Its been a couple of years since I moved out of my parents home. I moved out when I got married and moved in with my in-laws and then eventually my husband. This is rather typical for most women in my country who go to school and work in the same city as their parents. There really is no shame in living with your parents if you are not married or you do not want to move out on your own in our culture. Long story short I have never had to start buying my own stuff from scratch. When I move from Bermuda to well wherever God lands us this will be my list, this list is for the things that I think are absolutely essential whether you live in a penthouse or a rural home. This is a list for someone starting out married or single.
Stove with or without oven
This can be electric, gas, wood burning, coal or paraffin. For someone in an African rural home, I also consider the open fire a stove so you would need the metal frame known as “pfihwa” in Shona.
Depending on where you are this can be considered a luxury, many people all over the world have done without one for years especially in rural areas. However in an urban setting it can be an absolute necessity.
For someone starting out a chef’s knife can be used to do almost anything. Or you can get a whole set provided you can get a good quality one.
Get glass to avoid cross contamination especially if you use it for chicken. Or you can get two plastic or wooden ones.
These will be useful for mixing, creaming and general food preparation. For durability get metal or glass ones. Get a separate bowl for hand washing this is particular if you will have older Zimbabwean visitors who expect to wash their hands in a bowl as opposed to go to the sink.
This can be used for drinking water as well as for hand washing.
Get three saucepans in different sizes. Non stick saucepans are difficult to cook Sadza in so opt for an aluminum one for Sadza.
Wooden spoons are essential when cooking and stirring. For Sadza, make sure to get a flat sided spoon, “mugoti” in Shona.
Get a metal whisk or the traditional musika, either will work.
You will need this for making things like eggs, if you can get a non-stick one.
Get one that includes plates, cups and bowls.
Get a set of knives, spoons, and forks
Essentials for a rural kitchen
Most Zimbabweans have two homes one in the city and one in the rural areas. For most married women that means you have two kitchens to outfit. In addition to everything listed above you will need the following:
Mugomo / water bucket
This is essential for someone who does not have running water. There are many options from plastic to metal, I suggest one that can be closed. Though not very common some people still use a clay pot called chirongo.
These can be used instead of saucepans, however food tastes way better when prepared in a clay pot. Clay pots are best when making maheu, beer as well as souring milk.
Most people get milk fresh from their livestock every morning and a sieve is important to remove any impurities.
Mabhodho/ Four legged pots
These pots make good pots for cooking on an open fire and the flavour of the food is amazing.
Duri, Mutswi and Guyo
These are important to make peanut butter and samp as well as prepping things like rice and bambarra nuts(nyimo). In most places in Zimbabwe you can find someone with a peanut butter making machine quite easily for a small fee. To prep things like rice or Bambara nuts I do not know of any substitutes.
Rusero/ winnowing basket
These baskets are multi purpose they can be used for winnowing as well as trays for food.
These are used as baskets for fetching things in the garden and general use in the kitchen.
This list is for things that are nice to have but not necessary if you can not afford them, they just make life easier.
- Water Kettle
- Measuring cups and spoons for baking
- Sandwich Maker
- Potato Masher
- Handheld or stand mixer
- Bread maker
- Food processor
This is my list, what others things do you think are essential in a kitchen? Comment below with anything I may have left out.