My Kitchen Essentials

January 22, 2013

I spent more than a month away from my kitchen over the holidays. My kitchen here in Dublin is tiny and I really didn’t think I would miss it that much. In fact, when I arrived in Maine, I declared to my family that I would be doing no dishes on my visit. Kind of a snotty declaration, in retrospect. (Sorry, Mom!) I did end up cooking a few meals, so hopefully I made up for it!

Needless to say, we don’t have a dishwasher in Dublin, and if I hold out my arms, I can touch both ends of the kitchen from the oven to the fridge. In the space between the oven and fridge holds both the stove top and all our counter space. I can’t complain too much about cabinet space and drawers, we have enough of those. But I can and do complain about how little counter space we have and how unpleasant it is to stare at a cabinet while doing all those dishes by hand. What I wouldn’t give for a window to watch some birds while I scrub away!

All that to explain that I was surprised when I was in America for a month, I actually started to miss my own teeny tiny kitchen. More specifically, I missed some of my tools – I didn’t realize how often these get used! Here’s why:

Juicer // Handed down from my grandmother, we’re not sure what we did before we inherited it. Great for Michael to mix cocktails, and to juice limes for guacamole (important in #2 and #3).

Microplane Graters // These were a wedding gift and they’re well used in our kitchen. The large one is perfect for grating fluffy piles of parmesan cheese, and the small one is perfect for grating garlic (for aforementioned guacamole) and ginger and lemon zest.

MasherΒ // I honestly never thought I would use this guy. Michael insisted we register for it when we got married and I figured I’d pick my battles. Lo and behold, it makes perfect mashed potatoes and, you guessed it, perfect guacamole.

I’m also pretty thankful for our composting system and our electric kettle, but those aren’t quite as photogenic as these three.

What are your top kitchen essentials? Any tools that make you grateful for your two feet of counter space? I hope one of you can’t live without your stand mixer because one day, with more counter space, that’s going to make my list!



  • Reply kathy daniels January 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    You and Rachel Khoo…( What she does in that little kitchen is pretty cool.

    • Reply emily January 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Well I’m not sure my skills are even close to hers, but I think our kitchen space is pretty similar!

  • Reply J January 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I agree with these items but would add a small sharp knife!!

  • Reply lois January 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    My lovely chef knife has to be at the top of the list. I could probably live with one wooden spoon and one rubber spatula but love having a whole assortment of them–my little spatulas are especially great for getting out the last of anything from small jars; have had them for years, in and out of the dishwasher without melting and I got them at the Dollar Store! [oops, did I say “dishwasher?” Didn’t mean to let that slip. lol]

    • Reply emily January 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Ha! Thanks for rubbing it in! I’m sure you’ll notice I’ve never offered to do dishes at your house either! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Elizabeth January 23, 2013 at 6:26 am

    A stand mixer will definitely be on my list too…one day! A red Kitchen Aid one. My husband and I just got married a month and a half ago, so we’re still deciding what our favorite utensils are; but if I had to pick something right now, I might say our cutting mats, similar to these: . They are so easy to clean and are quite large. I actually use them more than my normal cutting board.

    • Reply emily January 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Oh, I like the look of those cutting boards! We have some thin Ikea ones that are similarly flexible and we use them all the time. They’re much easier to clean than the wooden ones!

  • Reply Katie January 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I never thought a tomato knife would be essential for me, but it’s one of my favorite items. It slices so nicely! And I do love my stand mixer – it’s totally worth the counter space it occupies.

    • Reply emily January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      I didn’t even know a tomato knife was a thing! But now, of course, I am pretty sure I need one!

  • Reply Bill January 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I have the same Microplane and masher! Definitely couldn’t live without a good chef’s knife and wouldn’t want to live without my Banbury cutting board or a cast iron skillet.

    • Reply emily January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Well I am thrilled we have some of the same tools! There’s hope my cooking skills might catch up πŸ™‚

  • Reply Caitriona January 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve a small kitchen too. Promise! Mind you I’ve space behind me so that I don’t bump into things but I basically just have a galley with a few presses. My must-have items are some heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepans which also go in the oven, my very sharp paring knife and the kettle which is always on!

    • Reply emily January 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Ooh, stainless steel saucepans that can go in the oven sound heavenly. Along with Bill’s cast iron skillet, my kitchen would be way more fun!

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