As I wrote in a previous article, I like to store my most important kitchen items in plain sight, so that I can easily find and reach for my favorite things. A big benefit to this storage technique is that I get to look at my favorite kitchen tools whenever I am in the kitchen. It’s very motivating to be surrounded by things you love. I highly suggest trying this out!
From my photos here you can see an example of this with a hanging stick. I searched for a nice-sized stick in the woods which I then cut, shaped, and hung on the wall. I then used white S-hooks to hang up the small kitchen tools that I often use while cooking.
It’s important to think about the various dishes you cook on a daily basis as well as the general atmosphere you want to create in your kitchen. One of my biggest challenges is having cooking tools from different cultures. I have both Japanese and American kitchen tools that I regularly use, but their styles are completely different! To help blend both of these tool sets into my kitchen, I try to find items with a simple design. Choosing a subtle color is essential as well. I always go with white items, which is my theme. When possible, I also try to find items made from natural wood. This helps to bring together all my different tools from both countries under a unified theme. Of course, sometimes you have to add a statement piece or two to achieve the effect you’re looking for. I am always on the look-out for those special items that can bring all the other details together.
I’ll be introducing some of my favorite Japanese kitchen tools and utensils in this column, but in this post, I’ll be highlighting these tools with akebi vine handles. The akebi plant is used for many things in Japan. The leaves are used for herbal tea infusions and medicine, while the vines are used for basket-weaving crafts. In fact, the bean pods are also edible, tasting sweet and chocolatey. Eating sweet akebi pods are one of my fondest childhood memories…
These ladles are very practical as everyday utensils, but their akebi vine handles are so lovely! Of course we can never put them in the dishwasher but I don’t mind washing them by hand; I consider it a fair trade. I love this sauce ladle the most. It’s just right for scooping my home-infused plum wine straight from the jar. I sometimes ladle my plum wine into this Japanese pottery sake decanter, which also has an elegant akebi woven handle.
Aren’t they lovely?