11 April, 2011

Bachelor's Kitchen Management Tips

It's been 2 months in Nairobi for me. Away from home without the mother or wife to manage the kitchen here. Although I am a foodie and once in a while I did like to experiment I don't think I can call myself even an amateur cook. And running and managing a kitchen on regular basis is an altogether different challenge which I experienced during this trip. 

What I am going to share is a little learning for the many challenges of running a bachelor's kitchen. 

Learn
I think one of the most important things to do is learn as much as you can. Ask family, friends and other people who live alone on what's easy to cook, meal ideas and helpful tips. I must thank some of my ex-colleagues at Mudra who gave me tips and meal ideas to get going. 

Dig
Yes, dig into your memory to remember all those simple meal ideas which you ate when the mother or wife were too tired/bored to cook. You'll be amazed how some simple recipes can produce good, tasty and quick meals to add variety to your daily eating. 

Plan
Don't go to the super-market without having planned your ingredients and other essentials shopping list. You'll end up home with at least 1 key element missing. So the way I did it was - Think Meal. For eg. 1 meal you want to do Thai Curry & Rice. So write - rice, coconut milk, Thai curry paste and veggies to go with it. This way you'll end up having all that is necessary for cooking that meal. 

Shopping List
Goes without saying plan, check and make a list. You'll have some basics which you need to buy every time - bread, milk, eggs, chicken and veggies etc. But every trip you'll want to also pick up some items which add variety to your daily menu, so go back to my "Think Meal" approach. 

Control 
The first few trips to the supermarket you'll go crazy. You want to pick-up pasta sauce, fresh chicken and lots of fresh veggies. And then you only realise that some of it got thrown because you never managed to cook it all in good time. For eg. I bought either chicken or then paneer otherwise you end up consuming one and other rots. 

Experiment
If you're in a new country and see a whole new set of brands and products, I think you should go ahead and experiment. So your first round of shopping should be a mixed bag. For eg. I love flavoured yoghurt. So I bought a small pack of 2 different companies to try. I liked 1 and and now that's a regular in my shopping list. 

So that's it. Hope it helps you manage your kitchen better. Would love to know if you've got a kitchen tip to share with my readers. Leave your thoughts in the comments area below. 

In my next post, I am going to try and share some simple meal ideas which have become my favourites. 
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