7 Essentials for the Minimal Kitchen
Have you ever opened a drawer in your kitchen, dug around and finally found what you were looking for in the very, very back, and then tried hopelessly to shut said drawer without rearranging everything *again*?
The kitchen clutter struggle is real, my friend.
Not too long ago, that was me. (And not only in the kitchen, but just about every other room in the house too!)
Finally, after one too many failed attempts to shut the storage lids drawer, I'd had enough.
I took a step back, breathed in deep (after all, getting mad at a drawer full of lids never did anyone any good), and one of my very favorite quotes popped into my head.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris
I am a sentimental person. Sometimes to a fault. I tend to hang on to things that I don't need to hang on to, like that spatula I got as a wedding gift but I never use because it doesn't flip pancakes quite right. But over the past year, I have come to realize that there is a wonderful freedom in letting go of the unnecessary. A freedom that means less time spent cleaning and tidying, and more time spent enjoying and savoring.
That day in my kitchen, I decided to take stock of everything I had. What do I use? What do I love? If it didn't fall into either of those categories, it was on its' way to the Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store to become a tax write-off.
Maybe you are in the midst of the kitchen clutter struggle. Or maybe you're a bride-to-be, trying to figure out what items you really want on your registry. Or, possibly, you just enjoy the feeling of simplifying your home.
Whatever the case may be, I thought I would share a list of my favorite kitchen essentials! While this is not an exhaustive list of everything I use every day, it is a list of things I have used and loved for almost four years now. Things I think every kitchen (and cook!) could benefit from. Enjoy!
Wooden Cutting Boards - I have never owned a plastic cutting board and I have no regrets. As long as you maintain a wooden cutting board properly, it is just as safe and useful as a plastic one, if not more so. They can be used for cutting things up (obviously), or, if you want to get a little fancy, as a cheese or snacks board when you have company.
High Quality Knives - Any good chef will tell you the importance of a sharp, quality knife. If you are in the kitchen on a daily basis, a good set of knives will be your very best friends. Do not settle for low-quality or dull knives. Doing so will only endanger your fingers and your desire to cook!
Mason Jars - Is there anything these little guys can't do?! I use them for canning summer produce, mixing salad dressing or marinades, drinking glasses, storage in the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and even as vases for the pretty flowers I find in my yard.
Sturdy Pots and Pans - Stainless steel, copper, ceramic, cast iron - the possibilities are endless! And don't forget to invest in a large stockpot, especially if you enjoy canning, making applesauce, or doubling your soup recipes like I do.
Crock Pot - Where would I be without my beloved crock pot. Is there anything better than coming home after a long day and being greeted by the smell of a dinner that's ready to eat? I think not. But besides dinner on busy days, I also like to use my crock pot to make bone broth. Aka: gut-healing liquid gold. (recipe coming this fall!)
Blender / Food Processor - I'm a HUGE smoothie fan. I also make my own dairy-free coffee creamer and almond butter (those recipes are also coming soon!). Without my blender and food processor, I think I would be quite sad.
Kitchen Aid Mixer - Yes, I saved the best for last. This beast just might be the very best thing in my kitchen. It's not something I use every day like most of the items on this list, but friend. When I do use it, wonderful things happen. Like cookies. And homemade bread. And pizza crust. Oh my. And, as if that wasn't enough, they come in amazing colors like yellow.