My kitchen is probably the least-cluttered room in my house. I am really happy with it. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there.
My mother is a very talented cook. She has all sorts of nifty tools and pots and pans and appliances. She’s always trying to talk me into getting various kitchen supplies that she’s found useful.
By contrast, I’m a very simple cook. I can make good food, but it’s all from recipes I know by heart, requiring few ingredients.
Here’s what I’ve got in my kitchen. First, pots and pans:
- 2 non-stick skillets: small and large
- a 2-quart saucepan
- a 4-quart deep skillet/saute pan (about 10 in. wide)
- Dutch oven (for soups)
- glass baking pan
- Pizza stone
I’d like to get a 1-quart saucepan for heating sauces, etc. And I will probably get rid of that baking pan and replace it with a nice casserole. I never bake breads or cakes. (There is an amazing bakery 5 minutes away, so why bother?)
Now, prep tools. This is where I get really, really basic:
- 2 cutting boards
- 1 medium-sized knife
- 1 serrated bread knife
- vegetable peeler
- salad spinner
- 2 Pyrex measuring cups (1- and 2-cup)
If a recipe calls for anything more complicated than washing, peeling, and chopping, it’s not for me. 🙂 I don’t have a food processor, because I hate cleaning all the fussy little parts.
I’ve never been able to use those big chef’s knives. My hands are small, so I prefer a smaller knife. It works for me, as long as I keep the blade sharp.
And I don’t have a lot of measuring cups and spoons, because I don’t do a lot of measuring.
I am not completely without kitchen gadgets. These are my small appliances:
- toaster oven
- rice cooker
- microwave oven
The microwave may be leaving soon. It’s rarely used, and it takes up a lot of space.
For food storage:
- An assortment of Pyrex storage bowls in various sizes from 8 oz. to 2 quarts.
- Plastic zip-lock storage bags. I have them in “snack”, “sandwich”, quart, and gallon sizes.
One of the best things I ever did was to get rid of all my miscellaneous plastic storage containers. No matter what I did, they always became disorganized in my cabinets. I prefer my glass containers because they stay put in the cabinets, they don’t get stuck together, and they double as mixing bowls. And they are easy to clean, and never get stained.
For hand utentils, I have:
- 3 turners
- 1 spatula
- 1 stirring spoon
- 1 soup ladle
My potato masher got ruined this year. I miss it. It is on my wishlist of housewares for 2013.
For setting the table, I have:
- 4 wine glasses
- 8 tall drinking glasses
- 8 large coffee mugs
- white china dinnerware set for 4
- stainless steel flatware for 12
- 4 deep soup bowls
- A small assortment of handmade pottery serving dishes
- 2 tablecloths and 8 napkins
Clearly, I have more flatware than I need. I plan to replace my huge unmatched collection for a smaller, nicer one. I also want to get some new soup bowls. The ones I currently have are ugly leftovers from an old dinnerware set.
And yes, I eat off my china every day. I used to keep it stored away in a cabinet, but then I decided I might as well use it. It’s at least as sturdy as the old cheap dishes I’d been using; and it’s easier to clean, because food doesn’t stick to it.
I used to have more dishes, but I realized I wasn’t using them. I do occasionally have large groups of guests over, but my friends and family are the type that I would feel comfortable asking to lend me extra dishes if I needed them.
My kitchen would not be complete without my tea-making supplies. 🙂
- tea kettle (I have a Le Creuset and I love it.)
- white china teapot
- a handheld strainer
Don’t forget about cleanup! My cleaning supplies are simple:
- Dishwasher detergent (I use Cascade because it works).
- Ecover dishwashing liquid
- hand soap
- Scotch-Brite scrubbing sponge (the pink/gentle one)
- Bon Ami powder cleanser (for scrubbing pots and pans, and also great for tea stains on cups)
- Rubber gloves: I never wash dishes or scrub anything without gloves on!
- Homemade vinegar cleaner
- Seventh Generation botanical disinfecting wipes (for the occasional icky job)
- Paper towels. I’ll admit to using these liberally.
- 8-10 kitchen towels
There you have it. Hmm, I’m calling this “my simple kitchen” but I feel like I listed a zillion things. But trust me, it’s not a lot.
I wanted to mention one blog post that inspired me to go ahead and let go of my “extra” cooking supplies. Take a look at this post by Janet of The Gardener’s Cottage. Janet is a former chef who often posts beautiful dishes and recipes on her blog. Her simple collection of kitchen supplies is proof that you don’t need every sized pan, or a lot of specialized gadgets, to make great meals.