Old Mother Hubbard

Not that my cupboards are bare, but Zoot posted something awfully fun yesterday that made me think a bit more about what’s in them (and read the comments, too!). I was going to comment, but I’d run on far too long.


She writes:

So, I’m curious how your kitchen is different from mine. Do you own a rice steamer? Do you have a fetish for best vacuum sealers? A breadmaker? How much room do your spices take up? Is your fridge constantly full? Do you use a separate freezer? (Now that is something I could totally use, by the way. To store all of my Stoffer’s frozen entreess.) Do your wine glasses get used? What about your coffee maker? We’ve gone through three in the last few years we use ours so much. What is the appliance you use the most (Crockpot from the ninja crockpot reviews), what is the appliance you use the least (Hand-held mixer). Do you have a food processor? What do you use it for because I’ve never owned one.

We’re big kitchen people. Not that we have a big kitchen, but we love cooking and spend a lot of time in ours. You’ve probably only seen my kitchen looking pristine if you’ve come over or seen pictures, but that’s because I’ve been frantically cleaning it before you showed up.

In reality, it’s usually a mess, because we’ve just made something. And probably from scratch.

It’s not a foodie superiority thing – we certainly wouldn’t do it if we didn’t enjoy it – we both just find it fun, breaking foods down into their most basic elements and figuring out how they really work. We don’t churn butter or anything, but we do make our own mayo. I can’t remember the last time we purchased a store-bought salad dressing. We probably haven’t bought a canned, boxed or frozen meal in over 2 years, and only buy containers of soupstock once in a blue-moon, when our stores of homemade have run out and we’ve been too busy to make more.

We do buy a lot of mustard – but I’ve been itching to take on that particular condiment as well and add it to our arsenal of homemade things.

I’m definitely enjoying this while it lasts – because I’m assuming that it will come to a rapid end once we no longer have just the two of our schedules to manage and the two of us to feed.

To answer Zoot’s questions:

No, we don’t have a rice steamer – I’ve tried, and can only successfully make it in a pot. No breadmaker either, though we do make a lot of it, either with the help of the KitchenAid or just by hand. We have a vast selection of spices: about half of one cupboard shelf, 18 magnetic pots on the wall, another rack of 12 jars in another cupboard and 6 pots of fresh herbs on the windowsill. Most of them get used at least once every 6 months.

Generally our fridge is about half-full of different condiments. When we’re home, it’s nearly bursting with fresh ingredients and leftovers. We do have a very small fridge though. And we would LOVE a separate freezer. We had a line on a free used one, but that fell through. It’s currently a big item on our wish list for storing stocks, fruit & berries, and meat. We’re itching to buy a side of beef or a whole hog!

Our wine glasses get used a whole lot (we prefer thinking we are living a French lifestyle to thinking we are alcoholics) – we have four we keep in the regular cupboard for everyday use and a box of 12 we have in our storage room for parties. The coffee maker also gets very regular workouts – used at least once every day, sometimes twice on weekends.

The appliance we use the most is probably the toaster, followed by the KitchenAid – though that’s not really saying much. Unless it’s a really big job, we just use hand tools: sharp knife, wooden spoon, wire whisk. And now that I think about it, there was a time we were using the blender 4 or 5 mornings a week to make fruit smoothies. Note to self: do more of that! The one we use least is a tie between the food processor and the waffle-iron. Both great and super-handy when you need them, but we don’t need them all that often. When I do use the food processor it’s usually for pastry dough, or a big batch of slaw, pesto or hummus.


I’ve also included a couple photos of our kitchen – visit the originals on flickr, which I’ve tagged for your kitchen-snooping pleasure.

And leave a comment or a link to your own post and share how you use your kitchen. What are your answers to Zoot’s questions? How many kinds of mustard do you have? How often do you cook? What’s on your list of “must-try” recipes?

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6 thoughts on “Old Mother Hubbard

  1. donna

    I have a kitchen because it came with the apartment…

    Nick likes to cook, but also works insane hours, and since “hanging out in the kitchen” isn’t particularly quality time to me, we tend to prefer to spend his few non-working hours doing things that we both enjoy instead. So, we eat out a lot. 🙂

    Pity, since we have a freaking *gorgeous* kitchen, but on the upside… since we never use it, it almost always looks magazine-ready.

  2. Courtney

    I am in awe that you find the motivation to cook so much especially considering how busy I imagine you are. I used to cook meals all the time but that’s fallen by the wayside of late. The waist line has also been expanding though so perhaps those two go together. heh.

    This post may just inspire me to start posting on my own blog again.

    PS. How do you make mayo?

  3. Riann

    For smoothies, nothing beats a hand blender (or thunderstick, as Brook calls it). So much less to clean, and way faster to get a smooth consistency. It is also WAY easier to blend a soup with than a food processor.

  4. Sue

    We do own a rice steamer, and we use it not just for rice but veggies also, since I discovered how easy it is to use. The steamer was a gift from Gillian, yay Gillian thank you! It’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances.

    Our toaster is in the late stages of its demise – it has two settings, untoasted or burned. We don’t toast things daily so it’s not on the action list to replace yet. I’ll worry about it later and maybe I’ll ask for one for Christmas.

    We have a KitchenAid and it mostly sits unused, but we love to have it on the counter to show off.

    Our most frequently used kitchen tool is our big chopping block from IKEA, which seldom has a chance to dry off from washing before it’s back in use. I might buy a second one sometime soon, because we use it so frequently and sometimes we’re both wanting to use it.

    During the past few months we’ve been less coordinated about our meals than usual, I think because we’re both running frantically to keep on top of our schedules. When we get time to make a meal however, it does tend to be something elaborate from scratch.

  5. Helen

    Must try the braised red cabbage recipe by Jamie Oliver – it’s a different take on a dinner meal. If you ever get the chance to look through some of his recipes; I find them to take a refreshingly non-north-american look at meals. The recipes are not necessarily complex and as a semi-poor student this is kind of nice for me. I got the cookbook as a present and everything from there has turned out.

  6. peechie Post author

    donna: a big part of the cooking thing happening is that we like doing it together. i can totally understand that you’d rather do anything else. i feel that way about laundry.

    Courtney: we’ve been a lot less busy lately, which helps a huge amount. during the week we try to keep things simple with meals we can put together in 20-30 minutes – we do the majority of the ‘heavy lifting’ on weekends. And mayo is SO easy! basically you whisk egg yolks and oil (and a couple other things) together until they emulsify. I’ll blog about the process soon, since we need to make a new batch.

    Riann: ooh, we do love the immersion blender too. I wouldn’t dream of pureeing a soup any other way.

    Sue: i also love your chopping block. and when we get busy, we’re pretty atrocious about feeding ourselves.

    helen: excellent timing – cabbage is great this time of year! we’re huge Jamie Oliver fans. I think we have at least two of his books, with plans to acquire more. Actually, we have a constantly expanding selection of cookbooks – most from UK chefs (nigella, jamie, ramsey).

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