1. Quality Chef's Knife
Did you know you are actually more prone to hurting yourself with a dull knife than with a sharp one? About ten years ago, my in-laws bought this Global chef's knife for Christmas. I have used it almost daily since. You can go to stores, like Williams-Sonoma, and test drive different knives to see which one best fits your style. I like the way this knife fits in my hand. Global knives have a reputation for being light and holding their edge.
Not long after I started using my new knife, I could tell it lost its edge. I called the knife store and the first question the employee asked me was, "What kind of cutting board are you using?" Turns out I was using a glass cutting board and they are horrible for dulling knife blades. Some people are afraid of using wooden boards because of germs. When cutting raw meat, I use a plastic board. For everything else I use wood then simply rinse it with really hot water. Occasionally I will use soap, or spray it with hydrogen peroxide then rinse it.
3. Sharpies, Masking Tape, and Scissors
These things are not only for the home office. Sharpies will write on virtually anything: paper, plastic, metal...even your clothes! My friend, HB, introduced me to the magic of the clickable Sharpie and you don't have to keep up with a cap.
Frequently I will reuse yogurt containers to freeze broth and label them with tape and Sharpie. Or, if sending several containers of food to a friend, use a sharpie right on the container.
The vintage scissors used in my kitchen have black metal handles. My family knows if these are found outside the confines of my kitchen...beware! These scissors are used primarily for quickly opening packages.
4. Glass Jars
My preference is the wide mouth jar so I can stick my hand all the way to the bottom and clean it but any jar will do. My parents used to eat Miracle Whip by the truck loads, oh wait, they still do. I should say: Miracle Whip used to come in glass jars. Remember that? Well, my
You can pour hot soups into glass (I don't like to put hot food in plastic). You can use jars for storage of virtually anything. Even though you can see what's in a jar I have been known to label it, just for fun. Instead of the standard issue metal lids and bands that are prone to rusting, I usually replace with plastic lids...on which you can write and erase the Sharpie.
With all the time spent in the kitchen, save yourself time in the laundry room and wear an apron. Add a string of pearls and pretend you're June Cleaver. You won't catch me wearing her heels, though.
What have you found increases efficiency?