As the “Year of Covid-19” comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on many things that have occurred but none more interesting than the amount of time I spent in the kitchen this year.
I was lucky enough to work from home for some of the year, which meant that I was able to actually cook dinner from time to time and even prepare a grilled cheese or two for lunch.
What I have started to realize is that there are many important things in a functional home kitchen that aren’t always in a cook book. I know everyone needs pots and pans and tools to measure with but there comes a point when one or two additions make your cooking life so much easier and FUN!
The most important thing to have in your home kitchen is a speaker for music – whether it is an Amazon device or a Bluetooth speaker, this is a must! Cooking is about passion, energy and harnessing the care onto the plate. Whether you enjoy hip-hop, 90’s alternative or even country, pair your phone with a speaker and crank it up. Get in a groove and zone out. Let your fears and concerns in the kitchen go. Be one with your tools and the food. If you want, dance and sing. Enjoy it. Food should not be work, it is about providing sustenance and love.
I couldn’t have done a hell of a lot in my kitchen this year without an electric griddle. A simple $40 item that has paid for itself a thousand times over. These appliances are simple and they are perfect for so many things. A cheese quesadilla, steak, burgers, pancakes, bacon, eggs, you name it you can probably do it. Pancakes are incredible on these things and they free up valuable stove space for other items. That’s the other great thing is that you can have a vegetarian meal on the stove and a ton of meat on the griddle without mixing the two. I don’t know what I would have done without this thing.
No kitchen is complete without a chef’s knife. I’ve messed around with a few but with my culinary experience I remembered using a couple Mercer knives to cut onions. I bought a $50, 8-inch Mercer M23510 from Amazon and I’ve never looked back. The feel of a knife that has good weight plus a solid blade that doesn’t stain and keeps its edge is unbelievable. It’s a joy to use and I find myself cutting things just to use it.
Of course if you are going to cut something, you have to have a good wooden block. I never understood these things until I worked in the restaurant industry. You have to have a solid surface to cut on or else your are going to cut yourself. Not to say you aren’t going to cut yourself, I still do, but it reduces the chances. Plus a wooden block is so versatile. You can cut meat, vegetables and fruits then clean it and do it again. A good firm block is a must.
These are just some suggestions and in the coming months I’ll try to put some new recipes and ideas up on the site. It’s been a long year – here’s hoping we find a brighter day!