For the most part I have been really disciplined during “quarantine” and haven’t bought a ton of things. Alright, I did buy one dress but other than that I’ve kept my spending in check. I did however pick up a few new things for the kitchen. Since I’ve found myself in the kitchen more, I needed (scratch that, I wanted) a few new things to make kitchen life more entertaining and a little easier.
Let’s meet the new friends…
- Straw Basket and a Plethora of Hand Towels and Dish Cloths
If you read my post about how my attitudes towards food have changed during this self-isolation period (which I KNOW you have) then you will remember that I have gone paper towel-less. In an effort to reduce kitchen waste, I’ve ditched the disposable towels and opted for tea towels and dish cloths.
Honestly, I can go through a half roll to a full roll each time I cook (ridiculous, I know) and making this one small change will make a big difference in the amount of waste that I generate.
To keep everything neat, I purchased two small, square baskets. I keep one on the bottom level of my microwave cart and the other lives on the floor next to the basement door. I keep clean towels in one and I throw the dirty towels in the other. To prevent excessively washing the towels, I use them as many times as I can before I get a new one.
So far, my little system has been working out. Sometimes I have multiple towels floating around the kitchen so there is always one nearby. I really like this concept and think this will be a permanent change. I do think I will always keep a few rolls of paper towels on hand just in case they are needed but for the most part I will be a paper towel-less house!
So, I am super late, but I am just getting around to learning about Edna Lewis. In the culinary world, especially the African American culinary world she is a food god known for simple farm to table dishes. I first heard her name years ago and I actually added her cookbooks to my list of things to buy. I somehow lost track of that list but last summer I ran across her name in the African American History Museum in DC. Then about three weeks ago, I ran across her pound cake recipe. I took that as a sign that I NEEDED to buy her cookbooks so I stopped right then and there and bought two of her most popular books. They were well worth the money.
I have never sat down and read a cookbook but as soon as I received her books, I cracked them open and began pouring over then. There is something so comforting and interesting about reading recipe after recipe in a cookbook. You really get a sense of what that chef/cook is all about. You learn what they value, what ingredients they rely on and their philosophy on food. I think it is also extremely interesting to read older cookbook and “discover” how different cooking ingredients and methods were. Now a days no one uses “lard” but that is a popular ingredient in Lewis’s recipes.
I haven’t made my way through both cookbooks, but I have really enjoyed them. I already have a ton of pages turned down so I know I will be cooking from them all summer long.
3. Mini Whisk
This purchase is a lot less exciting and interesting than the others. I got tired of using my full-sized whisk when trying to mix things in my measuring cup. I kept pushing the contents out of the cup and then then when I tried to rest the whisk on the inside of the cup it would always flip out because it was so heavy. To remedy those issues, I invested in a mini whisk which should work perfectly in those situations.
4. Wooden Utensils
This purchase was another mundane one but it was quite necessary. I hate cooking with metal utensils and before this purchase I only had one wooden spoon. My lonely wooden spoon actually belongs to my mom. I received the spoon by way of my brother. She’s had that spoon since we were little and its starting to show its age. It’s still perfectly fine but the wood is starting to crack a little so I figured that I should give it a break and invest in an actual set. I ended up purchases a 5-piece set from Ayesha Curry’s line and man are they nice. They are a beautiful color and have a good weight to them. I can’t wait to use them. Hopefully, they won’t split and will stand the test of time.
Now see, that wasn’t too bad, huh?!?!. I didn’t get a lot of things. The Kitchen on Wellington is small and has little storage space, so I try to be very selective with what I buy. I think these 4 additions were good choices and I am certain that I will get good use out of them.