in my kitchen | my must haves


i love all things culinary. i love absolutely everything about it. i love cooking for my family. i love planning out a big meal for guests. i thoroughly look forward to my weekend market trip to stock up for the week. i love going to a farmer's market and buying local artisan's products. i love introducing marlo to new foods and seeing her expression as she takes in foreign flavors.

i particularly love the eating part.

i've enjoyed cooking and eating for as long as i can remember. when i was a kid, i would stand on a wooden step stool or chair in my grandmother's tennessee kitchen and studiously observe her every move, mix, and measure. as i got older and had bigger, more capable hands, she'd let me grate the cheese for the macaroni or casserole, or clean the fresh green beans that were going to be simmered with thick-cut smoked bacon. the memories that i have of standing in her kitchen and being her little sous chef are some of my favorite and most vivid childhood memories. 

while in college- and instead of studying- i began watching the food network religiously. ina garten, tyler florence, and nigella lawson became my culinary professors and i was a quick learner. (in hindsight, i wish i'd applied half as much effort to school my freshman year as i did to watching their television shows and reading their cookbooks. i barely passed.) all throughout college, i also worked in restaurants waiting tables or tending bar, and it was there in that environment surrounded by food that i soaked up so much information about different types of ingredients, seasonal cooking, and different tools and tricks of the trade.

i've also become a culinary snob. i'm not a snob in the sense that i'm above having a five guys burger or that i look down at anyone who doesn't cook a three course dinner every night (um, i don't. ever.) by calling myself a snob, i mean that when i'm in my own kitchen, i prefer to use particular tools and ingredients. these particular items are my within my cooking comfort zone and i rarely veer far from their course. they're tried and true, predictable and dependable. so, in the off-chance that you'd like to know what i rely on when cooking for me and my family, i thought i'd share.

a very sharp 8" chef's knife | 12" cast iron skillet | a dutch oven | maldon sea salt (it'll change your life, i swear.) | extra virgin olive oil (i prefer californian) | the best smelling dish soap | luxurious hand soap | | mixing bowlshand towels | a large wooden cutting boardwine (i'm a better cook when i drink.)



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