Kitchen Equipment and Appliances: Part I:- The Oven and Meals

A well-seasoned chicken, roasted until golden in the oven


The summer has been oppressively hot. I can’t wait for that time of year when the days get decidedly cool.

If you are like me, you dream of the weekends and holidays when you can cozy up under the blankets. But the cold weather does bring with it, hours indoors. And ‘indoors’, means being mostly at home.


Maybe we have tighter budgets to deal with, with the rate of inflation being high. And if you, like myself, live with a strict budget and your home is relatively compact, every inch of space counts. And you cannot live on fast food alone, if you want to maintain a healthy body.

You want to feel energetic and not weighed down by junk food.

You might be forced into cooking at home this year because of inflation and do not know where to start. If you realize that your budget for food delivery services like Doordash and the like, is shrinking, this post might help.

Basic Meals

Believe me, I understand, if you’re bewildered by the world of cooking and are a newbie.

You are not going to venture into the world of sourdough starters and the like, as a beginner. I know you need to start from scratch.

I started cooking seriously at the age of 19 and there was tremendous pressure for me to rustle up meals because I was already married at the time, in my first marriage.

And I was expected to know how to cook, being a woman in a traditional marriage. I was also attending law school at that time.

Fire Up the Oven and…

In the summer, I avoid using the oven, as much as I can.

But, in the colder months, I generally don’t have the benefit of the barbecue pit to keep me happily fed.

This time of the year is when I love to prepare my meals and treats with the help of an oven. So, I bake and cook at two ends of the day. It helps that the oven warms up my home at the same time. And of course, I love cooking. My road to cooking is found in Food for the Belly.

Cook – The Dutch Oven

For those of us with smaller kitchens and not much counter space, the multi-cooker or pressure cooker doesn’t get pride of place on the kitchen counters. You need items that can be put away when not in use. The oven is a big space to cook food in. I, for one, then resort to dutch ovens to take my meats and casseroles from the stove to the oven.

I got my generic brand dutch oven from Walmart. It is big enough to fit a small chicken or a pot roast or a big batch of stew. You aren’t confined to a fancy brand like Le Creuset or the like, to be able to afford a dutch oven. I use this cookware for big batches and not for daily meals. It is a heavy pot and made for heavy-duty cooking to feed the many. Here is my dutch oven in all its glory.

This lovely pot can be brought straight to the table from the oven. It can also be stashed away in a cupboard when not in use and hauled out another time for that big-batch cooking project.

Roast – Pans to Roast In, Sheet Pans

My husband and sons are the disciplined members of the household who bravely face the dishes and the cleaning thereof, most often. Despite their heroic and constant success delivering clean dishes, they do not love doing dishes.

Enter the sheet pan. It is versatile and therefore, multi-purpose. If you need to deal with greasy clean-up, then foil or paper lining the pan is a godsend. Lined or not, you will find endless uses for the humble sheet pan, to throw food in and roast, pronto. I love doing a spectrum of vegetables and potatoes and root vegetables.

Roasting in roasting pans do beautiful things to your meats and poultry and seafood. For example, if, you like me, are a fan of the crisp golden skin of chicken, you will be well-fed.

Sheet pan versatility

Smells and Comfort

I do love cooking with herbs, spices and seasonings. However, my advice to you is to start with basic seasonings so your kitchen cupboards don’t end up exploding with expired spices and herbs. Remember, fresh is better, so you can comfortably use a few favorites and confidently enjoy the flavor and aroma in your food.

There is nothing better than you making an aromatic dinner in the oven while the oven warms up your house and makes it cosy.


I wrote this post for anyone who is a newbie or for those of us trying to pare down our kitchen equipment. We want to make or have space for work from home and for a host of other indoor activities. At the same time, we want to be cooking filling and comforting food. If you are spending most, if not all your time indoors, at home, you know that a functional, tidy home is essential. It makes for a happier, more peaceful, well-fed environment.

May we all find that happy balance as the cold weather arrives and beyond!

kitchen interior with gas stove and kitchenware in house
Functional, efficient kitchen space
Photo by Charlotte May on

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