Y'all! We have crossed the halfway line of The Kitchn Cure! Doesn't it feel great? The Cure has been all about streamlining for me. I don't need more, I need less, so I can find and use what I have. As I went through my appliances, gadgets and tools, I found at least one really cool thing I had forgotten, and I'll be using it regularly. I couldn't resist the urge to reward myself with a few new things, but I tried to stick to the necessities.
Day 6: Monday, October 7 Assignment: Consider appliances, gadgets and tools
Today is the day when you are allowed to bring in a few things that aren't perishable, so choose wisely. If you have a budget set aside, today is a shopping day. If not, it's a dreaming day. Either way, you'll have some fun. Before clicking through, take a long deep breath and promise yourself that you won't just fill up the new empty space you created during the last few days. Really consider whether or not you need anything new and know that the best cooking comes from having a positive attitude and a few skills, not from having the latest gadget.
I knew what I wanted to do for this task right from the start. Since moving, my mortar and pestle has sat, unused and sad-looking, on my pantry shelf. Well, ok. If I'm being totally honest, it sat, unused and sad-looking, in my old apartment, too. I know that freshly ground spices are on a totally different planet than their pre-ground counterparts. For awhile I lived near a food co-op and got little bags of freshly ground spices when I needed them, but now I need to bring all that work back in-house. I need to buy a few whole spices. I need some spice advice.
I needed more destocking than restocking. Judging from the mess in my fridge, freezer and pantry, I had everything I needed. It was time to use it! But all that shiny, empty space was tempting, so I did add a few things.
Who's ready to clean?! If you've been following The Kitchn Cure, you know that yesterday was Deep Clean day. Raise your hand if you put that off till this weekend. (It's okay, don't worry!) If you did, then you're in luck, because we just put together the ultimate playlist for cleaning the kitchen.
Day 5: Friday, October 4 Assignment: Restock Ingredients
Let's reflect: your refrigerator and freezer have no moldy food and both are completely clean, right? Are your cupboards and drawers organized and grime-free? No more rancid oils, spoiled condiments, extra wooden spoons, useless uni-tasker gadgets and never-used appliances? Good. Then you're ready to move on.
This assignment involves ingredients. Some people have a budget and are doing this Cure so that they cook more, so this assignment includes a shopping trip. These are folks who might not even have a canister of flour or a bottle of olive oil. Others were faced with a cupboard full of expired spices and baking ingredients and want to replenish. Or, maybe you don't want to spend any money—that's ok. There are other ways to work with your ingredients.
You know things are serious when it's 10:30 at night and your oven is caked in baking soda, your oven racks are soaking in the bathtub, your tea kettle is bubbling with boiling water to pour over your stovetop grates, and your husband is on his hands and knees washing the floor with a sponge because you realized too late you didn't have a mop in the house. (I swear I told him to stop!)
I have a confession: This task was not too scary, because we have a house cleaner once a week who takes care of a lot of deep cleaning type tasks, so our space doesn't get too bad. The floors are clean, the baseboards dusted and the counters and backsplash polished on the regular. There are, however, a few scary spots, which I tackled with glee. (Hey, this is starting to get fun!)
Day 4: Thursday, October 3 Assignment: Deep clean every part of your kitchen
Here is one of my favorite tasks. I know, some people think I'm crazy, but cleaning a kitchen is one of the most rewarding chores. There are some places in a kitchen that can go years without attention, then suddenly you notice the grime and the grease and cleaning it up feels so liberating, you could just sing. Okay, maybe not all of you, but that's how it goes in my house. Whether you like it or not, today is the day, so crank up the music, change into your sloppiest sweats and tee-shirt, don the rubber gloves, and get going.