Get It Together Merit Badge, Intermediate Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,487 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,234 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life   

For this week’s Farm Kitchen/Get It Together Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I got to start with one of my favorite things to do:

Making a list.

I heart lists. Sometimes I make lists about making lists. Or about how much I love lists, numerically or alphabetically.

photo by Adam Diaz via Wikimedia Commons

I sense your confusion and raised eyebrows from here. Let me explain:

  • Make a list for DIY rainy-day projects
  • Make a list for veggie shopping
  • Make a list for camping destinations
  • Make a list for prioritizing your lists

Etc, etc. You get the drift.

Anyway, I love lists because I love order and peace and the sense of accomplishing something, and also because I really have a thing for bullet points. They rock my world, chickadees.

So, my list today was how to have a working kitchen. At first glance, when I read that title, I pictured some sort of robotic, maid-and-butler-occupied, steampunk kinda thing, but I was making things more complicated than they needed to be (control your surprise). A working kitchen, my girls, is …

Well, I suppose it’s a bit different for every woman, isn’t it? For example, my friend, Midge, has triplets. Her working kitchen is likely going to include easy-to-clean, wipe-down-able, child-height, types of things. My gramma, Barbie? Her working kitchen would include a high-quality blender for Daiquiri Night when her girlfriends come over for Bunco, and the oven is only for decoration (she has a crush on the pizza delivery man).

photo by Bradross63 via Wikimedia Commons

For myself, now, a working kitchen is going to include some real key items, and they aren’t necessarily the same key items I would have included a mere few years ago. I am a changed woman, you see … and I no longer have a need for a microwaveable egg cooker, a touchless paper-towel dispenser, a hot-dog scorer, an automatic pancake maker, a corn kerneler, and a few other things that make ya go, whaaa?

Oh, and possibly three different makes of salad spinners.

Ahem. How embarrassing.

Anyway, I sent all my priceless artifacts weird inventions to my local thrift shop and got busy making my Dream Working Kitchen List.

MBA Jane’s Must-haves for a Working Kitchen:

  • A multi-level baking rack. How neato is this for my Annual Home-baked Pizza Cook Off?
  • A good quality mixer (pizza dough doesn’t make itself, peeps). Maybe a royal blue KitchenAid … or a bright red … or a lime green … or a pumpkin-orange … so many choices, so little counter space …

photo by g2boojum via Wikimedia Commons

  • My apron collection and a lovely place to hang/display them.
  • Good-quality kitchen shears for slicing me some chives (mmm, baked potatoes …).
  • A French press and a tea kettle.
  • A crockpot for long winter days (or conversely, long summer nights; I like to plug mine in on the porch when it’s just too darn hot to have anything warm in the house).
  • Good knives. I only need two really: a butcher knife and a bread knife. I keep them outside of a drawer to avoid nicks and cuts when searching, and instead keep them in a cute letter holder.
  • And the most important, I gotta have it, no holds barred, I will not be budged from ordering this right now this very second.

I’m sure the foodies out there agree with me. It’s just the bare necessities, really!

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hahaha, that food ladle takes the cake!! Seriously, I am totally with you on having a functioning kitchen. first of all, I have very limited counter and storage space so that eliminates all of those quirky gadgets. I remember watching an Emeril Lagasse cooking show once and he said, if you want to cook well, you have to start with proper equipment. Sharp knives, proper cookware,and fresh high quality food are not negotiable for a delicious outcome. Over the years, I haves learned the hard way and continue to remember his clues about being a good cook. To your list of a proper kitchen, I would add at least one Le Creuset lidded casserole or baking dish, your Mama’s cast iron frying pans if you can get them, and high quality cookware that cooks evenly on the stove top. It makes such a difference in whether foods cook evenly, burn or scorch on the bottom, and clean up easily every time. In our poorer years with young children, I had a lot of family cast offs in pots and pans. Finally, I started buying quality ware and what a difference it made. And then watching Emeril cook each week locked me into focusing on slowly replacing my cast off stuff with quality. I am not finished yet, but almost there.

    You know what messes me up now? Those Williams-Sonoma catalogues like the one that just came! It had their new Le Creuset Apple bakeware dish with a perfect apple pie in it. Instant LOVE:D!!! With a price tag of $165 (the WS current sale), it is still out of reach. But….those new spatulas with the apple graphic on them and nice wooden handles for a mere $12.95……..I just might have to settle for that. Do those crazy irrational must haves ever mess-up MBA Jane ??? Inquiring minds want to know!

  2. Karlyne says:

    Oh, that last item! I neeeeed it, too!

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Karlyne, it makes me happy to know there is another Farmgirl Apple Enthusiast out there like me!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *