In order to remove stress from your kitchen, you must have the proper tools. Like a doctor extracting an irritating metal shard from a wounded leg, you must have the right types of tools and understand how to use them to take away the pain and suffering that stress can cause. While the tools to de-stress your kitchen may be a little unorthodox in a few areas, they are still absolutely necessary to organize, prepare and execute great meals.
Yes, your little yellow semi-sticky friends should be kept on hand at all time in the kitchen. These little notes make it easy to write down lists of groceries or used-up materials, cooking times, recipes and even reminders that the pumpkin pie in the oven should not begin to smell and look like a rubber tire on hot pavement.
The ding lets you know it is done so you don’t have to worry about counting it out on your fingers and toes, because let’s be honest, how many foods do you know that only cook in the oven for twenty minutes? It is actually good practice to have a clock and a couple of timers that, yes, you can post-it-note what they are timing.
An essential part of a stress free kitchen. A dull knife makes chopping almost three times as long, plus you cannot do intricate work with a dull knife. We all know you love to carve swans into the rinds of cantaloupes, but with a dull knife, it seems to look more like a pigeon. Keeping your tomatoes in pristine shape and you bread in actual slices will definitely help keep the stress down because you won’t have to repeat anything.
Plan / Menu
Having a plan or a menu handy for what you are going to prepare will make life a lot easier. With your plan, you can determine when things need to go on to the stove or come out of the oven. When you are just winging it, there is a higher chance you will forget an essential part of your meal and the rest will have to sit and get cold while you correct your mistake. Make a plan and save yourself some stress.
Yes, I said it. A radio is probably the most important tool you will ever have in your stress-free kitchen. By radio, I mean CD player, iPod, Walkman, whatever you have that makes the noises you like to jam out to. Music has been shown to reduce stress and when combined with another task, like test taking or cooking, for that matter, you become more focused on the task you are doing.
With your new-found focusing abilities, your plan, a precise blade, something to ding at you and a wall covered with yellow sticky paper, you are now ready to have a stress free cooking experience. While these aren’t your typical tools, give them a try and see how well they work for you; feel free to adapt them and alter them to fit your needs and ability. Most importantly, get in the kitchen and start cooking for your friends and family because great relationships and fantastic conversation are built at the dinner table.