One of the books I got for Christmas was Nigella Kitchen. I've loved Nigella Lawson since I first heard her in the mornings on NPR on my way to work. Although she isn't a vegetarian, she has a few recipes that are easily vegetarian--like her Lemon Couscous with Arugula. We'll be making that with our first arugula harvest come spring. But more importantly, she's full of really great advice. She has a list of her favorite kitchen utensils. And she lists her least favorite kitchen purchases.
My favorite piece of advice is that her souvenir from her travels is a kitchen towel. I really fell in love with this idea. They are light and pack well, and to Nigella, they are a sign that her kitchen isn't overly decorated. But to me, the towel would be an easy reminder of fun and good food wherever I've been. Not to mention, my towels are pretty worn out after 3-4 years of use, and new, unstained ones would be a sign that I'm trying to keep my kitchen looking clean and exciting.
This leads me to an absolutely shocking similarity between the two of us. It seems that Nigella's kitchen isn't spotless. Her counter is crowded with large Dutch ovens that can't find a home in the cabinets. And she admits it might not always pass inspection (like at restaurants). These days, I feel the same way. There's almost always formula spilled on the counter. There's crumbs from Nora's snack crunching under my feet. I keep my flours and sugar in stainless steel containers on top of the counter, which I never did in the past due to limited counter space. Now the counter is a catch-all. Mail goes there. Cameras, bottles, sippy cups. Cereal just stays out without needing to go back to it's home for 24 hours. The fruits and garlic are on display. There's no point in ever putting away our little juicer and mini food processor.
Sigh. While Nigella is content with the way her kitchen is organized, I can't say I am. You aren't sensing a New Year's Resolution on this one because I'm not so sure what conclusion I've come to. Maybe it's just the cold giving me some January blues.
Oh well, at least I know where to go to cheer up. My kitchen.