Welcome to Week Three. I assume you have done your homework these last two weeks? Your refrigerator and freezer have no expired food and are completely clean, right? Are your cupboards and drawers organized? No more rancid oils, spoiled condiments, extra slotted spoons and one-trick never-used appliances? Then you're ready to move on.
Let's stock your kitchen so that you can actually use it.
Week 3 Assignment
- Catch up. At this point it is cruicial that you do the assigments from the first and second weeks of the Kitchen Cure since at this mid-way point we switch from cleaning out to adding back in. There is still time so if you're behind, do not panic. Just set aside a few minutes each day to make your way through the simple steps outlined in each weeks' assignment. Both weeks involve a deep clean, so if you're doing it all at once, have your bucket and rags handy so you can scour as you go. • Week 1: Clean Out Pantry, Refrigerator & Freezer • Week 2: Clean Out Tools & Gadgets
- Restock Ingredients.
- Consider Your Equipment.
- BONUS ROUND: Already restocked? Go for a special project.
It all begins with having a well-stocked pantry. If you're starting from scratch, this means spending some money. But in the long run, it will allow you to cook more with the small amount of fresh extras (like meat and produce) that you buy daily or weekly. Otherwise you will shop for each ingredient needed for a meal and run the risk of collecting duplicates (so what if fish sauce costs $2/bottle? You don't need three bottles of it!), or you are caught off-guard without having what you need.
The best thing about having a well-stocked pantry is that you arm yourself with the tools you need to cook by feel, instead of always following a recipe.
Here are lists we started a few Cures ago with recommended pantry staples geared toward savory cooking, baking/desserts, and vegetarians.
Don't forget the refrigerator when thinking about staples:
During Week 2 you worked very hard to lighten the load your kitchen carries by selling or giving away kitchen tools and equipment. This week I invite you to consider what you might need in order to cook. Maybe you like to grill and it's as simple as a $5 silicone brush, or maybe you've been saving up for a KitchenAid and feel like it's time to go for it. If you do add something, think hard and long before you make the purchase. Will this help you cook more? Do you have room for it?
We've talked often about what a kitchen needs equipment-wise. Here's a post covering the always hot-topic of what basic tools your kitchen needs. You might already have it all.
But what if you already restocked and reorganized? Don't twiddle your thumbs this week! Go the extra mile and do a bonus round: It's time for a special project.
This will be a project that you want to do to improve your kitchen aesthetically. Maybe there's a piece of art you've wanted to have framed. Do it! Many people like to somehow alter their cabinets by switching out the knobs, stripping paint, changing paint color, or removing doors altogether. Maybe you could use some plants and you have a sunny window just waiting for greenery. If you need suggestions, ask your fellow Cure-takers, or submit a photo of your place and ask me what I think.
Faith will show you some of her own special projects from this past year this coming week — a pantry renovation, a kitchen paint job.
What about you? Even if it's as small as hanging a new tea towel or a shelf, this is your week to do it!
Participate & Inspire!
Here are three ways you can participate in the online dialogue as you Cure your kitchen. Please do pitch in one or more ways — it is wonderful to be encouraged by other Cure-takers' progress and inspiration!
Share photos! - We want to see your progress!
• Upload photos on the Kitchen Cure Flickr page and please be sure to caption them. (Remember, by uploading them to Flickr you are granting us permission to use them in a post. Your kitchen just might be our next star!)
Discuss your progress - We set up a discussion board just for the Cure. If you're blogging the Kitchen Cure, this is a great place to post links and share them.
• Discuss your progress and share blog links here.
Finally, a note on participation: Do your best, and pace yourself. You will have a week to complete each assignment. Each assignment will be given on a Friday so you have the weekend to dive in deep, although they can also be done in short bursts throughout the week, so don't panic if you're heading out of town for the weekend or would just prefer to laze about. Many assignments can be on-going throughout the duration of the Cure, so if you don't finish one week's work by the following Friday, just keep going.