Like the pros they admire, amateur cooks tend to play favorites. There's always a particular ingredient or tool they will go out of their way to use, and they always keep it handy. Favorite spices and implements take pride of place in their kitchens, and some cooks won't leave home without them.
The best part of keeping your favorites close at hand is being able to introduce them to friends and family. That, and being able to share tips and techniques with fellow cooks.
What's in your pantry or your toolkit that you just couldn't live without?