Time to Get Organized

The starting point for any culinary journey is the kitchen. Many Home Chefs think of the kitchen as their final destination, with stops at places like Pottery Barn, Target, Williams-Sonoma, or Home Goods along the way. But the truth is that the dining table is our final destination – or the cocktail table, or picnic table – or wherever we intend to serve the delicious recipes we prepare in our kitchens. The question then becomes, “How do we get from here to there?”

The answer is easy: it's found in the utensils and ingredients we use, and, in the way we have organized them for use in our own kitchens.

At this point, it would be worthwhile for all of us to begin with a brief tour of our own kitchens. We should start with the cabinets, drawers and closets, and ask ourselves two simple questions: 1) Do I really use this item; and 2) Is it in a convenient place? All too often we fill our kitchens with items that look beautiful – or are the latest, greatest tool on the market – but are of little use to us in the journey we have undertaken. Now would be a good time to assign those items we use only rarely (or don’t use at all) to a place that is out of the way, or else donate them to someone who could really use them. Now settle on those items that are essential to you in someway or other, and store them in a convenient, easy-to-access location. Do the same with staples, like the oils, flour, sugar, spices, and even canned goods that you use often. And don’t stop there! Move from the cabinets and drawers to the refrigerator and freezer. Purge yourself of everything you don’t need and make room for the essentials.

Once you have gone through this exercise (and yes, it can be fun) create a road map for yourself. In the process you will have moved things to places they have never been before. You may find yourself taking extra steps around your kitchen, asking yourself, “Now where did I put that thing?!?” You don’t want to have to waste a lot of time retracing your steps just when you have started moving forward in your culinary journey! And to prevent from creating extra work for yourself in the future, schedule maintenance ‘check ups’ of your kitchen periodically throughout the year.

From time-to-time, we will be recommending items that we have discovered along the way that have have allowed us to create more flavorful dishes and work with greater efficiency in the process. But for now, time to get started. This is the first step in a great adventure! Make it memorable!

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