Must Haves for My Kitchen
The truth is, every kitchen is going to look and feel different for a number of reasons. What is crucial for the functionality of the kitchen depends on the owner, their needs, how frequently the kitchen is used and what resources are readily available.
For me, the kitchen has always been more than the space I cook in. It’s been like a safe space and a growth hub all in one. I think a whole lot in my kitchen, whilst cooking or washing up. I even learn life lessons whilst making the simplest of dishes. It’s like there’s room for the dots to connect in my mind whilst I’m putting a meal together.
There have been amazing soul-searching conversations, belly-aching laughter and some moments where I’ve simply had to be held whilst sobbing.
Aside from the life lessons there have also been many dance parties in my kitchen. I have held concerts in there with my trusted wooden spoon microphone as though I was Beyonce’s lost twin sister.
However there are some things that I need to have in my kitchen but without them it’s just not the same space.
MUSIC & GREAT SPEAKERS
Listen, if there isn’t good music in my kitchen then we’re basically not cooking. Usually my selection is dependent on my mood but for the most part I’m listening to something upbeat whilst I’m in there. If you’re up for a party then check out my playlist here. For speakers it has to be something with great sound quality and you can find my favourite so far here.
If you can’t tell already, I’m stimulated by all things audio and this fuels my love for podcasts. I fell in love with them about two years ago after obsessively listening to episodes from Myleik Teele. They’re a great way to take in information on a wide range of topics (trust me there’s a podcast for everything) and it’s so easy to do whilst you’re cooking, meal prepping or cleaning up. I love them so much I created one of my own which you can listen to here.
THE CORRECT KNIVES
Originally I wanted to say ‘sharp knives’. But in hindsight I believe it’s more important to have the knives that are right for you. The grip, the weight, the style…these are all things that are important to me when selecting knives to work with. Also, understanding which knife works best for a particular ingredient is key, for example slicing your tomatoes with a serrated knife will leave you much less frustrated. I’d suggest going to a department store and seeing how a couple of knives feel to you and also checking out some reviews online.
For the yummiest (yes, it’s a word) marinades, a food processor comes in really handy. It makes things a whole lot easier and faster. I’ve had mine for quite a while actually and had no issues with it. Here’s a link to one that’s similar but also comes with a blender!
Ok this sounds like a weird one, but I promise you it’s life changing. I don’t recall the first time I began experimenting with honey in the kitchen but it’s probably linked to my sweet tooth! I love mixing sweet and savoury, kind of like Thai food or BBQ sauces or maple syrup and bacon. Honey comes in really handy for a number of things and along the way you’ll see that from the recipes I share!
SPICES & HERBS
It’s the worst thing when you find that a recipe you’d love to make requires a spice or herb you don’t have. I like to stay stocked up and often look for deals on these to make it more affordable. Some of my favourite spices include smoked paprika, mixed spice and chinese five spice. As for herbs, my favourite dried herbs include Parsley and Thyme (probably as a result of being Nigerian) and generally I absolutely love fresh herbs. They can really elevate a dish! Favourites include Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro/Coriander and Mint.
Having an organised space makes a huge difference across many rooms in the home. However in the kitchen this is crucial for me. To help the flow when I’m cooking, I need to be able to access my tools and ingredients easily. The set up that will work best for you is based on your kitchen space and the way you prefer to cook. For example, I organise all my dry herbs together and my spices together. I also keep the spices & herbs I use most frequently closer to the front of the cupboard. But I’d recommend setting aside an hour to organizing your space and seeing what would work best for you.
MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS
Did you know that when a recipe refers to ‘cups’ as a measurement, it doesn’t mean your favourite mug? Yes, shocker! To get the best results from recipes, it’s best to use proper measuring cups and spoons.These have changed the game for me when it comes to cooking and baking. They’re also super affordable from most local supermarkets.
GOOD BAKEWARE & COOKWARE
Stoneware baking dishes, cast iron pots, amazing woks and trusty sheet pans are among some of my favourite things to use when cooking. It’s best to aim for trustworthy brands like Le Creuset but if you don’t want to break the bank, you can always try TK Maxx and Sainsbury’s for some great options.
KUHN RIKON PEELER
I stumbled on this peeler whilst in Sur la Table in NJ and let me tell you it’s one of my best finds ever! This peeler is sturdy, sharp and will easily get through even the most stubborn butternut squash. Order it here and you won’t regret it.
There you have it! A list of the must haves for my kitchen. What are some of yours?
Let me know in the comments below!