Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Simplicity In the Kitchen

Happy Autumn Equinox! Yay! Autumn is officially here! :-)

When it comes to kitchen gadgets, I love them. I've been lucky in that I haven't had to buy a lot of them. I've inherited a lot from my mom and was given a lot of nice stuff at our wedding. What I haven't been given I've found at the thrift shop. (A pristine wood rolling pin for $3!) I'm sure I could stand to pare down a bit with my kitchen stuff (and my husband would whole-heartedly agree). We've been decluttering our whole house and it has been very liberating. I guess I should tackle the kitchen next. And just to point out, I did pare down some of my kitchen things when we moved.

I love this article that I found "A No-Frills Kitchen Still Cooks". The biggest thing that I got from this is that he said you don't need a microwave. *gasp* Are you kidding me? Really? Now, I haven't always had a microwave and growing up we never had one, but those little boxes of magic are just so, so easy to become attached to! It's really a joke that I am so attached to mine. Me, who can cook marginally well on a hearth and over a campfire and can really crank it out on the stove. Living microwave-free just requires a little more preparation and patience and food ends up with more nutrition. And just as the guy says in the article, "Imagine the counter space!" And, boy, could we use more of that! (Our kitchen in this new place is half the size of what we moved from.)
What do you think? Should I give our microwave away? Oooooh, it's so hard! I'll have to think about this one.

Just like he does in the article, I made a list of things I can't live without in my kitchen:

1. my Rada paring knives - We got these for our wedding and I remember growing up with my mom using one. They last forever. All you need is a good sharpener (I have a manual one) and you're good!
2. Jelly roll baking sheets - I try to stay away from aluminum as it's not a good metal to ingest, but these baking pans are totally sturdy and amazing!
3. Food processor - I got mine from my mom and I think that thing is 30 or 40 years old. It's still going strong. Unfortunately, I only have one blade attachment for it, but it still works!
4. Wooden Spoons - I use them for everything except cooking meat.
5. Silicone spatula - these are awesome. They can handle high heat and there are some nice sturdy ones out there.
6. Flexible cutting mats - these are nice because you can bend them to help get your veggies aimed into your pot with out scraping or corralling with your hands. Mine are getting a bit beat up and they have a permanent curve to them. Sometime you have to put them under something flat and heavy to get them to become flat again.
7. Hand mixer - my nice one with a retractable cord broke, so I got a new cheap one. It works. You really can't bake much without it - unless you have amazing wrist strength and a ton of elbow grease.
8. A large pot - great for cooking spaghetti, or making a big batch of chili or cooking jam for canning. The list goes on and on.

Nope, I don't have a bread machine or a stand mixer. I've contemplated getting one of both, but I really don't need them. And I certainly don't have the counter space.

I think I'm steeled for decluttering my kitchen now... take deep breaths, Sarah!

P.S. I would still like an immersion hand blender. How cool that you can blend liquid stuff! And a toaster oven. Then I could get rid of our toaster and save energy when we need to bake little things instead of heating up the honkin' huge oven. Maybe someday! I did get some birthday money.... :-) How lame that I would spend it on kitchen stuff, huh? haha!

3 comments:

Katherine said...

Maybe a toaster oven instead of a microwave would be a good compromise? I would think, with kids, that a microwave is something good to have, but it depends on how much time you have in the day.

Emily Bergeson said...

Get rid of the microwave?? Are you crazy!?!?! I lived without one in Romania and it's a pain to heat up any kind of leftover on the stove. It's not like you need to use the microwave for everything but it is a time saver.

Thanks for sharing your must-haves in the kitchen. I was mentally checking my own list and we have many of the same things. I also don't have a stand mixer and probably won't get one for a while. Hmm... There are a lot of "goodies" that go in the kitchen!

Emily Bergeson said...

I will add that I like Mark's article and think he gives some very good advice. Thanks for the article!

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