As I jump into sharing my Homemade experiment on here, I imagine it might be helpful to see what I’m working with. Because, you know, context. I can’t pretend to have the most efficient kitchen or the most snazzy appliances, but I get by just fine. I try to tamp the clutter down and only keep what I really need and use. Also, before we diverightin, I’m sorry. I’ll try to get the blog formatting thing down at some point. Until then, it’ll just look like a second grade book report.
- Blender: We use this for smoothies nearly daily, and for almond milk weekly. It does a great job for those, but I’ve had trouble using it for anything more heavy duty. The same base is used for both the blender and the food processor, which saves on cabinet space.
Wishlist Blender: This beauty will live in my kitchen someday. Yes it’ll require a separate food processor, but for the awesome job the blender does at being a blender, that’s fine by me.
- Toaster Oven: We got this as a wedding gift from Kyle’s parents and we use it every single day. Kyle heats his breakfast sandwiches in it, I toast Nolan’s waffles in it and my toast in it, and our family is such a size at this point that I can frequently use it for roasting our vegetables for dinner. We use it for heating leftover pizza and other bread-y goodness, and it’s a lifesaver in the summer when I can bake up some chicken or fish in there instead of turning on the range.
- Kettle: Another thing we use several times a day. Mostly because I’m a tea addict (no shame). This kettle is great because you can select what temperature you want the water to heat to. Making tea or coffee? There’s a temperature for that. Yeast bread, and need it at 120? There’s a temperature for that. How about a bottle for your ten-month-old? Yes. There’s a temperature for that, too. Makes life super simple.
- Cookware: I do all my cooking in an eclectic collection of cast iron skillets and a set of stainless pots my parents got us when we got married. Cast iron is a great thing to buy used because they’re so much better seasoned than new ones, don’t require a lot of maintenance, and they just don’t make them like they used to. Our stainless pots are fantastic and I’d never get rid of them. Read here and here about why teflon will probably kill you.
- Canning funnel: Because I’m not a crazy person, I definitely don’t can anything on a daily basis. But I do use my canning funnel for everything from chicken broth to almond milk to pancake mix, and a few things in between. The wide bowl is a mess-saver! Srsly.
KitchenAid: This is certainly not the color of KitchenAid I have, but I love it! KitchenAids are indispensable. I could not do without mine. It makes everything easy, from mixing up bread or pizza dough to whipping meringue. If mine ever burns out (which is unlikely…my grandmother has used her machine for twice as long as I’ve been alive…) I’ll get this pistachio green 🙂
- Mason jars: We use them for everything. Storing chicken broth and almond milk, dry goods in the pantry, snacks in the diaper bag, salt scrub in the shower, laundry detergent by the washer, flowers everywhere, you get the idea. I read somewhere recently, a design site or something, that mason jars are “on the way out.” *all of the annoyed emojis* (Don’t worry, I have a diatribe waiting.)
(Here you go.) Mason jars were about as “in” as Red Sox hats were in 2005. Everybody jumped on board with something that MILLIONS OF US already know to be amazing and worthwhile. We millions know this from having used them for OUR ENTIRE LIVES. Friends, I’ve long spoken out against bandwagon fans of anyone (particularly my beloved Sox), but just like being a Sox fan isn’t just a hobby, MASON JARS ARE A LIFESTYLE. If you’re not on board for life, don’t pretend to be while it’s popular.
- Griddle/waffle iron: This was a very sweet gift from our wedding that I had no idea what to do with. I used it to make waffles a few times when Kyle and I were first married, but other than that it’s been pretty lifeless and I’ve considered getting rid of it several times. However, because the plates are removable and dishwasher safe which makes clean-up super fast, last year I started using it to make our Saturday morning pancakes. Now it gets a weekly workout and I’m interested into trying it for other stuff too!
- Crockpot: I use this a couple times a week for dinners and usually once a week to make broth. Broth cooks for a long time whether you make it on the stove or in a crock pot, and I like that when I make it in the crock pot I can just set it and leave it without worrying about either adding water to it as it evaporates, or burning down our house. I consider that a perk. I love that ours has the lid that seals really well and snaps on, so I can make something and pack it over to a friend’s house without spilling a drop.Wishlist crockpot: Programmable, with a 7 quart stove-to-slow cooker pot, and a sealing lid like my current one has. I don’t know if it exists, but if it does, I wouldn’t complain about owning it someday. (Do we need 7 quarts of…anything…right now? No. But I’M A LONG TERM THINKER, OKAY?)
- Thermometer: My sweet husband hooked me up with this thing after the hand-me-down from my mom stopped working. Not too pricy, has a great cord that I’m pretty sure is indestructible, and reads pretty darn accurately. Also comes with a handy clip thingy that you can snap onto the side of a pot or bowl.
- Yogurt maker: This was a big deal when it popped out of the box at Christmas. I told Kyle for months that it would make a big difference in our grocery budget if we got a yogurt maker, and I think he’s starting to believe me. This makes homemade yogurt so easy, and it’s really foolproof. As our family gets bigger over the years I think we’ll need a bigger one, or one where you can stack the jars, but for now this comfortably gets us through nearly a week.
- Salad spinner: I actually just got this for Christmas, too. Actually before Christmas because my sweet husband saw me struggling yet again to roll up lettuce leaves in tea towels in an attempt to dry them off. Love my new spinner! The Amazon link you’re taken to touts it as being “space saving.” Still haven’t mastered that feature. This thing is huge.
- Apple corer/peeler/slicer: In all honesty I probably use this little gadget maybe two or three times a year. But when I need it, man do I need it! Not only does this makes pushing through forty pounds of apples a snap, it makes it fun. When you’re twenty-three pounds into forty pounds of apples, trust me…you’re searching every which way for fun.
- Ice cream maker: This thing is so fun! I love that it attaches to my KitchenAid so simply and just does its thing. I do wish it didn’t have to be frozen for quite so long (read: FOR-EV-ER, Sandlot style) before being able to use it, but it turns out some beautiful ice cream.