When I'm living out of a suitcase (or two), obviously I have to keep my belongings to a minimum so that I can fit them back into that suitcase when it's time to move again.
That's not a lot of space. So, what kitchen items do I tuck inside my underwear and jeans, and move around the country with me so that I can feel a tiny sense of normalcy in my "homes away from homelessness"?
# 1 Cook's knife and Cutting Board:
(Yes, that's two things but they go together. Shut up.)
You know I love chopping vegetables. It's probably my favorite activity, after pinching zits and singing karaoke. So for me it was worth investing in a really good all-purpose knife (back when I had a real job, of course.) My Cook's knife was expensive, but I use it for every single knife job in the kitchen. Meat, tomatoes, fruit, veggies, everything. If you have some knife skills this puppy'll mince your garlic super tiny. I've had it for years and I only sharpen it like once a year because that's when I see my mom and dad and I make them do it.
My cutting board is just a standard wooden number that I picked up at World Market years ago. Most furnished apartments stock plastic cutting boards and that just does not work for me. I prefer wood to plastic 1,000 times over and so I bring mine wherever I go.
Pour-Over Coffee Maker:
#3.This is how the Brazilians make their coffee. And the Brazilians are crazy for coffee. Summer teases me because I call this my "pour-over machine". But it doesn't do anything. It just sits on top of your coffee cup and basically holds the filter in place while you slowly pour hot water over your grounds and voila! I swear pour-over makes the very best coffee. If you're making for more than one person then you just use more grounds and a bigger container underneath. Easy. You can pick one up for less than five bucks. Starbucks also sells porcelain versions if you're not into plastic.
My 'K' Coffee Cup:
Summer gave this to me. It makes me feel like I belong wherever I am. K is for Kady!
And, if I have the luxury of driving to my destination, thus facilitating a little more extravagance in the items I choose to bring, I will add a fourth bonus kitchen item:
Most other people in the world employ this handy little dandy. Why Americans do not I'll never know. They're just not as popular here, so they're a little harder to find. I picked mine up at Herberger's I think for about $35. It's made by Black & Decker. I use it in the morning for my pour-over coffee and at night for my Hot Toddies. Obviously you can heat water in any pot or a tea kettle on the stove, but once you've used an electric kettle you'll understand. They're just ten times faster. I've even been known to get my pasta water boiling in the kettle so I don't have to wait forever for the pot.