I am firmly in the camp of people who feel that September, not January, is the spiritual start of a new year. January is cold and soft and sleepy; September is when the heat breaks and I feel freshly invigorated to be in the kitchen. I’m writing to you quite literally surrounded by slithering piles of cookbooks, trying to figure out what to make tonight for a back-to-school party for my husband’s grad students. It’s the time to try something new, get a fresh start on food. And in that, you need to make sure that your kitchen is ready for you.
This month at Kitchn we’d like to help you do that, with a whole month devoted to Your Kitchen, But Better. After all, you’re probably not engaged in a kitchen renovation of your dreams (if you are, congrats! Send pictures!) but instead living in the same space, trying to see it with fresh eyes, clean up a dirty corner, organize a drawer, beat your pantry into submission. I just vacuumed out my baking drawer and whew, it felt good! We have a month of inspiration and fresh ideas for you in making your kitchen a better place to live and cook, from cleaning to organizing to clever hacks to inspiringly lovely kitchens.
Some of this just takes elbow grease, but some of it is finding the right stuff. And speaking of that, have you signed up for our new newsletter yet? It’s one of my favorite things we’re doing right now: Cook/Shop, a weekly newsletter stuffed with sales, good finds, and thoughtful picks for the things that will genuinely make your life better, not clutter it. Sign up below.
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3 Things I’m Loving Right Now
Here are three things doing that for me right now, as I embark on a month, with you, of making my kitchen all mine, and a little bit better.
- A very good grill basket: When in doubt, grill your vegetables is my motto lately, and this absolutely perfect basket has been the key. It’s large, with a fine mesh so the veggies really get some color and flavor.
- Truck Dust seasoning mix: I’ve been putting this on absolutely everything! A local spice purveyor makes this mix of smoked onion salt, brown sugar, cumin, and other spices, and it’s dynamite on practically anything (pork tenderloin, steak, grilled chicken, veggies). The right spice mixes free you from recipes, and this is one of those.
- A kitchen “learning tower” for my kids: I have two small girls, and this “learning tower” was a lovely big gift from my in-laws two Christmases ago and we’ve never put it away since. They stand in it and watch me cook, grabbing for things on the counter, and eat their meals standing up when they have the wiggles. If you have little ones it’s a really wonderful investment that lets your kids be a part of your kitchen life in a new way.
And then, a bonus: Don’t kill me, but I have to share my current favorite laundry basket. HOW is that kitchen-related, you ask? Well, it is, because my laundry room shares a space with my pantry, and both are constantly open to the kitchen. My kids love to rummage through and pull the laundry out and these baskets are neat, modern, light, and good at keeping it all corralled. A tiny upgrade that has made such a difference.
- Buy my favorite laundry basket: Infinity Laundry Basket, $14.99 and exclusively available at The Container Store
And then one more thing: If you’ve made it this far I want to tell you a little secret, ahead of Friday. Kitchn is starting a cookbook club! If you have books, like me, that you admire but have never cooked out of, or if you’d like to be coaxed to try even more new things, then this is for you. We have a really fun program up our sleeves and if you want to be an early adopter, you can join our secret Facebook group here.
We’ll announce our first cookbook pick this Friday, September 6.
As always, thank you for reading and cooking with us. Tell us below if there’s anything you’d love to see more of this month and beyond.
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