J.’s Kitchen Inventory (Kinventory?)

I love food and eating and cooking, I get excited about it. Settling into my kitchen with a glass of wine and a frying pan means that the day is almost over, that its time to reconnect, refuel and take care. Its my favorite part of the day. Granted, I could improve my technical skills and timing (rice? srsly?). But I just love it.

I grew up with a German mother and a Jewish father. My mom could turn out a bangin’ paella for 12 like it was no bfd. My dad liked to put things in big pots and add ketchup, set it on simmer and rest in front of the tv until whatever it was turned brown. And then he’d freeze it, for later. I fall somewhere in the middle. Here are some thoughts:

– The older I get the more I have to face that my mom is right about pretty much everything, especially this: No matter how tired and starving you are and no matter how lame it is, do the dishes before you start cooking. Get it over with quickly and you’ll be thankful later.

– There are certain things you never need to buy, like pre-made salad dressings, certain dips and marinades. Those things can be made with the basic ingredients you should have in your kitchen anyway (see below). You just saved $7.00. Thats a whole extra bottle of wine. You’re welcome.

– Unless you’re making a serious grown-up recipe (read: paella, anything involving corn starch) you can eschew the recipes and cook books. Be creative! Try things out!

– Living/eating alone is no excuse to forgo cooking altogether in favor of frozen pizzas-for-one and cereal. You are on your own, you are liberated and empowered! And just think, you can save money on salt by using your tears!!!

Basic Ingredients You Should Have In Your Kitchen Anyway

– oil/vinegar/Dijon mustard

– red onion

– lemons

– tabasco/sriracha

– good corse salt

-cilantro. Its one of my favorite flavors ever and your friends will think you’re very mature and ethnic.

– wine (shut up)

Instruments and Tools

– tin foil. It contains things, it covers things, it can be used in place of a cookie sheet if you never got around to buying one and you always forget to get one when you go to Target because it’s not a “fun” item that you’re excited about. But you have tin foil! So its fine.

– metal tongs. For mixing and picking things up and placing them elsewhere, for tossing and tousling.

– matching sets of glasses and dishes. Because you’re not a sophomore in college anymore, living with your friends in an ugly house across the street from campus. And even if you are you don’t need to collect plates you find on the street.

– one cutting board, one good knife, one pot, one pan. Ideally you’ll eventually have more than one of each but only one is essential.


4 Responses to “J.’s Kitchen Inventory (Kinventory?)”

  1. is tinfoil the reason i spent a good hour searching around your kitchen for a cookie sheet?

    • it is. too bad you didn’t have this tip, sounds like it was pretty rough. but do you see my point?

  2. I would add a colander, for everything from draining pasta to washing greens and other vegs, and Martha Stewart’s favorite tool…a reamer. It sounds dangerous but it’s a little pointed tool usually made of wood to extract juice from a citrus fruit. ESSENTIAL and so easy to use.

  3. A Greek would add dried oregano too. Goes well with everything!

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