So… I never thought I’d ever say this, but it’s the second time in less than a month that I find myself cooking in a kitchen that’s not my own, and I have to say you don’t realise how well-stocked your kitchen is until you run into one that’s… less well-stocked? I was cooking for VD , and the things I missed the most were, by order of decreasing importance:
-chopsticks. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m absolutely useless as a cook without a pair of chopsticks.
-kitchen knife. The difference between a good quality, balanced knife and a random ikea knife really is striking. Not in a good way. (also, still a fan of santoku over more Western-shaped knife; the thing just feels better in my hand. The household is sharply divided between my husband, who uses the paring knife and the traditional kitchen knife; and I, who just reach for the santoku for everything from dicing carrots to cubing meat).
-pots and pans. More minor, but gah, the absence of a wok with a lid is a major drawback for so many dishes. Especially broccoli.
So I guess I’ve learnt my lesson: take chopsticks with me next time I have to cook in a stranger’s kitchen
 In case you’re wondering, the actual Villa Diodati workshop was great; I got tons of work done, edited “The Two Sisters in Exile” into submittable form, and made a head start on revising “Immersion”, aka the globalisation piece in space (with social networks! And Vietnamese! And lemongrass chicken!).