The Kitchn Cure Day 6: Monday, August 18
Assignment: Evaluate your pots, pans, and small appliances. Discard what you don't need. (See all the assignments so far here)
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Welcome to Week 2 of The Kitchn Cure! We're moving on from the fridge and freezer this week to focus on your other appliances, both big and small. But first, we need to talk about pots, pans, and small electrics — namely, what do you have, what do you need, and how well is it organized? It's time to honestly look at how you cook and see how well that matches with the stuff you keep around.
Today's Assignment (estimated time: 45 minutes)
- Take out all your cookware and small appliances: Open the cupboards and drawers and remove all your pans and baking dishes. Pull those pots off the pot rack. Take the food dehydrator gathering dust down off the top shelf. Place all your cookware and small electrics on the counter or table so you can really see what you have.
- Determine what you use and don't use: Divide everything you've just set out into three categories: items you use regularly, items you use occasionally, and items you never use. Need help deciding what's essential and what can go? Check out Emily's posts on clearing out her kitchen appliances and how she felt about it a few months later.
- Give items you use regularly priority storage: Once you've determined the items that you cook with on a regular basis, replace them where you can easily access them (if you're not doing this already). For example, don't store the cast iron skillet you use for almost every meal at the bottom of a stack of pots. If you make smoothies every day, don't keep your blender on a hard-to-reach shelf. If it's in high rotation in your kitchen, it should get priority storage.
- Move items you use occasionally out of the way: Move items you don't use a lot but want to keep — an ice cream maker, juicer, or roasting pan, perhaps — to harder-to-access storage places like the backs of cupboards or a top shelf. Box up seasonal items (summer BBQ supplies, for example, or Thanksgiving essentials) and store them above your refrigerator, at the back of a deep cabinet, or even somewhere outside your kitchen, like a basement or hall closet.
- Donate, give away, or sell any items you never use: I know — your grandma gave you that pasta maker for Christmas because you told her you like Italian food, but you've never once made pasta from scratch, despite having had the thing for three years. And, yes, you were super jazzed about dehydrating food two summers ago, but it's since lost its appeal (while not losing any of its shelf space). Don't judge yourself and don't feel bad. It's okay to give away, donate, or sell those things that just don't fit with your cooking style! I'm sure there's someone out there who would love that pasta maker.
- Is anything broken? Fix it or toss it. Finally, if you're not using a small appliance, baking dish, or pan because it's chipped, broken, missing a piece, or otherwise unusable, fix it or toss it.
- Revel in your newly edited kitchen! You just fine-tuned your cooking style by honing in on what you really need, want, and use. Congratulations! Now get excited because we're cleaning the oven tomorrow.
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(Image credits: Lucy Hewett; Faith Durand; Cambria Bold; The Kitchn)