Meaningful and Memorable Quality Kitchen Time

Posted by Southwest Beverages on 11/2/2014

quality kitchen timeThere is something special about the kitchen in our homes. It’s the place we often share our meals, drink our morning coffee or hot cocoa, talk about the day, read the paper and inevitably the place that is the center of attention for all parties and where all family holiday meals are prepared.

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and therefore we want that time to be meaningful and memorable, not full of chores and tasks. For example, I cherish the time I spent in my kitchen experimenting and developing the formulas for Sippity® instant hot cocoa mix and Kemosabe® gourmet flavored coffee. Here are some tips on how you can enjoy your time, and create memorable moments in the kitchen.

Kitchen Environment

Obviously, you want your kitchen environment to be as pleasant as possible. I find playing background music to be very soothing. Organize your spices and utensils for easy access. I have several framed pictures of my family at various family events scattered around the kitchen, which every time I look at them I can’t help but reminisce and smile.

Have a plaque with a meaningful saying in your kitchen. The one I have says, “The love of a family is Life’s greatest blessing.” Every time I look at that plaque it brings me happiness and conjures up pleasant memories of my trip last summer to Laguna Beach.

Work with Quality Essentials

Preparing your meals with a good set of knives, pots and pans and utensils is very important because it gives one pleasure. There is no doubt about it quality kitchen essentials are expensive. For example, a good set of knives will cost $300; pot and pans - $450; utensils - $100 and a cutting board - $75. So where are you going to get the $1000 needed to fund these essentials? Let’s take this in small steps.

First, you don’t have to buy the whole set at once. Buy the essential starting items and add to as time, and funds, become available. Second, set a time frame in which you save the $1000. Let’s say a year. That means that you have to save about $20 a week. $20 a week, that’s it. Cut out a latte or two a week, buy one less item from the menu when you purchase Chinese take-out, skip purchasing a magazine each week, bake cookies instead of buying a box, shop with coupons, etc.

Every time you save money put it in a “bank”- use an existing jar, empty tootsie roll canister, piggy bank, etc. Begin saving money now. And don't open it for one year! Glue it shut!

Basic Staples

This goes without saying. Always have your basic staples on hand so that you don’t have to substitute items to make the meal work, i.e. “put water in the ketchup” or "add milk to the bottle of Yoohoo" or “if your making mac and cheese and you run out of milk (because you used it in the Yoohoo) mix together flour and water” .

Family Cooking

What better way is there to create memories in the kitchen than teaching your children how to bake cookies, measure ingredients, stir the gravy, look up recipes or add various ingredients together to form a delicious meal? Get you children involved for most meals. After you have taught them, let them measure the ingredients, prepare the salad, cut the potatoes, etc. Always assign them tasks. It is rewarding, bonding and builds confidence and self esteem.

Family Dining

One of the most rewarding things a mother can experience is that she has provided food for her children. Eat together as a family. Make sure all children are given the five minute warning that dinner is ready. Then turn off the TV’s, music and gather as a family around the kitchen table.

Here is where the memories are created, family values are developed, traditions are established and discussions on educational career development are discussed. Talk about each child’s day’s events or have a family discussion on one of the children’s school projects or talk about each child’s plans for the weekend. Get everyone involved. A family meal together discussing family member events builds a solid family.

With Thanksgiving approaching. there is no better quality time to spend in the kitchen with your grandmother, mother, children or grandchildren. It is the family meal of the year, the Super Bowl of cooking, if you will.

It is the time we all come together as a family to give thanks. So this Thanksgiving, get everyone involved in preparing the meal, have grandma pass her gravy recipe down to her grandchildren, have mom teach them how to make stuffing, and aunt Karen teach them how to make her delicious apple pie. Here are your family traditions, your memories and value systems, right there in the kitchen (just ensure that the traditional of keeping the men at bay continues-leave the game on for them and have the man cut the “bird”).

Written by Susan Jenkins, Co-Founder, Southwest Beverages

As a founder of the company, and a key member of the team, Susan has set up all systems and procedures that efficiently receive and process all orders. Passionate about what she does, Susan provides that critical administrative link between our customers and the company by answering all customers inquires, supplying product information, price quotes, processing orders and investigating, evaluating, and resolving all customer complaints.In addition, Susan maintains a close working relationship with all company employees, vendors, wholesalers, retailers and fund raising organizations to ensure that their needs and requirements are meet.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Southwest Beverages®? Send your topic idea to pr@southwestbeverages.com.

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