Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Skeletons in the Kitchen Cupboards

I'm at the stage in my kitchen renovation where I'm starting to clear out my kitchen cabinets in anticipation of demolition.   Anything deemed "nonessential" has been banished to bins in the dining room.  

I, like many avid cooks, have quite a panoply of pots, pans, utensils and gadgets.  

Clearing out my cabinets, however, has brought to light a lot of skeletons--those cooking items I bought on impulse (or not) but now never use. 

There were, I'm afraid to say, many skeletons of my kitchen cupboards.   The expensive copper pots from Williams-Sonoma that I had to have, but then stopped using because I couldn't be bothered with the upkeep.   I also unloaded at least 10 vegetable peelers because I'm always on the look-out for that ultimate peeler--ditto for cork-screws.  

I also have the 2 fancy bundt-cake pans that you use for Christmas and Easter.   I haven't made a bundt-cake in over five years, much less a holiday-themed bundt cake.

So when I read this New York Times piece this morning it hit home.    It was interesting to read how even famous chefs who appear on the food network aren't immune to kitchen gadgetmania.   

I have to say that I've always resisted large, expensive, one-use items.  I've never owned a rice-maker, bread-maker, nor any of the other "makers" William-Sonoma seems to come up with monthly (the pie-maker and soup maker are two of the more seemingly useless gadgets they also market).  

I have a relatively small kitchen, and with no place to store a bread-maker I simply didn't buy it nor any other of its "maker" cousins.   Lack of space, in some ways, is a god-send if you're disciplined enough to work within the restrictions.

My "panini maker" consists of putting my heavy cast iron skillet on top of the sandwich as it sits on my grill pan.   Half-way through cooking I flip the sandwich, replace the heavy cast iron skillet, cook a bit longer and viola the perfect panini without the bother of having to find someplace in my already over-stocked cabinets to store a dedicated panani maker. 

But I am a sucker for expensive pots and pans and for small kitchen gadgets.   Some of these items I couldn't live without.    My morning coffee wouldn't be the same without the battery operated milk frother I bought for $2.99 in Ikea--ditto for my ceramic one-cup drip coffee maker bought in a fancy coffee shop in Ireland.

But, emptying out my cabinets has brought to light quite a few items that I can indeed live without.    When the time comes to move things out of the bins into the new cabinets, I think I'll have to set many of these non-essentials aside and donate them to Good-Will.