Kitchen Essentials —SCB

A few weeks ago, I packed up our entire kitchen as we readied ourselves to do a renovation. As I reluctantly boxed up my yogurt maker, food mill and waffle iron, I was charged with setting aside only what was essential for day-to-day cooking. We would have use of our stove and oven for at least part of the renovation process, but I’d have very little storage space and no prep surface other than my dining room table, not to mention any dirty dishes we made would have to be washed in the basement I found a place in our dining room for a toaster oven and microwave (we have since learned that we can’t use these at the same time or we’ll trip a circuit). I decided I need my immersion blender to make smoothies and quick soups, but all other appliances (standing mixer, food processor—I usually use these near daily) were packed away.

I found that I really relished the task of simplifying my kitchen. It reminded me of camping, when every item packed has a purpose and is well utilized. I consider myself someone who likes to keep things simple, but, honestly, I live with much, much more than I truly need. Ironically, much of my gadgetry was acquired in an effort to live more simply and avoid processed foods, but, truly, there’s nothing more simple than you, a good sharp knife and a cutting board, free from the whir of the food processor.

In the ensuing weeks, I have dug up the waffle iron from the basement (who among us can live without waffles?). The popcorn popper (remember last week?), food processor and stand mixer have all made appearances as well. We are, however, surviving just fine on store-bought yogurt.

Mark Bittman has some great advice on the no-frills kitchen.

ps: Missing from these photos: a roasting pan, mixing/serving bowl and our dinner and silverware, of course!