The Cook’s Kitchen

We took out a three-quarter wall that blocked the living room from the kitchen. It immediately filled the space with light. I have always loved the look of a wide open living space, where the kitchen, dining room, and living room are all one. To see and talk to guests, to move freely to set the table, stir the sauce, or flip over a record; even my pantry is open!

Freshly white washed cupboards helped the 90’s brown wood recede into the country kitchen side of the room. Everything looks crisp and spring-like.

I love to intuitively cook. I am inspired by different cultures. I love feeding people and I enjoy turning really great ingredients into healthy, plant based dishes. That is why I live on a farm; I have amazing food right out the back door!

My work station has everything I need to prep. Close to a hundred herbs and spices are within reach. Towels and cloth napkins are in locker baskets. The appliances we use the most are quick to plug in. A long power strip sits on the back of the workbench. The small appliance I use the most is the combination air fryer/convection over/toaster oven. This inexpensive Farberware one from Walmart is a workhorse. The Vitamix and food processor are used often as well.

I have cooked on all different stoves, but a gas stove is a must. I use an antique typewriter cart next to the stove to hold ingredients or quickly chop vegetables or toppings. It moves out of the way as needed and can double as a buffet or bar cart if needed.

Place fresh herbs in a canning jar of water to make them last much longer.

Tips for a cook’s kitchen:

Invest in a great chef’s knife. For less than a hundred dollars, one can easily slice through cherry tomatoes, crunchy seitan, or quickly dice an onion.

Embrace an open setting. Oils and vinegars on a tray. Salts and peppers corralled together. Spices in trays nearby. Pulses displayed in canning jars. Small appliances close by. Keep ladles, wooden spoons, and other instruments close to the stove.

The best place to get wood cutting boards is at a second hand store. The ones at big box stores are poorly made and crack. The ones well made are exorbitantly priced. There are really wonderful cutting boards for less than ten dollars at thrift shops.

Utilize spices! Try a place like Savory Spice shop and find different blends you would like to try. Smoked salt is amazing with radishes. Herbes de Provence are wonderful on potatoes.

Donate appliances you do not use. Keep track over the year what small appliances and gadgets you use.

Have fun! Put on a good record, pour a glass of wine, and start chopping. Love and great food come out of a well stocked cook’s kitchen.

My dining room table extends to seat ten. It is a great piece from IKEA. Linus is waiting for supper.

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