When you’re pregnant, you enter a nesting phase where you have a palpable need to get your house ready for the impending bundle of joy. Setting up a beautiful, functional room for the baby is top of mind, including cleaning, painting, and buying a lot of gear. My nesting right now is kitchen-related, as I seem to be getting ready for my food baby, thanks to COVID-19.
My kitchen nesting similarly involved cleaning and buying the gear that the “baby” needs. First, I started off with a deep cleaning of the counters, the floor, the sink, and the refrigerator. Then it was on to defrosting the freezer (which involved the careful use of a chisel – don’t try this at home), emptying the crumb tray of the toaster, and washing the vents for the stove fan which were soaked with evaporated grease.
This last one is where I wish I had first consulted the interweb. After a solid hour of scrubbing using boiling water and dish soap made minimal progress, it was a video online that demonstrated the winning combination of vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water to bubble away years of very real grease, with very little elbow grease (and no chisel).
It was a droplet of oil on the stovetop that appears to have melted off the fan vent in the heat that made me even think to clean the vents in the first place and also turned my attention to warmer weather kitchen nesting. That spurred the gear shopping.
I decided it was time to get a toaster oven, big enough to cook a dish without heating up the entire house in the summer. (We don’t all have air-conditioning). I am truly enamoured with my new Breville convection toaster oven, having now used it to make pretty much everything that I couldn’t (or didn’t know how to) cook on the barbecue.
On the same train of thought, I also got an induction cooktop. The surface does not hold heat like the stovetop, and water boils more efficiently to make that gigantic pasta salad that can feed a hungry, hot family for a few meals without generating more heat.
After watching perhaps too many documentaries during the lockdown, I also started eating more vegetables and fruits, less meat, and less processed foods. This led to another kitchen nesting purchase, that of a big, powerful blender. The Vitamix has levelled up my smoothie game, and all but one smoothie so far has had spinach in them … Popeye would be proud.
While I am eating healthier, I am eating more. As I mentioned in my last column, who knew that the 19 in COVID-19 actually meant the number of pounds we’re gaining on average. I haven’t gained this much weight since my last pregnancy, so I do feel that I have a food baby on the way.
Not unlike actual pregnancy nesting, food baby nesting isn’t cheap, but the sense of peace when everything is cleaned, painted, and the gear is purchased, is similarly satisfying. I guess that means that for my kitchen nesting to be complete, all I have left to do is paint? (… and yes, I may have already bought the paint.)
What are your summer kitchen tips? Has anyone else been nesting for their food baby? What gear do you recommend for kitchen glee?