If you have ever been asked to put together a kitchen utensils list, then you’ve probably discovered that the biggest problem is knowing when to stop! The diversity of our cooking and eating practices over the previous fifty years or so have been accompanied by an increase in the range and style of kitchen tools available. Of course, we can not have everything, and often some of the ‘labor saving’ devices cause more work than they save. So how do we proceed when fitting out our kit of cooking tools?
The 80-20 Law
This universal law can be applied to most all natural things in the universe and basically says that 80% of the results for an activity are typically achievable with just 20% of our labor or resources. When applied to this subject, it indicates that 80% of all the food we cook and eat is normally cooked with just 20% of the utensils we have in our kitchen! This is great news for people on a tight budget. Most of the basic kitchen utensils are reliably robust and inexpensive, being constructed from cast iron or earthenware. In fact, many antique pots and pans were produced using cast iron and are ace to cook with. The mass of material dissolves the heat and promotes cooking evenly through the food. One more plus is that elegant skillets and pans can be bought really inexpensively, so you have the best of both worlds.
While on the subject of antique kitchen items, why not go the whole hog and prepare meals in the old way? A kitchen fitted out with old utensils suspended from the kitchen ceiling or the wall lends a wonderful cozy feeling to the household, so why not prepare old style food to go with it? Modern day living has promoted the manufacture of meals and foodstuffs filled with unnatural preserving agents and coloring, which we could well do without. More often than not, old-fashioned recipes employ natural foods to present a fully balanced plate that is genuinely nutritious, without recourse to man-made additives and industrial compounds.
The kitchen of yesteryear was the focal point of the family and the home. The family would enter the kitchen from the cold outside and sit there to take part in many common activities, like reading, practicing music or exploring other pastimes, and listening to the radio. Often, a wood or coal burning stove came to be the focal point of the kitchen, which also helped to produce a loving family ambiance.