The RiotACT guide to singleton survival – Episode 1: Tools

johnboy 11 January 2007 35

With many of our younger readers heading off into the world to fend for themselves for the first time we thought this would be a good time to take you through the things you need to know if you’re going to stave off scurvy and impress people you’d like to sleep with, all with a minimum of cost and time spent cleaning.

First up you’re going to need tools in the kitchen. If you’re lucky your parents will give you a few hundred dollars for this purpose. You don’t need that much.

All you really need is:

1 decent sized knife
1 frypan
1 big pot (you can possibly get by with just the one wok in place of a frypan and a pot but it starts getting tricky if you want pasta or rice with your meal)
1 pair of tongs
1 stirring stick with a flat bottom
1 chopping board (not pictured)

There you go, anything else is wasteful frippery which will encumber you when moving and be a pain to clean.

Now take the money you saved, head down to the pub, and use it to buy a counter meal for yourself and free drinks for someone you’d like to have sex with.

More to follow…

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35 Responses to The RiotACT guide to singleton survival – Episode 1: Tools
Maelinar Maelinar 1:20 pm 18 Dec 06

Gah! rubbish!

Wanted (female) flatmate, share duties incl. cooking

Save the money spent on above appliances and head down to the pub, and use it to buy a counter meal for yourself and free drinks for someone you’d like to have sex with, or your new flatmate.

johnboy johnboy 1:22 pm 18 Dec 06

Well someone’s got to teach the girls to cook too in this day and age.

Thumper Thumper 1:24 pm 18 Dec 06


Bugger that, that’s why they invented cheese and bread and grillers.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 1:24 pm 18 Dec 06

Riotact recipes???

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 1:28 pm 18 Dec 06

How about the process of learning to use said tools? Or is that the “more to follow” to which you’re referring?

And don’t prat about with a non-stick pot/saucepan. Bare stainless steel all the way. In non-stick saucepans lies the way to madness (and teflon poisoning). Non-stick frypan is okay, though.

Get a better knife. Mundial make a very good chef’s knife for not too much money that will stay sharper for longer. You’ll lose a finger trying to cut up a pumpkin with that thing in the pic.

Maelinar Maelinar 1:42 pm 18 Dec 06

Ability to cook is a subject for the interview…

In my defence, I’m a bloody amazing cook and here’s a recipe to prove it:

(modified) Pork Ribs

This recipe is great for impressing people, or if you’ve got a few blokes over and are drinking beer and watching the cricket and can’t be fussed with actually watching the food cooking. Generally it is better to pick up the pork ribs well in advance as the price goes up and down as quickly as petrol. Best price to pay is about $5 a rack

Pork Ribs
1 bottle BBQ Marinade
100ml Bourbon
1 Onion

Roughly chop Onion, combine with bourbon and marinade and… marinade the ribs between 1 hour to 1 day. Place ribs onto hot grill, watch that bourbon carimalise before your eyes. When black on one side, turn over and grill for 2 mins. Turn off heat and serve when cool enough to pick up.

Best served with Carlton Draught or fancy imported beer such as Heineken. You may want to ask your flatmate to do a salad (not necessary if watching cricket).

fnaah fnaah 2:13 pm 18 Dec 06

Note: if you *do* go non-stick for the frypan/saucepan, be sure to spend an extra $2 on non-metallic tongs, unless you don’t mind flakes of teflon in your soup and/or replacing the frypan every month.

LurkerGal LurkerGal 2:25 pm 18 Dec 06

JB you should be writing books. Pure singleton gold.

Danman Danman 4:40 pm 18 Dec 06

I would also suggest splashing out a little bit extra for decent pans/pots with a thick copper sandwiched base – easily affordable @ woolies + Big W

Also at woolies – they have 1 piece stainless steel 20cm “hollow handle” chefs knives for less than the price of a pack of smokes. Easy to sharpen and in my professional experoence I found these knives to hold an edge for a good amount of time – a little on the light side but well balanced none the less.

Al Al 4:49 pm 18 Dec 06

Ahh – can opener? Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam….

gurunik gurunik 9:39 pm 18 Dec 06

i’ll back danman on the woolies knives…they hold an edge well. a decent knife is the first thing one should have, along with a sharpening stone. quitely sharpening said knife whilst others are about gets that ‘taxi driver’ respect.
i stick to disposal store cast iron, frypan 15 bucks and up to 40 for a camp oven that will do a wicked stew/spag bol etc. you do need a big pot for pasta…5+ liters. see revolve. 5 bucks if you look good.
and a $30 gas ring allows proper wok action, but nowdays i’ve given up the stir fry thing, and the barbie is king. just a fad i go through.

gurunik gurunik 9:45 pm 18 Dec 06

and piss the non stick crap off, it will not stand up to drunken cooking. cast iron is so much a better weapon as well.

crabb crabb 9:54 pm 18 Dec 06


Not at all in the spirit of JB’s posting but sort of on topic, I just purchased a Mundial knife block set as an engagement present for my daughter, and wondered what those out there who know about such things, think about the quality of that brand? DJs were trying to talk me into far more expensive options, and said that Mundial didn’t have the reputation they once had. There are a lot more brands out there now than there used to be when I was starting out. I bought the Mundial anyway – still seemed like a good value, quality set to start off with. Can’t stand working with crap tools!
Also, on the subject of knives – what’s your recommendation for foolproof sharpening?


miz miz 9:58 pm 18 Dec 06

In the interests of hygiene you really need two chopping boards, one for raw meat only and one for fruit/veg/cheese/cooked meats.
And make sure the knife (actually two knives is better, saves washing the blessed thing mid-prep) is SHARP.

Ralph Ralph 10:53 pm 18 Dec 06

What, no Le Creuset?

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 11:15 pm 18 Dec 06

Noice topic JB.

Look forward to the next one.

It’s bringing many a memory flooding back, of my poor ‘just moved out of home’ days!

gurunik gurunik 11:51 pm 18 Dec 06

crabb, mundial is ok, and with a hit on a sharpening stone once a week & a whisk over a steel each time you want sharp will give good use.
i worked in a meatworks once, and there i found what a sharp knife was…and my dad made knives. his were blunt. butchers are the kings when it comes to sharp knives. a sharp knive falls through a whole rump. about 3 times, then its blunt(er).
for a domestic kitchen, a fine stone, at about 25-30 degrees to the blade will give sharpness. caress, dont grind. it is an elusive art to get the edge, but look at the edge in good light, and experiment. meat & veggies like different edges. fine for meat, coarser for veg. but a sharp fresh knife will make food prep fun.

andy andy 7:18 am 19 Dec 06

mm. cooking. I love cooking.

Danman Danman 8:06 am 19 Dec 06

Mundial is entry level commercial knives – so fine for household – I also reccomend a diamond stone ( a sharpening stone you use dry – made from industrial diamonds) – I can quit eliterally shave myself with my knives after using one of these.

By the way – tomatoes – use a serrated knife 🙂

Danman Danman 8:08 am 19 Dec 06

PS best knives in the world – Trident Wustorf – then Global then that asian single piece brand??

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