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Your tryst with the kitchen

This blogpost is written by Payal Kapoor, who is currently working with the Justa group of hotels as a part of their sales and marketing team. This is the first guest post by Ms. Kapoor in a series of posts about mastering the kitchen. Please note that Eyeway's Blog entries reflect the opinions of the author and contributors, meant to encourage debate and discussion, and not necessarily Score Foundation's official policy position.
Yes, I choose to call it a tryst! the kitchen is often referred to as the nerve centre of all homes. Whether it is a celebration, deliberation or commiseration, one always finds themselves drawn to the kitchen. Being the seat of creating comfort foods and basic sustenance, it is where I intend to take you to understand how this area can be your personal success story.
We will begin with the set up and organization of the kitchen. Here everyone has limited space to work in, which needs to be optimized. From a basic kitchen to modern day modulars, the main aspect that makes things work is it’s arrangement to facilitate easy work-flow.
Wherever possible, it is best to organize the kitchen to suit your style of work. You might want things a certain way, and your orientation is an advantage to begin with.
Broadly the kitchen can be divided into three main functional areas:
  • The cooking area- this comprises the cooking stove and the work counter. In some cases the stove can have a dedicated area and the work counter could be aligned, but in a different space.
  • The wash up area- this comprises the kitchen sink and any associated appliances used to assist in this activity.
  • The storage area- this is where all your raw material, gadgets and implements used in the kitchen are stored. It can be in the form of either shelves or cabinets. These are often either already part of the structure of the kitchen or can be added when you take over.
I know dancing and stretching exercises are great fun, but in this area, the lesser one does of it, the safer it is. Remember, this is a storehouse of all the elements of impending destruction. From LPG, fire, electricity to sharp tools and implements, there is enough to cause serious damage. Hence, safety rules must be established and adhered to with religious fervour.
Dedicated spaces for everything help in better time management and avoiding accidents like spills. It is best to keep things used on a regular basis within easy reach. Gathering all the ingredients, tools and necessary utensils in a systemic manner will help you in getting your task done with ease and efficiency.
Using storage containers made of sturdier materials like plastic, is also a good idea. There are different methods each of you will employ to identify what is stored where. There are the traditional Braille labels, more modern day digital ones, or just using containers with different shapes and sizes can make identification less of a treasure hunt!

Utensils used for cooking must have heat proof handles. If one can buy the now easily available Teflon coated non-stick cookware, life does become easier without having to scrape the bottom of pans. Using wooden spoons, spatulas are safer too because they don’t conduct heat as quickly as the metal ones. However, if you are the forgetful sort, you’ll perhaps need to double check where you place the wooden spoon. Failing which you might have a possible fire hazard on your hands with the spoon ending up as firewood.
Knives, peelers and other sharp implements need to be kept with the sharp edges facing away from you. Pick these with their handles. Pot holders, kitchen dusters need to be kept clean and as far away from the source of fire as possible. Once order has been established, more than half your challenge has been met with. Standing at the threshold of your kitchen, you are now ready to embark on the next phase of this interesting journey.  Stay tuned for the next installment that takes you beyond the threshold and to the fire! 

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