Kitchen Happiness

Many of us find generally find time spent in the kitchen to be relaxing and enjoyable, but certain things make it ever more pleasant for me. The older I get, the more I revel in the little things in life (and Radio 4). These things please me endlessly…

A full fridge: that feeling of quiet satisfaction and challenge when you’ve just done a big shop and the fridge is crammed with deliciousness that calls out for you to eat your way through as soon as possible. All that opportunity and an excuse to open the fridge door and stare longingly.

An organised freezer:
Not just a leftover box of lollies and some frozen peas for me. I get geekish levels of enjoyment from a neat organised freezer with tupperware containers of parmesan rinds and breadcrumbs, bags of meat bones and seafood shells to make stock and ice cube trays filled with the fruits of that labour. I bulk buy meat and wrap things individually for ease of defrosting. I’ve even started labelling things after one game of freezer roulette too many. Especially since that random bag of ‘stuff’ always seemed to be chicken livers!

Storage:
everything seems more tempting when stored properly. I am a total sucker for a La Parfait jar. Even the driest most wholesome ingredient looks more appetising encased in gleaming glass and accessorised with a bold splash of orange rubber. Aside from aesthetics, jars of all descriptions make storage easier with fewer packets falling over and leaving trails of their contents in the cupboard. Jars and bottles also help mouseproof your larder making it a good investment. And if it’s good enough for Rose Prince and Kavey

Kitchen equipment: I don’t mean fancy gadgets like an electric pasta measurer or the other weird items from Lakeland that you know you’ll never use, but things you can actually justify even the once. This is how I came to own ice tongs and a pineapple shaped bucket. But then again I have other useful things like a lemon zester and steak knives. I’m a total girl when it comes to individual sized things like tart tins and my new Le Cresuet ramekins. And I think we all know how much I adore my ice cream machine…

So what tickles your fancy in the kitchen? Does the food matter if the company is good? Could you spend all day in there baking or cheffing it up? Do you just like pottering and reading cookbooks? Are you the cleaning and tidying type? Or are kitchens just somewhere to keep the kettle?

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5 replies
  1. Miss Cay
    Miss Cay says:

    Sunday cooking, for me, will always be my highlight of the week. There’s something so wonderful about listening to the afternoon play on Radio 4, the sunlight slowly receeding through the window, and being up to my elbows in bread dough. It’s absolute bliss (and I will definitely be doing that today!)

    I’ve always seen my kitchen as being a place of sanctuary and calm. Whenever it feels as though everything is just getting too much to handle, I retreat to my kitchen and spend hours creating something which I know will be loved and appreciated. No matter how depressed, or sad, or annoyed I feel, it all disappears as soon as I walk in there and start to create something.

    I feel the same way about reading food blogs. I spent an entire day yesterday losing myself in Serious Eats and it was absolute bliss.

  2. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Oh god, is there anything better than cooking to a radio play (I’ve been preserving and baking to the recent Saturday Raymond Chandlers on Radio 4)?

    I miss having no one to feed with my creations when I’ve spent all afternoon on them. I am such an Irish mammy deep down that few things please me more than feeding people to show how much I love them. I’m baking for plumpieinthesun today and it’s the highlight of an already brilliant weekend…

  3. thelittleloaf
    thelittleloaf says:

    I love this list…it’s all so true! Most of these things make me very happy too 🙂 I love (love love) my ice cream maker, and as soon as I own a proper big house I want a set of those gorgeous copper saucepans so I can feel like a proper chef. My kitchen is pretty tiny at the moment, but it opens onto our living room so is the ideal place to cook – my boyfriend DJing at the kitchen table, sun shining through the windows, friends drinking wine and delicious smells wafting from the oven…bliss 🙂

  4. Elly
    Elly says:

    The way my kitchen is organised is somewhat idiosyncratic. The thing I like most about it is that it isn’t fitted. With the exception of a worktop/cupboard combo which houses the sink, I have actual furniture in my kitchen and that’s how I like it.

    So the main storage/prep unit in my kitchen in a plain chest of drawers with a formica top (very mid-century) and the top left-hand drawer is my primary source of physical (and occasionally emotional) security, The Carb Drawer. Here I keep rice, pasta, noodles, semolina, sugar, dried fruit, chocolate and cake decorations.

    Other things that make me happy:

    My spice shelf, organised (again, only I can tell) by type of dish.

    New cookbooks, and of course frequently, new old cookbooks.

    When I don’t have to do washing up before embarking on a big cooking project. (This almost never happens. Lord, I hate washing up. Should I ever start a family, I will choose a fitted kitchen, because you can’t really have a free-standing dishwasher!)

    When I don’t have to go out and shop to try a new recipe and when you have just enough of something left to make one correctly (most applicable to baking, obviously.)

    My miniature cleaver and my silicon spoontula.

  5. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Elly, I want to sneak into your kitchen next time I’m there and gaze in wonder as your spices and cake decorations! Such heaven.

    I no don’t find having to start a project with some washing up as it means I then have the sink ready to the rest as I go along and I now often end with things cooking and baking beautifully and a clean kitchen, making me feel very multi-talented.

    I also can’t think of anything more exciting than a miniature cleaver!

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