What are your top kitchen-related necessities for making healthy food, “getting it all done”, and staying sane to boot?
Here’s my list of 10 things I wouldn’t want to suddenly be without:
1. No-knead bread. I swear unto the powers that be, I will never knead bread again.
2. Pressure cooker. Makes meat stocks and bone broths in 20 minutes, on which I base almost every meal, much to the incredulity of unwitting first-time visitors (“what is that strainer full of stuff on your draining board… oh my god… is that bones?!)…
3. Cold-press juicer – juicing celery is the fastest thing I have found to juice, it’s full of minerals and other goodies, and on days when I can’t seem to eat enough vegetables and/or feed everyone else enough vegetables, it really saves me stress – a glass of celery juice is so easy to drink!
4. Blender. Blending up some green smoothies is easy and counts as both eating greens AND eating your fibre, and when you do them with some fruit, they just taste of the fruit!
5. Tough dishwashing gloves – don’t laugh! All hell breaks loose in my house if I don’t have a pair of these; I do so many dishes per day, I need my gloves to keep my hands out of the hot sudsy water (and washing up with a new pair of gloves is, I sheepishly admit, quite delightful 😛 ).
6. A full pantry of long-keeping staples. I am quite emphatically not a domestic goddess and I think about half the time I go to cook something, I have no idea what to make and I certainly haven’t planned it. Thankfully a quick look inside a cupboard door will tell me all I need to know. Assorted grains, tomato paste, canned tuna and legumes, dried mushrooms, vinegars, noodles…
7. Frozen stuff. I don’t mean ready-meals; we don’t do them since they are a) expensive, b) unhealthy and c) weird-tasting. I mean a stash of stuff I did manage to think ahead on: mincemeat I’ve browned and cooked with onion, chicken drumsticks, frozen portions of quiche, diced raw stewing meat ready to defrost, frozen berries and other smoothie ingredients, pastry, and chicken stock – that sorta thing.
8. Little multi-purpose whizzer thing. I don’t even know what mine is called or what brand it is, but it’s like a mini food processor. Just big enough to mix a quick batch of pastry or biscuit dough, chop or mince some pungent alliums, crush a handful of roasted nuts or blend some livers cooked in red wine with cold butter for a little dish of pate. Eaaasy.
9. My own personal recipe book, full of cuttings and scribbled out recipes and notes. I use purchased recipe books quite a lot (particularly like Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and the recipe books of Nigella Lawson), but I most often come back to my own messy book with old clippings, recipes hastily copied out by friends on the way out the door after a delicious morning tea, “thoughts” that turn into recipes in my head when I see them, and measuring conversion tables.
10. My stovetop kettle. This is what saves me from going insane with a small benchtop area. For years I spent energy projecting hate-vibes onto an electric kettle, and will bless forevermore that sweet moment when I bid it goodbye. Everyone who comes to my place gets offered a cup of tea (or should – were I the never-forgetful domestic goddess that I never will be, bwahahaha) and every time I hear that little kettle whistling, I feel like I have a home in the world and that all is well in it. My sanity is recuperated many times daily by a hot cup of tea (at the moment: lemon and ginger) and especially in the evenings when I have a true moment to myself. If all the other stuff in my kitchen helps me be healthy and organised, the kettle does nothing but help me be happy. And it does a very good job at this. 🙂
So what’s on your list? No need to be elaborate as me; why not make a short list in the comments below this post and tell us what you can’t live without in your kitchen?