Whew, this week has nearly gotten away from me, but I’ve been thinking about you. How did your kitchen tool purging go? Are you feeling lighter, and finding what you need more easily? Are you scared? If you can’t bear to give all those tools away just yet, put them in a box and put them somewhere way out of reach. Anything you haven’t gone into the box to get in six months, get rid of it
On to part two – creating “stations” in your kitchen. In a commercial and home kitchens, this happens naturally, as different jobs happen in different places. But it can be really helpful to truly think about what actions happen in what spots, and what tools/ingredients are needed at that station.
We have a cutting station in our home kitchen – an amazing wood chopping block made for us by our friend Rob (he ate dinner at our house almost every night for a year, and then he made us this chopping block – a pretty sweet deal!), with my three most-used knives (a Wusthof chef knife, a Wusthof Santuko, and a Lamson & Goodnow offest bread knife) in it. The little basket you see is for scraps to feed the chickens, and to the right (on the floor) is our compost bucket. I chop, I put scraps right into the chicken basket or compost, I wash my knives, I put them right back in their spot. Under the chopping block lives the tray I use to bring plates/silverware/food to the dinner table (and for clearing up after – a big time saver), and also some rolling pins, since I use the chopping block to roll out doughs. The little white bowl holds butter at room temp, the cruet has some salad dressing in it, and the wine bottle is homemade vinegar. Whenever we have leftover wine, we add it to this bottle (it has a little cheesecloth over the top, so it can breathe but flies can’t get in), and it turns to the best vinegar you’ll ever use. Yummy!
Next to the chopping block is the mixing station. In this corner, I keep my mixing bowls in the cabinets, measuring spoons, ingredients like baking powder, salt, oil and vinegar. The cookbooks I’m currently referencing are lined up right there, and the knife block holds my other knives (steak knives, butcher knife, paring knives that are too small to live in the chopping block). The big blue bowl holds a loaf of bread in a linen bag, and fresh fruit or veggies that don’t need the fridge. The small bowl on the far right holds eggs from our chickens.
Lastly, a little station – the silverware drawer. For years, since we switched to using all cloth napkins, I searched for the right place for them. Next to the dinner table? On the kitchen counter? I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I’m pretty happy that I finally realized this – the napkins live next to the silverware! (We use actual silver, instead of keeping it stored away, so that’s why my silverware drawer is lined with flannel.)
So, I think you get the idea. Instead of having to walk back and forth across your kitchen each time you need to make a dish, try to gather your tools and supplies into groupings that make sense for you and your home. Have fun!