RT Cunningham


Kitchen Necessities - Items that Belong in Every Household Kitchen

kitchen

No matter how big or how small your kitchen is, there are some items that belong in all of them. I’m talking about kitchens in the United States, of course. I can’t speak for any other country.

There are only a few things I can think of that come with a home you’re buying, renting or already own. I’m focusing mainly on the things that never come with the home. Some are as much for your guests as for yourself or maybe even more so.

Things that are already in the Kitchen

When you move into a home, there are a few things that should already be in the kitchen area. A refrigerator and an electric or gas stove are minimal requirements. Don’t move in without them.

Some kitchens come with dishwashers and microwave ovens. You’d shouldn’t expect either. It’s like a washing machine and dryer set. They may or may not be there, though they should be. You have enough to worry about when moving into a new place.

Eating Utensils in the Kitchen

I won’t explain eating utensils because I’ve already done so. The one thing I didn’t mention is the place where you stash them. Most kitchen drawers are plain, empty boxes. You need a tray of some kind to separate the spoons, forks and knives from each other as well as other non-dinnerware utensils. It doesn’t matter what the tray is made of but it should be adjustable.

A cutlery set in a block belongs on the kitchen counter, near the drawer with the other utensils if possible. A container with whips, wood spoons, ladles and spatulas next to it is a good idea. Most kitchens don’t have the room to put things on the wall or hang them from the ceiling.

Kitchen Appliances

Your appliances may be more for your guests than yourself. You should have a coffee maker of some kind. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You may not like coffee but don’t assume your guests don’t like it. Keep instant coffee as well as coffee for brewing. Keep sugar and creamers available.

You should have a toaster or toaster oven. Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive. You need something to toast your bread, bagels or muffins. Pop Tarts (and other brands like them) work better in toasters.

Unless you’re afraid of them, a microwave oven is good idea. Not to cook in, but to reheat things in. Unless it’s popcorn, which has to be cooked. I use a microwave oven when I want to heat up a frozen burrito, reheat a chimichanga or heat up some Hot Pockets. In fact, popcorn is the only thing I can remember cooking in one.

The Kitchen Cabinets and Cupboards

Some kitchens have pantries and some don’t. Those that don’t usually have more cabinet and cupboard space. The pantry or some upper cabinets is where you put the food that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. It’s a good place for things like cold cereal and uncooked porridge.

You need dedicated spaces for your drinking glasses, coffee mugs, plates and saucers. You can buy all of these things in sets. I don’t recommend the regular coffee cups. They’re just too small.

The pots and pans you get from department stores are sufficient. Just be aware they won’t last long. The pans you fry food in will be the first you’ll have to replace. They belong in your lower cupboards.

Why do I Emphasize the Kitchen?

You’d be surprised at how many homes I’ve been in over the years that don’t have much of anything in them. Especially the kitchen. I expect that with newlyweds but not with people who’ve been in the same place for more than a year.

I’m not going to point fingers. I was once in that situation because I was only staying in a particular apartment for less than six months (and the remainder of my time in that state while I was in the military). It didn’t make sense to fill the kitchen up with anything but the bare necessities.

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RT Cunningham
July 15, 2018
House and Home