Aaron and I eat at home everyday, cooking from scratch wherever possible. You might think this requires dozens of kitchen gadgets, but we pared down our kitchenware so that it all fits inside a regular suitcase.
So what is in our kitchen?
- 1 pot
- 1 pan
- 2 knives
- 2 forks
- 2 spoons
- 2 pairs of chopsticks
- 2 cups
- 2 bowls
We don’t use these appliances:
- Slow cooker
- Toaster oven
- Electric mixer
Fancy tools aren’t as necessary as people think. Nobuo Murakami, a famous Japanese chef, always cooked in an ordinary kitchen before he published a new recipe. He didn’t need first-class equipment to create his French delicacies.
If a great French chef doesn’t need a fancy kitchen, perhaps an ordinary cook doesn’t need fancy appliances, either. I believe that eating well doesn’t require a kitchen cluttered with specialized tools. Like our great-grandparents, who lacked these gadgets, we can use simpler methods to prepare delicious meals.
Kitchen minimalism inspires me to be creative about using simple tools while cooking. After I stew soup, I use the same pot to knead bread, stir-fry rice, and steam vegetables. When I’m finished baking my tuna casserole, I use the same pan for baking cookies. Our water bottle doubles as a rolling pin. Be creative with what you have, and you’ll avoid wasting space.
It’s important to choose tools that are versatile. Soup bowls are better than dinner plates because bowls can also hold liquids. Once I learn how to use a paring knife, I can use it to peel fruits and chop vegetables. A cast iron skillet can serve both as a wok and as a baking dish. In my minimalist kitchen, I aim for a higher usefulness-to-volume ratio. Cooking with less kitchenware requires planning, but having more versatile tools means less clutter.
I now have less to organize and fewer dishes to wash. We only have one bowl, one spoon, and one fork for each person. We wash dishes more often, but we no longer dread the chore. In the past, dishes tended to accumulate until dishwashing became a terrible headache. Now, it takes no more than 15 minutes to clean up when we cook a huge meal.
Entertaining guests is possible even with a minimalist kitchen. When you invite friends and family over, serve finger foods instead of traditional meals. Prepare healthy and simple snacks that can be eaten without plates and utensils. Vegetable sticks, fruits, and bite-sized sandwiches are good choices. Sometimes, friends offer to bring their own plates and spoons. Less equipment hasn’t hindered quality time with guests.
Most of the clutter in our kitchens are rarely used. They take up counter space and they complicate your life. A minimalist kitchen will simplify your life and give you peace of mind.
What’s in your kitchen? Are there things you rarely use that just take up space?