I’m not sure what kind of attitude most people have when you mention the kitchen, but it is definitely one of my favorite part of the house. When I get stuck on a task, heading in and fixing something feels really good. Not only do you get a tangible outcome for your effort ("I made something with my very own hands!"), you get to enjoy the outcome as well.

With Facebook and Instagram, I love to show what I’m up to - particularly when I make something that looks pretty good. That said, how often can you go wrong with food? They are just naturally photogenic.

The kitchen can actually be a great place for bonding and interacting with friends, and I’ve frequently thought of a layout of a house designed around it. Think about the possibilities. Instead of making the TV the centerpiece, isn’t it much better to have friends over, entertaining and talking, instead of sitting on the couch all by your lonesome?

Other than friends, it is also a good place to bond and have some fun (and useful) cooking activities with the family.

With a little bit of thought, a kitchen-centered home can be pretty cool. It’ll compel you to organize plenty of gatherings: whether it is an everyday family dinner, a fun lunch with friends, or a dinner party on special occasions.

Here are some essential components.

An Open Kitchen

Open kitchen
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The kitchen island would be a mainstay. With plenty of space to stand around, friends and family could gather easily to cook and to eat.

Separation into two parts - a dry kitchen, and a wet one, makes practical sense. The dry kitchen (or the island) is used for serving and eating. It is also a suitable place where guests can partake in the making of simple appetisers and desserts.

The wet kitchen, on the other hand, can be where the messier or more complicated activities take place - cleaning and grilling, and for the making of soups and pan-frying.

That said, for a productive endeavor, having the right tools are invaluable. I personally found it very fun to experiment when I venture into a kitchen that is well-equipped with reliable cookware, functional tools, and great tableware. 

My ideal list of cook- and bakeware:

  • Slow cooker
  • Non stick pans
  • Panini press
  • Large soup pot
  • Oven
  • Microwave oven
  • Juice blender
  • Standing mixer
  • Food processor
  • Baking stone
  • Baking sheets
  • Muffin pans

My list of essential tools:

  • Sharp knives
  • Chopping boards of different sizes
  • Grater
  • Peeler
  • Can opener
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Strainer
  • Serving tongs
  • Pasta fork
  • Soup ladle
  • Slotted spoon
  • Spatula
  • Masher
  • Skimmer
  • Silicone spatula
  • Cookie cutters
  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing bowls

I might have missed an item here and there, but I would be very pleased indeed if I had all of them!

Food Parties

Including guests in the cooking helps to make a meal memorable. By allowing them to help with the preparation instead of doing everything yourself, it also frees up time for you to breathe, interact, and enjoy the whole process. For guests who are new to cooking, it can be something as simple as tearing up basil leaves.

Something that I find very enjoyable is to invite friends over to make homemade pizzas. With a spread of toppings, everyone can participate in the making. A well-stocked pizza topping bar could have everything from sweet tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, cubed pineapples, to roasted butternut squash. Assembling pizza is fun and easy!

Credit: Wikimedia Commons