Around my house, the kitchen fairy would come in the middle of the night and eat the leftovers.
“Who ate the last piece of pie?”
“Dunno. Must be the pie fairy.”
To answer the OP, not much. I guess I’d like a fancy food processor and I’d probably make my own salsa and such. I do like the taste of fresh salsa. I’d probably buy block cheese and grate it myself because hand grating is a pain (often literally, I’m clumsy).
Really, my modest kitchen stuff is often enough. I’d like a stand mixer and I’d like a food processor but otherwise I’m happy. I have a decent set of knives that I really like, enough cabinet space, etc.
Hmm. I’ll add a big freezer to my wishlist. My apartment fridge is too small and I never have enough room for the family-sized packages of frozen foods.
Does she cast a spell so that the ingredients are magically *replenished *on demand? Because in that case, I’m eating a lot more fresh fruits and veggies. The problem I have with them is that they really don’t last as long as the span between my usual shopping trips, so I have lots of healthy salads and fresh vegetable meals for the first four days after shopping, and then a week or so of increasingly dubious slimey bell peppers (if my family ever knew what I cut out and toss before serving the solid bits!) before finally giving up and pitching the green goo that used to be cilantro and asparagus.
I know, I know, I should shop more often. Ugh. I lack the shopping gene.
It depends on if the kitchen fairy plans on keeping me stocked on the foods that I can’t afford now. If so, then my eating would resemble that of the rural Europeans – all fresh foods bought daily, cooked fresh. Nothing frozen, nothing processed. Oh, but dear Og, my ideal kitchen is HUGE. You see, I am secretly Martha Stewart’s bastard child from another woman. If I had the kitchen, I would be making food for people for a living – I love to cook, bake, can and well, shit, food porn is my favourite, ya know?
It wouldn’t. I’d have a really nice shiny set of All-Clad copper bottom pots and pans to cook with, though.
We’re obsessive foodies, the Boy and I, and my idea of relaxing after a bad day of work is to cook a nice meal - we bought our house specifically because it’s within walking distance of a large grocery store, two cheap-as-hell greengrocers, a high-end gourmet store and two summertime famer’s markets (one of which focuses solely on organic non-GMO foods). The fact that the house came with my ideal kitchen complete with side-by-side full size KitchenAid fridge kind of sealed the deal.
Since we already own just about every kitchen implement known to man (and woman), we’re now working on upgrading the cheap stuff we bought in our student days to professional-grade cookware… hence my lust for the All-Clad ware.
My eating habits would not change, however my kitchen would have a ceiling.
It’s the little touches that make a room, you know.
Also you would not be able to look into the basement through the flooring.
And the countertops would be level. And attached! And the cabinets would be intact and shiny and clean and beautious and there would be real light fixtures instead of naked bulbs!!!
Oof. This kitchen fairy excites me so.
Tell me, what’s her hourly rate?
I’d probably cook more often–and cook more foods that require significant prep work. But not a lot more often.
Basically, what’s wrong with my kitchen–aside from the problems that come from me being single and therefore having to do everything from meal planning to disposal of dead leftovers and slimy veggies that were supposed to be salad–is a lack of decent counter space to work on. I can use the table, when it isn’t cluttered, but it isn’t the right height.
Serious tip–I don’t know how tall whoever cooks in your kitchen is, but think seriously about having an island (if you put in an island) which is about 4 inches lower than your standard kitchen counter tops (the depth of a standard top drawer in a kitchen shelving unit). If I understand my sister-in-law correctly, the contractor used bathroom inserts or shelving units or something. She’s 5’1" and finds standard kitchen counters too high to make good workspace for kneading bread and such, and the kitchen table a little low (not to mention far away from her oven, and likely to have other stuff on it). Almost everyone who has come into her kitchen and helped cook loves the slightly lower island. My brother is an exception (He’s about 6’1")–he does find it a little low, but since he does a lot less of the cooking, it’s not a major problem.
There would be more calzones and other things cooked in or with pastry. I have a current shortage of counter space. Pastry needs space to be rolled out in.
There would also be cookies more often, cause of more space for the cooling racks. And because I’d have cooling racks instead of paper towels.
And the entertainment center in the kitchen would make it more likely for me to do stuff with longer prep time. That and the comfy stools. My knees are old and crotchety and I could use a counter with an overhang and stools.
Ah, well in that case I can give a more useful answer. Here’s what the kitchen fairy hath wrought in my father’s kitchen, the bestest kitchen EVAH and the one I covet. This is the kitchen I’d like the kitchen fairy to bring me (not to mention the house around it).
Their kitchen is large. It contains two ovens, two dishwashers and two fridge/freezer combos (one side-by-side and one freezer-on-top). There are three sinks - one is a double, next to the dishwashers, one is a single quick-wash or fill a pot with water sink, and one is a huge single, deep enough to submerge my father’s largest stock pot or to defrost a very large turkey in (it’s also my daughter’s bath tub when we visit - so much easier on my back then a real tub!) All of them have those long U neck faucets so you can get a pot under the stream.
The range is a professional range - not a “professional grade” range, but a real honest to gosh restaurant range with six burners and a gazillion BTU’s. It gets hot enough to do REAL stir-frying on. One or two of the burners have a special “simmer” setting that keeps things warm without scorching the bottom. There’s a griddle built in to the stovetop, with a cover to put on it when it’s not in use.
One of the fridges is for Ingredients for Meals and the other is for Leftovers and Stuff You Can Eat. It’s great - no one has to ask if the salsa is fair game or for a recipe. With two dishwashers, one is always ready to accept dirty dishes, even while the other is washing.
The countertops are granite, and the only thing my father would do differently if he were to do it again. Granite stains with oil, so there’s a bit of nervousness about setting down a spoon with stuff on it or a stick of butter or the oil jar with a drip on it. I think he said he’d go for those concrete countertops now.
All of the sinks were installed below the countertop level, so that when you wipe the counter off, there’s no lip - the counter top ends and you’re inside the sink. I think it’s called “undermount”. It’s brilliant, whatever it is.
Of course, there is a ton of counterspace. We’ve actually had four cooks in there at once all actively cooking and we don’t get in each others’ way. And under all those counters are cabinets with storage. There are “stations”, as it were, each with ample elbow room. It’s built so that there’s an L of counters along the wall with the ovens in the middle of the long side, so there’s one station (with the big sink) on the short side and two on the long, and then the stove and its attached counters and sink make another, backwards, L, with the stove and one smaller countertop being the short side, another sink and more counters the long side. The small sink is reachable with one step from the stove, so it’s great for “oh, shit!” spillovers and the quick glassfull of water to thin a sauce. The third sink (the double one) is on the “guest” side next to the dishwashers, so people can use it without getting in the cook’s way, and it’s handy for rinsing any dishes that need it before they go into the dishwasher.
The person standing at the stove cooking is actually looking out at the Great Room. On the other side of the stove is a bar height countertop with stools so people can sit and talk to the cook without getting in the way - perfect for entertaining without being cut off from the party. The dishwashers are both on the “guest” side of the countertop, so people don’t have to get in the cooks’ way to put their dirty dishes in it.
And, of course, there’s a deep freeze in the garage. I have a small deep freeze in my apartment, as well, and it’s really a wonderful tool. I buy on sale and freeze it, I freeze leftovers in both individual and family size quantities - I love having my own stash of healthy frozen dinners.
If I had that kitchen, I’d entertain much more often - it’s so much more conducive to fun parties than my galley kitchen at the back of the apartment setup. I’d also attempt Once a Month Cooking, 'cause I think it’d be possible to do it without filling up the countertops with step 1 (chop 1200 onions).
So my tips are: think of arranging your space in “stations” based on your cooking style, with enough counterspace and the right tools (sink, oven, etc.) within easy reach. Undermounted sinks rock, and God didn’t say you are limited to one sink per kitchen. And if you can swing it, dual dishwashers are definitely the way to go!
At this point, the kitchen fairy would probably only do some superficial things, so the answer to the OP is not much.
We gutted and remodeled the kitchen about 5 years ago. The original kitchen was about 50 years old, so not enough cabinet space or counter space and no dishwasher. We don’t do a whole lot different food-wise, but we’re much happier about doing it with better storage and work space! Also, the dirty dishes don’t hang out in the sink for quite as long. I quickly filled up the additional storage space with small appliances and specialty bakeware that I don’t use so often, but it’s nice to have a waffle-maker or fondue pot every once in a while.
Our kitchen has a really good exhaust fan- it reminds me of the fume hoods from high school chemistry class. Good exhaust fans are seriously underrated- in our old kitchen, there were things we liked to eat but wouldn’t make at home, because we knew the smell would linger and be much less pleasant after a few days. No more- now we make curry with abandon.
We have ceiling fans in our kitchen, which is great. Kitchens get hot, and it’s really nice being able to do something about that without cranking the air conditioning in the rest of the house.
There are electrical outlets along the backsplash every 18 inches. This is wonderful, especially after coming from an apartment with way too few outlets for our gadgets.
The phone jack is across the room, away from the counters and sink. It wasn’t like this in our old apartment, and I was always nervous having phones, answering machines, wireless routers, etc, so close to where we were cooking- I always worried that we’d spill food on them.
The Kitchen Fairy would:
Put a garbage disposal in the other side of our double sink (why doesn’t anyone do this? If there’s not some reason you couldn’t, I may put another one in the other side one day).
Our kitchen was also renovated a few years ago by the previous owners of our house. Actually, they took out the kitchen that was there, and added on a big new kitchen. Kitchens in houses in our neighborhood tend to be small, since the houses are older.
Having two ovens rocks. We have two ovens. I never thought we’d use them both but we do, all the time.
I know! I’m telling ya, if I successfully fight all the offspring and get custody of that house once the owners all perish, we’re having the bestest Dopefest ever!
And speaking of mops, I forgot to mention the great tile floor and the whole house vacuum. There’s a bit of wooden molding near the stove that moves aside with a gentle kick to reveal a hole. You can sweep your detritus right into it and it just goes away into the void. (Actually, there’s a dustbin somewhere in the basement, but I’ve never seen it.)
Oh, and I totally agree on the outlets. I don’t know anything about wiring, but if I ever have say over my own kitchen, there will be enough power to run ALL the appliances at once, and enough outlets to access it from anywhere! And I like countertop high outlets - who needs all that bending to the floor and dust bunnies collecting in cords?
The kitchen fairy would bring me a gas range, and thus I would do more high heat searing.
The kitchen fairy would also bring me one of those stand alone crepe elements, so I could make crepes. I wouldn’t actually make crepes with any regularity, but I would look at my crepe element and imagine the crepes I would make.
Can she hold off her visit until I buy a house, which I hope to do later this year?
I want a kitchen with lots of counter space, and cabinets where I can keep canned goods without having to empty everything in front to get at the cans in the back. A decent set of cookware, including a decent-sized stockpot, and a stovetop grill. Which reminds me, a gas stove and oven (for some reason, electric stoves seem to be the standard around here, and after a year I’m still having trouble adjusting to cooking with electricity.
A freezer so I can stock up when there are sales. In a perfect world, I’d like a stasis field so that the herbs, spices, etc that I use infrequently would stay fresh.