Organize your kitchen!
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Having an organized kitchen, according to how you cook and what tools you use, is key to your success. Can you just imagine Julia Child in the middle of preparing her Pate de canard en croute (boned stuffed duck baked in a pastry crust) and not having her boning knife, trussing needle, white string and a cutting board right at her finger tips?
No! Her kitchen was extremely well organized. It was designed for cooking, not to impress with special counter tops or imported wallpaper. In fact her walls were covered with peg board where she hung many of her cooking tools. Her husband Paul even outlined what went where so they were insured to be placed back in the proper spot.
Now I’m not saying rip off your wallpaper and put up peg board, but get yourself organized. Make this your weekend project or wait until kids are back at school and dive in. Whenever you decide to complete this, you will be very pleased. I would even go so far as to say it will make you a better cook.
Think about what you are cooking and preparing and where you are going to do it. What do you need to be able to grab in the middle of cooking if you forgot to get it out? Maybe another spatula or whisk. Keep those in a crock next to your stove.
How about pots and pans? If you have the room I highly recommend a pot rack hanging over the stove. I used to have one in a previous house and I really miss it. It was perfect. Especially for those times when I would under estimate the size I needed and would need to quickly grab a larger pot.
As you survey your kitchen and come up with a plan keep in mind just a few things:
create work areas- example food prep usually takes the most time and ideally be near the sink and refrigerator
keep it close- within reach or a few steps of where you will be using it
have a home- organize and then make sure things get back to where they belong
serving dishes don’t belong on the counter top
If you run out of counter top look up, to the walls and don’t forget your doors
Invest in really good equipment
If you get a chance to read really good cookbooks, the chef’s will often share with you what they mean by good equipment. At the front of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child shares her thoughts. If you’re wondering what a good list would be, check out what she has to say. It’s spot on.
Now the biggest challenge I have is getting those, who graciously offer to help me clean up the kitchen and unload the dishwasher, to put things back in their proper place. It is my job to teach them and not get mad when they forget. If they are unsure they know to leave it on the stove or counter top and I will put it away.
Another challenge is life is always changing for us. So the kitchen organization for me needs adjusting. I may stop cooking with certain tools or pick up something I always wanted, and have to rearrange. As long as you stick to the basic rules and reorganize, you’ll be fine.
So keep cooking and get that kitchen whipped into shape.
If you have great organizing ideas please share them. If you have photos send them to me and I’ll add them here.