Kitchen items that spark joy

If you weren’t going through your house getting rid of unwanted items last year, you probably are this year. Marie Kondo’s life-changing advice on tidying up has become a hit series on Netflix and it’s got everyone in full KonMari mode. (If you are into thrift shops, you’ll probably find a lot of gems now.) Kondo’s advice to keep only those items that “spark joy” has made a lot people do some soul-searching about which items they really need to keep. Over at America’s Test Kitchen, they have done the same, and have reported which kitchen tools or gadgets were life changing for them

For Jack Bishop, that item is his hand-cranked pasta machine. “My manual pasta machine may not be the most essential item in my crowded kitchen-after all, it does just one thing-but nothing in my kitchen provides as much joy,” he says. Julia Collin Davison’s favorite item isn’t a tool or gadget – it is the humble cloth napkin. “It just makes me feel good to pluck a clean, folded napkin from the tidy bin I keep inside a kitchen cupboard,” says Julia. “Also, I believe they help me appreciate the food more, even if it’s just a little snack, because they bring a little respect to the situation.”

salt box

Other items that sparked joy included various types of coffee makers, a Thermapen, and one rather unusual item: a salt box. Even though it may seem an odd choice, I can relate to that one. For years I struggled with how to store the kosher salt that is my workhorse cooking salt. The box was ungainly, a salt pig took up valuable counter space, and a variety of containers were rejected because they were too cumbersome. The search ended when I found the lovely wall-mounted salt box pictured above. It isn’t an antique, so I don’t have to worry too much about accidentally damaging it, having it wall-mounted means I can utilize the counter space directly beneath it, and it is in the perfect convenient location. Plus it’s gorgeous to look at (unlike the tile underneath it). Every time I flip open the wooden lid to scoop out a teaspoon or pinch of salt, I smile. Other kitchen items may come and go, but the salt box will be a mainstay for as long as I cook. What is the item that makes you smile every time you use it? 

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  • Jenny  on  January 20, 2019

    I just saw your post – and my status last night was not about it at all. I think part of it is that I still need to unpack a bunch of things – and everyone's FB statuses were making me feel bad. I love your salt box – I have an antique salt cellar on my counter that I adore, my baking island (while it needs to be organized), and my cookbooks and cookware make me smile and make me happy. I am getting to the point where I am parting the seas and downsizing the excess.

  • mjes  on  January 22, 2019

    I also have a wall-mounted salt cellar similar to yours, but what I love most are heirlooms – my grandmother's muffin tins, my mother's chinois, a trivet in the shape of a cow showing the beef cuts from my cattleman Dad, an antique English teapot from a third grandmother … although I can also wax poetic over my collection of ethnic cooking utensils and serving pieces … need a mate gourd?

  • Rinshin  on  January 22, 2019

    My old heavy and solid rolling chopping board given to me by my mother 43 years ago as a gift. It is the first and often the last place I stand in front of every day in the kitchen. It has a beautiful patina now from years of use and oiling with mineral oil.

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