Kitchen Semi-Essentials


Semi-essential, yet jolly well worth the expenditure

There is some equipment in your kitchen, which if we were brutally honest we could do with out.... however to make the cooking experience more joyful, efficient, informed, artistic, adventurous, diverse and aesthetically pleasing, there are some items which I believe are worth the investment.


  • First and foremost - Books. Probably an essential... but technically not really.  There is no limit to your imagination - so imagine, if you will, that potential mulitplied by every book ever written on the kitchen, home, garden and cookery. It is literally limitless and entirely worth the investment. So many of my cookery books have been collected from junk shops, op-shops and markets - I genuinely prefer the old, tattered and forgotten cookery books of bygone eras. They are honest and cost very little, with the added bonus of a vast breadth of knowledge and information tucked away in their pages. You also never know what you will find in them; old recipe cards, notes, letters, it is a wealth of knowledge and culinary history.  So even if you can't afford the latest and greatest, get yourself off to an op-shop and try something from the past to rekindle your love of cooking.  Have a 1970s inspired dinner party - have a French flourish in your kitchen - or just make your own bread...My black Artisan Kitchen Aid Mixer


  • A good, solid mixer. I have a glossy black Artisan Kitchen Aid, and yes I love it. It has made giant Christmas cakes, light meringues, sausages, pasta and everything in between. Get one.


  • Professional grade knives - yes they cost an arm and a leg, but if you ask nicely someone may let you have a couple for Christmas, or better yet, treat yourself.


  • A good blender and/or food processor. When you are in a hurry or simply don't fancy crying over an onion, they are the business. I have a retro Breville Blender reminiscent of a bygone era of domestic purity and a Cuisinart mini food processor.


  • Lots of utensils - scoops, spoons, egg slices, and other things that make the cooking experience so much easier. Ok you may not need an oyster shucker, but at least treat yourself to a few good quality potato peelers, a long fish slice and a nutmeg grater.


Vege Garden


  • A vegetable garden, or at least some herbs in a few pots. Even when we lived in the smallest of houses with no appreciable garden I grew herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and celery in pots and hanging baskets. I currently have a modestly fabulous vege patch (1.5m x 4m) as well as growing herbs in my flower garden, potatoes in large plastic tubs (tubs which incidentally cost less than a cup of coffee) as well as herbs and lettuce on my patio. In the summer months my salads are entirely home grown and I no longer pay exorbitant prices for supermarket herb bunches which barely make it home. I have not yet convinced my other half that chooks are essential, but I am going to keep working on him.