I’m not a chef. I keep it pretty simple in the kitchen. As the author of a cookbook, I know my way around a kitchen, but I pride myself (and based the book on this fact) that I am a normal mom. I don’t have expensive tools in my kitchen; I have normal mom things in my kitchen. Here are some of my favorite kitchen things…
- Microwave. I am the last holistic person I know who still uses a microwave. It would take a lot for me not to use one; I am certain microwaves are not healthy, but as a divorced mom who works full time and has had a significant car accident which affected my hand for the past three years, I love the microwave. Sorry, but I do.
- Wooden spoons. I love wooden spoons—they are almost always my preferred utensils. I have one big wooden spoon that I got in Olympia, Greece, that’s perfect for when I bake. It used to have “Olympia” carved into the handle, but it’s worn off.
- Shmattes (Yiddish for “rags”). I don’t use paper towels. It’s wasteful, and yes, it takes water to wash shmattes, but I use them a lot and I use them until they are good and worn out. So that’s good for the environment. Some of my shmattes are my sons’ old cloth diapers from years ago. (Sterilized, of course). A lot of my friends who used cloth diapers use them as rags, because they’re super absorbent. But any shmatte will do.
- A good chef’s knife. I used chintzy knives for years and one birthday, my friend, chef and contributor to my book Allison Cruddas, got me a proper chef’s knife. It’s not exorbitantly expensive, but it’s more pricey than the one I had bought at my local kitchen supply store. It made a huge difference and it’s much safer than a duller knife. It’s lasted me for years without even having to sharpen it. Worth the investment!
- Two-sided sink. If you are ever in the position to be choosing a new sink, I vote for the two-sided sink. I never had one my entire childhood and it seemed like such a fancy thing. And then when I got married, we had a two-sided sink and I lost my mind. I loved that you could separate things you were doing in the sink. You could rinse grapes on one side while washing dishes in the other. I fell in love with the idea of two sides to a sink and have never looked back. People who keep kosher sometimes use these kinds of sinks in order to separate dairy and meat dishes. But since I’m vegan, it’s all veggies, all the time, and it’s all good!