What’s in Your Kitchen? A Brooklyn Baker Shares Her Tips For Keeping Things Tidy and Tasty
For Brittany Bennett, a Brooklyn-based baker and food writer, the kitchen is a place to be inspired and organized. Between running her own pie business (Taartwork) and writing recipe roundups for BuzzFeed (like 17 weird pizza crusts that are actually brilliant), she needs a kitchen to come home to at the end of the day that is welcoming, open, and has its shit together. We sat down with Brittany to talk kitchen storage, sink etiquette, and of course apple pie.
Describe your dream kitchen.
My dream kitchen is an open space where three people can cook comfortably with each other while five more friends can sit on stools around us as taste testers. I like a social kitchen where family can gather and throw more salt into a sauce. Design wise, it has a minimalistic take on a country kitchen. Rustic wood notes but simple and clean organization.
How do you keep your ingredients organized?
I am all about clasp jars. They’re great for buying ingredients in bulk. Go crazy with a label maker and your kitchen will appear to have its shit together.
How do you store kitchen items that you aren’t using (plates, pots, pans, mixing bowls etc.)?
An open pantry aesthetic is my favorite. I like stacking my plates and bowls on floating shelves. It’s easier to grab and go that way, especially when you’re in the groove of cooking. I hang pots from hooks I installed over my sink and gather cooking utensils (wooden spoons, spatulas, tongs, whisks) in ceramic vases on the counter top.
What three things make a successful kitchen?
1. A stocked spice rack- if you watch any cooking competitions, everything can always use a little more seasoning.
2. A blender or food processor- a home cook can conquer soups, sauces, smoothies and purees with this versatile tool
3. A clean, inspiring workspace- keeping counters clear and fresh flowers on the table lures me to the kitchen like a mosquito to a light.
What’s the last thing you baked/cooked in your kitchen?
Predictably, apple pies!
What is your favorite item in your kitchen? Why?
My knife! It provides neat, efficient slicing and dicing on the regular. And nothing is more satisfying to me than a clean, pretty dice. True story, keep your knives sharp and the onion you’re chopping will make you cry a little less.
How do you liven up white kitchen walls?
Get plates from a local antique shop or second-hand store. Apparently lots of people consider their Fine China junk. But one person’s garbage is another person’s plate wall. Chalkboard paint is also a neat way to transform a plain wall into an artistic space for creative expression or tonight’s menu.
What is the magic number of chairs at a kitchen table?
I like to have six chairs around the table. But hosting weekly family dinners is one of my top 2016 resolutions, so I keep a bench lounging around as a sign to the universe that I am open to welcoming new friends and extra guests.
Any tips for cleanup after cooking?
Clean as you go! Doing dishes and wiping down countertops as you cook keeps the process zen. After roasting a beautiful chicken, you do not want to turn around to the Leaning Tower of Dishes.
Let’s talk sink etiquette- what to leave and what to wash?
If you’ve thickened a sauce in a pot or scrambled eggs in a pan, soak it immediately under hot water for the sticky stuff to loosen up in order to get a glistening clean. If it’s really stuck on there, for instance if you prepared a stew, soak it for a few minutes with soap. Never leave a cast iron skillet in the sink! Give it a quick rinse, salt rub down and towel dry it immediately to avoid rusting.