Fredericksburg Parent

February 2020

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10 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • February 2020 WRITTEN BY DEBRA CAFFREY practical pantry practical pantry I'm a minimalist in many senses of the word. I like to be efficient with my time and eliminate things that don't fit into what I chose to focus on. But I also like minimal- ism on a literal level. When some people come to my house for the first time, they are surprised and confused at my sparse kitchen countertops. Knowing how often I cook, wouldn't I have more stuff around? The reason I don't is twofold: I simply have a minimalistic aesthetic, but I also know that in order to make great food easily, you honestly don't need a ton of gadgets and appliances! These days, it's easy to be convinced that you need every cool tool and trendy appli- ance to get dinner on the table. It's easy to see the appeal of the current cooking gadgets out there, but frankly, I'm not interested in trends! No offense to these items. I say, whatever inspires you to cook, go for it! But it's my opinion that you truly only need a few basic kitchen essentials in order to prepare healthy and easy food. So whether you're looking to streamline an already-bustling kitchen, or if you're just starting out and wondering what to invest in, here's my list of the most important and perhaps the only kitchen essentials you need to get dinner done! The Only Kitchen Tools You Really Need! A GOOD KNIFE. It may take some experimentation to figure out which style you prefer, but a good quality and consistently sharp knife is all you need for chopping, dicing and mincing. Forget all gadgets that promise to chop veggies with the pump of a fist. Good knife skills are invaluable and improve greatly over time, and they are the foundation of all prep work. There are dozens of videos out there on basic skills to help you get started. And don't be worried about being a pro; everybody has slightly different approaches to knife holds. The most important thing is to make sure you are working with a sharp knife! There is nothing more dangerous in the kitchen than a dull blade! Sharpen and hone your knife regularly.

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