sauce pan – A 4 Qt. should do. You want it large enough to handle large amounts of vegetables being steamed or cooked, a large amount of sauce being made, or any side dish that needs to be steamed, simmered, boiled, or poached, like eggs. It is an excellent pan to own because it is versatile and a good size to have.  I’ve even made the cranberry dressing in mine.

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Stock pot -A large stock pan is perfect for simmering the turkey bones, gizzards, and the turkey neck for making gravy.  It is great to have year round for making chili, boiling pasta, making soup or other stocks.

Sheet pan, or cookie sheet as it is commonly called – A shallow long pan that can hold cookies for baking, meats or vegetables wrapped in parchment paper or foil for steaming in the oven, taking meats out to the grill, or holding scraps of chopped vegetables from the cutting board. It’s a versatile pan. Easy to clean.

After you start with these key pots and pans and cook for a year or so, you will develop your cooking style and will know if you need to add specific pans or pots to this collection. By starting with these 5 basic pans, you will concentrate on getting things needed most without buying pans you won’t use. Less is more in the beginning especially with limited storage space in your first home or apartment.