Kitchen Essentials

So, here I am at local coffee shop in southeast Portland. I am jamming to tunes, drinking a latte, and I was suddenly inspired to talk about something which I find so important. Proper kitchen equipment. Granted this is a super wide topic, but I’m focusing on two fundamental things that are a must have for successful cooking.

I will admit my kitchen is anything but my dream kitchen. The counters are spray on, the dishwasher has seen better days, and dont even get me started on the fluorescent lighting. Ugh.  So, what do you to change what you can’t change? Make it work for you. Do the little things.

A month ago or so I was making dinner and had a number of things going. I was working on a protein, was prepping something for the oven, and had a dish on the stovetop working. When I was done and dinner had been consumed, I realized I had two problems. First, I kept misplacing a single key ingredient. Second, I was playing culinary roulette and was counting on my brain to not mess me up. Salt.

I realized my salt container had been travelling all over my kitchen and even into my living room. Yeah, small apartment too. Anyway, so I’m trying to season all these various dishes and couldn’t find the salt. So, I dediced to add a second salt container. Brilliant, right? Wrong! The only viable container I had was the exact same container I used for sugar. See where this is going?  Luckily, I didn’t mistake the salt for the sugar. However, I tasted salt daily to make sure I wasn’t punking myself.

I hadn’t realized how important the placement of salt actually was. So, after procuring an easily identifiable salt container, I set up two stations in my kitchen. Both with containers filled with kosher salt, but it didn’t stop there.

On a seemingly unrelated note, have I mentioned how much I despise pepper shakers and those little tins of ground pepper that have been in your cupboard for generations? It may work for some, not for me. The taste, satisfaction, and joy of fresh ground pepper is really unique.  In a pinch, with no other choice, the pre-ground stuff is fine. But freshly ground is the only way to fly above all. I think this began when I learned to cook in my teen years. My house only had pepper grinders and nothing else. In fact, when I moved out that was one of the first things my mom purchased for me.

While I resolved the salt situation, it made sense I needed a second pepper grinder. I could have two stations that would contain two of the most used ingredients in my kitchen. That is exactly what I did. Two salt containers and two pepper grinders at the ready anytime I needed. This isn’t related to I like things  in pairs, no. This was something that made my kitchen feel like a workable space. My space.

Although this post is long winded, there are three big points I want to make. First, salt and pepper are must! Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper would be ideal. I stress seasoning in my blog because it is that important. Next, make the kitchen  what you need it to be. If you need two of everything to make the space useable. Do it!!! It can make the experience so much more enjoyable and limits the chance of salt in your sugar.

These are kitchen essentials!!

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