February 9, 2013

My Kitchen Wish List

Do you know about New York City kitchens? Perhaps you're reading this in nearby Queens or lovely Westchester County where I was raised, but I'm proud to report folks from Germany, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, and Australia [to name a few] are reading my blog. That makes me pumped to keep going, but I bet my kitchen woes probably aren't unique to New York. I have a very small kitchen. It's not so much a kitchen as it is a wall of cabinets and appliances on one side of our living room. New Yorkers, it seems, prefer to entertain in large living rooms and must cater or order in. We don't. We're on a big savings kick right now, so home cooking is the way to go.

I imagine Berlin and Moscow have their fair share of small kitchens and yet people make it work. I'm not always happy about it, but I manage. My husband can probably judge my frustration with a recipe by the number of times I use phrases like When we move... and You know what I need? I really need a...

And that brings me to my wish list. Storage space in my cabinets is at premium, so this list is not lofty. It's practical. The list of what I'd like when I'm in the kitchen of my dreams is much, much longer.

Le Creuset 10 inch Cast Iron Skillet

This skillet is the next kitchen item I want most. Since my obessession with my French oven--just take a look at the image at the top of my blog--I've grown to love what cast iron does to food. I know this would work miracles on dinners like hanger steak and it can go from the stove top into the oven perfectly. Just looking at this skillet makes me crave bacon.

Wusthof Paring Knife

As wedding gifts, we got three excellent Wusthof knives: a large chef's knife, a small Santoku knife, and a carving knife. At a recent knife skills class, I learned that the Santoku blade is the most common knife used in Japan. These knives are excellent quality and since the class, I know how to best use them and how to take care of them--I'm honing before every use!

Still, there are some jobs that the ever verstile chef's knife can't manage well and that are too delicate for the Santoku. The short blade of a paring knife is ideal for trimming fats off proteins before cooking, deveining shrimp, and peeling. Before I lose a finger, I need to add a paring knife to my collection.

Calphalon Jelly Roll Pans

I'm cooking in larger quantities than ever to make sure we always have leftovers for lunch and to help stock the freezer. When I'm roasting vegetables, they're pretty crowded in the one 12 x 9 baker I have. These roll pans seem to be ideal for everything from roasting broccoli to baking cookies and they're far cheaper than more baking dishes.

New York City Dream Kitchen featured in House Beautiful

I have somewhat realistic aspirations. We're New Yorkers through and through, so a large kitchen with an island isn't in our future. Still, I think one day my culinary dreams will come true with a kitchen like this one. It is meticulously designed so every cabinet and draw has an explicit purpose and not an inch of storage is misused. I also appreciate the all white look; very crisp. How long will this crying cook need to wait?

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