What Every Woman Needs in the Kitchen….
A Chef and a Maid. Just teasing… but not really! If you have kitchen staff, you already know what a blessing it is. However, if you are not financially able to afford kitchen staff at this time, then there are few things that you must do as a woman of God to get the same results.
I often hear many women brag, as if it's a compliment to their modernity, about their lack of skill, desire or concern about cooking. Paradoxically, this “modern” woman still wants to enjoy the tradition of being happily married or happily dating the man of her dreams. What she needs to understand is that despite the advances of women in society, what men want has not changed. Most men still place a very high value on a clean comfortable home, and a good meal. Feminism and woman’s lib are costly tricks the devil has played on most women. I wonder if the cost of “equality” (by worldly standards anyway), is that too many women have side-stepped most domestic responsibilities. As a result, we seemingly have a generation of young women, growing increasingly inept in the kitchen. I would not be surprised if many of them find themselves by themselves. The good news is that all of this can be prevented. I urge women all the time… Please do not underestimate the value of keeping a nice, welcoming home! It can literally mean the difference between being fruitful and leaving a loving family legacy, versus living a lonely life and bequeathing all to your cats.
So, if you are dating and looking for Mr. Right, my first suggestion is to be totally quiet about your “don’t list” with regards to your housekeeping. No man in his right mind will willingly sign up for a dirty house, an empty fridge and pantry, and eating out daily, regardless of how pretty or smart you may be. And if he does, then his self-image and lack of self-esteem come into question. What “Kingdom Man” will settle for living as a pauper? This is not a suggestion to be dishonest, but to withhold until you are sure he is “the one”. If, in fact, he is then consider these tips on how you can still create the home he wants, despite your lack of culinary prowess.
Everyone wants to think that their mate brings something to the table. As women, we value our man’s strength, stability and his ability to protect, provide and lead. Good looks, intelligence and being a wonderful hostess are men’s top 3 bragging points when talking about the woman in their life. So here are some very easy, practical tips on making your man proud of his woman’s skills in the kitchen.
A Beautiful Table: Every woman should be able to put together a lovely table setting, or a gorgeous and delicious buffet to accommodate any last minute guest or an unannounced party. Men love a woman that is quick on her feet and sharp enough to put together something wonderful in no time. It actually enhances his decision about your future together. So instead of whining and complaining about his last minute guests, go shopping!... I bet that got your attention! You may purchase good quality items from any inexpensive department store. My all-time favorite, HomeGoods has wall-to-wall options for creating the perfect space. Get inspired by their design blog and go find these items for your kitchen and dining room table, to be the “hostess with the mostess” your man will be proud of:
1. 8-10 matching plates: If you see four plates that you love and they don’t have eight, buy the four plus four more that complement the pattern. Being eclectic always brings pizzazz to a table. Use smaller plates as opposed to huge plates that may not allow all of your guests to be at the same table. This brings us to another issue that we will get to later.
2. Flatware set: Buy at least one flatware set of 24 pieces. If you buy additional sets in the future make sure they complement the set you already have. One day they all may be on the same table together. Once you achieve your wealthy status you'll be able to buy different sets for different occasions. For now, be strategic.
3. Glass goblets: These can be inexpensively purchased and they bring great class to any table. Plastic can never successfully imitate glass. Buy 12 to 24 goblets, as opposed to the 8-10 rule (referenced above for plates). Glass breaks easily and people will often sit glasses down and come to the dinner table expecting to get a clean one. Glasses can be easily decorated with peel off bling letters for a customized look.
4. A nice wooden cutting board: The thicker the better. Always clean this with a Clorox bleach and water solution to ensure that food carry over does not taint your food. I've had the displeasure of drinking lemonade, with an onion zest. So I caution. This piece is a great decorative piece in all kitchens. Leave it out on your countertop and place a vase with fresh flowers on top of it after its use. The vase will take center stage because the cutting board lifts it up higher to be noticed.
5. Random vases for flowers: Group them together on your table and if no one brings you flowers or you can’t afford flowers simply step outside and cut some evergreens and add them to the vases. Adding fresh evergreens to plastic flowers make them appear real and gives you that punch of color you may want on your table.
6. Three must have pots: In various sizes, two frying pans with a nonstick surface. Be sure to use wooden of plastic spoons when cooking with these. If the nonstick surface is punctured or scratched, discard as the surface will cook into your food. Everyone needs a wrought iron pan for frying, making seasoned cornbread, or for stove top to oven dishes.
7. Necessary serving dishes and table linen: Two inexpensive serving platters, two serving bowls and always a nice basket for bread. Keep one nice cloth napkin in a neutral color to line the basket before putting the bread into the basket. Buy two small tea cups with saucers for tea or coffee. The saucers can also be used for butter or jam service.
8. One butcher block with knifes: This too should be left out on your counter top. It adds a decorative touch to your kitchen.
9. Serving Utensils and work utensils: Large spoons and forks for serving, colander, spatula, cake cutter, ladle, measuring cup, measuring spoons, oven glove, pot holders, salt and pepper shakers that match, kitchen scissors, slotted spoon, can opener and tongs.
10. Cleaning Caddie with products and tools: Clean, clean, clean. I can’t say this enough. Keep your kitchen clean which includes the stove and the refrigerator. Your guest will be turned off by a dirty kitchen. Also, regular cleaning reduces the chance of spreading germs and illness.
I know this list seems long but all of these items can be purchased from any of the stores I mentioned above for less than $200.00. With these items in your kitchen you can throw together a fabulous party! Even if you have to cram the take-out containers into the trash before your guests arrive. They will be served wonderful food on gorgeous serving dishes, in a warm and welcoming home. Success! Even if you have to forgo a pair of nice shoes or a dress to purchase these items, do it. This is an investment in your future and will further cement your status as the ultimate hostess!
With Prayers & Love,
First Lady Lynda