Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stewardship in the Kitchen: Resources

Anyone who has been following my blog for any length of time is aware of my interest and passion for being a good steward of the blessings God has blessed us with.  Since I am also a "foodie", I have a "special bond" with the concept of being a good steward of all things kitcheny. 
A few months ago I was honored with the opportunity to lead a workshop on stewardship in the kitchen.  In preparation for the workshop I compiled several handouts/worksheets for the attendees.  I've decided I'd like to share the same secrets and tips covered in the workshop with you, my dear readers.  This will be a 5 part blog series covering the topics of resources, time management, budgeting, planning, and waste.  I hope you find the information useful.
Good stewardship in any area of one's life begins with taking inventory.  When applied to stewardship in the kitchen this includes asking yourself questions such as:
Am I wildly energetic and creative?  Energetic and creative types usually enjoy creating & trying new recipes, and the challenge of setting a budget and sticking to it.
Am I focused and well disciplined?  Focused and well disciplined people thrive on having a plan and working the plan.
Kitchen inventory also includes a tool inventory.  What kitchen tools do you own?  Do you use the tools you have?  Some kitchen tools may include a crockpot / slow cooker, food processor, deep freezer, electric mixer, automatic bread maker, blender, food saver, dehydrator, electric fryer, meat slicer, etc.  I like to think of my kitchen tools as my modern day servants, they are most often designed to make food preparation easier and faster.  The most frequently used tools in my kitchen are my crock pots and freezer.
When speaking of kitchen inventory, we must not forget to include knowledge and skills inventory such as cooking from scratch, reading and following recipes, cookbooks, knowledge of good nutrition, menu planning, gardening, butchering, safe home canning / food preservation, etc.  All the tools in the world are not going to help someone who doesn't have the knowledge or skills to use them to their full advantage.  I was fortunate to grow up in an environment where we cooked EVERYTHING from scratch, we also had a garden and harvested many of our own proteins which naturally lead to the education of safe food preservation.  During twelve years of single parenting, food nutrition and meal planning became essential aspects of stretching our grocery budget.
I'd like to encourage you to take inventory of your kitchen.   Inventory will  make you aware of the tools, skills or knowledge you'd like to acquire.  It will also bring awareness to the tools and skills you have but are not currently using that will make food preparation faster, easier and more cost effective.

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