Kitchen Quick Thoughts: Handy Things in Your Kitchen

Here's a few things to consider for your kitchen outside of the 'mandatory' things. These are quick thoughts--not meant to be comprehensive, or even fully thought out.

  1. Silicone Mitts  --  I finally broke down and bought some.  They don't get wet; don't compress and reduce the insulation when you are carrying heavy pieces and have to hold them longer because your instructions on "move that" aren't carried out with the alacrity you expected, and you are left holding the pan.  Your hands are worth it.
  2. Flour sack cloths:  You can get these by the dozen at Sam's.  Keep a dedicated couple for straining food stuffs that require fine straining.  It's a fine stand in for cheescloth; and coupled with a conical sieve you can do wonders.  (I made some homemade marscapone cream cheese for less effort and cost than finding/buying it at the store..  They make great cleaning rags too, but don't mix them up.  I put some border stitching on my cleaning one so nary the two should meet (and they shouldn't).  
  3. Glass cutting board:  Not to cut on, but set it over your unused stove burners or on the counter beside the stove to provide for additional space.
  4. Painter's Tape and Sharpies:  great for labeling containers for your advance ingredient prep.  Sharpies on their own allow you to mark plastic bags.  You think that you'll remember...but after a certain age, you just will NOT remember what is in that Ziploc bag.
  5. Plastic Page sleeves and binder clips:  The sleeves  are great for slipping in your recipes--to keep them spill free.  A binder clip allows you to hang it easily (utensil stand etc) putting your recipes in easy reading reach without taking up valuable horizontal space.
  6. Cooking string:  If you cook alot and don't use string, this will up your game for keeping a roasting hen from relaxing in the oven to making stuffed roasts.  There are dispensers, or simply put it in an old creamer bowl so that it does not wrangle with other stuff in your junk drawer.
  7. Wooden utensils: They are stiff and work hard. Just don't put them in the dishwasher.  Here are some lovely examples at
  8. Mineral Oil (food grade) and Paraffin Wax (food grade):   Show your cutting boards some love--and all of the other wooden items in your kitchen.  Melt 1 part wax to 5 parts mineral oil.  (I did mine in the microwave).  Pour it in a Mason jar.  Use a dedicate terry cloth to oil your boards and put in a ziploc back afterwards. A great gift idea. (Also, your hands will love it too!).
  9. A cup hook by your sink to hang a kitchen towel:  This will keep a towel handy, and decrease your use of paper products. 
  10. A mat in front of your sink area:  this will soak up the spills and splashes from your sink (particularly when working with oversized pans.).


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