How I Taught My Brother To Cook

Improvisational Tuscan-Provençal-Catalan Cookery (and other good stuff to eat)

For some reason, pots and knives get preferential treatment when it comes to storage. They usually get their own unique storage location like the racks and blocks. Sometimes, ladles, large spoons and whisks get to share the pot rack. However, there is always at least one drawer in the kitchen which is a menagerie of tools and implements without rhyme or reason to their organization. This does not mean these tools are second class citizens. They are indeed crucial to the kitchen. We're talking meat pounders, temperature gauges, pastry scrapers, 2 tine forks, cheese graters, pizza cutters, sharpening stones, can openers, ice cream scoops, cork screws and a multitude of other items. All important especially when you can't find one in the jumbled mess. I suppose if you had lots of room in your kitchen you could make special organized places for them too but if you did then that old tradition of having those messy, jumbled drawers would disappear and nothing would ever taste the same somehow because of it.

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Comment by John Barrows on February 24, 2009 at 4:50pm
Like the sweat dripped into the pasta while rolling it out on a hot summer day, certain kitchen traditions, like the "junk drawer", must never be tampered with or sterilized out of existence. The oven should never be squeaky clean. The cutting board should never be washed with soap, lest the weekend's polenta not have the flavors it needs to absorb from the wood. The floor should not be scrubbed with foul smelling chemical detergents - or we would never be able to discern the aromas from our bubbling pots. If you're afraid of germs and a certain amount of "jumble", then you'll never know the real pleasures of cooking and eating.
Comment by Patrick on February 25, 2009 at 3:59am
We actually have 4 of these drawers and regardless of the mess and confusion, we know (pretty much) what drawer to open for exactly what we want.
Comment by John Barrows on February 25, 2009 at 7:41am
jeez, I was afraid to admit we had three, but now feel so ..... inadequate ...

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