I was thinking recently about what I really love in my kitchen. The things I couldn’t do without. You see, we live a somewhat transient lifestyle. We travel a lot and we’ve moved several times in the past 3 years, so we can’t really accumulate “stuff”.
We don’t have lots of trinkets cluttering the mantel (we don’t have a mantel, but you get it), we don’t have “fancy” wine glasses only brought out on special occasions. We have the basics. And, if I say it myself, this is fine with me.
It’s really rather freeing to know that you’re not tied down by the “stuff” builds up over a life time. Sure, there have been times when I’ve coveted the lovely crystal that friends got for their wedding (we didn’t register- didn’t really need that stuff), or that I wished we could invest in a really nice stereo system or a flash TV. But those moments pass quickly when I think about how lucky we are to be able to travel as much as we do, or to be able to move abroad whenever and where ever we’d like.
This isn’t to say that I don’t have ANY “stuff”. I totally do, and it’s mostly kitchen “stuff”. So here is my Top Ten list of Favourite Kitchen Wares. When we move, not all of this will be coming with us, but for right now, I wouldn’t want to live without it.
1. Without a doubt my big, red Chasseur dutch oven is #1. I literally use this pot 3-4 times a week. It’s heavy, big, easy to clean and lovely to look at.
2. A close second is my new, big, red Le Creuset stone baking dish. It looks so gorgeous filled with a gratin, a roasting chicken or just some Brussels sprouts crisping up.
3. My Wusthof knives. I have two. I am spoiled. They are gorgeous and heavy and they will chop anything. I love those knives.
4. A small, red handled paring knife that Andy bought my as part of my last birthday present (the Chasseur dutch oven was the other part). It is small and light and great for mincing garlic and chillis, plus the handle is red. I love red. I’m sure that doesn’t come as a surprise.
5. Little wooden reemer. It’s cute and useful and I can finally get juice out of limes (an important ingredient in the making of the World’s Best Guacamole- made by me!)
6. My food processer. When I first got the food processer I didn’t really take advantage of all its wonderful options and gadgets. To be honest I mostly used it for pureeing things. Now, I know better. It chops, it grates, it mixes batters, it makes dough. It is like having a kitchen fairy.
7. Rice cooker. I used to think rice cookers were useless. I mean, how hard is it to make rice? But then I moved into small Sydney apartments with little stove tops and realized how freeing it can be to move the rice preparation to the other end of the kitchen entirely- which leaves the other burners free for the rest of dinner.
8. IPod Speakers. Officially this isn’t a kitchen ware, but I love to have some background music as I chop and stir and generally cook and dance the stress of a day away.
9. Those new Glad ice cube bags. They are brilliant for storing chicken stock! All you have to do is let your stock cool, pour it in the baggie and seal it! Then when you want just a cube or two of fresh stock to add to a soup or a risotto, you just grab what you need. Genius!
10. Silicon baking pads. I couldn’t find the famous Silpat brand in my usual kitchen store here, so I just bought the brand they had. These things are genius. No more losing ½ your cookie to the pan, no more scrubbing off burnt over pie, too easy!
This is a basic list of my favourites right now. Honestly, this list changes weekly depending on what I’m in the mood to cook. Although, I doubt anything will ever knock the IPod speakers off the list. Music to cook by is essential!