Dancing Tomatoes

local. seasonal. sustainable.


To you and yours, all the best for the upcoming year, which promises to be filled with discoveries, prosperity, and exciting new things!

With best wishes from us here in Paris, where the Eiffel Tower is lit up in gorgeous Europe-blue each evening (to celebrate France’s Presidency of the European Union for the upcoming six months), seasonal decorations are still sparkling, and life is haltingly taking on its normal rhythm.  I say haltingly because there are some changes and we’re all getting used to them.  The biggest one for me?  For now, no waltzing into a café, standing at the “zinc” to sip an “exprès” while reading Le Parisien.  Instead, the waltz ends at a table where the crucial elements are present.

Getting Organized in the Kitchen

We at Dancing Tomatoes are starting the year by responding to questions we’ve gotten over the past year – our first! – about being organized and efficient while cooking.  There are simple, easy ways to work “organized” and when you put them in place, suddenly the sun shines in the kitchen all the time!!  You’re organized, you’re happy, your food tastes that much better!

Here are some tips to start your organization:

  • Get a (or many) plastic or metal scraper – called a “corne” in French and keep it handy for scraping the work surface clean, transferring things from one spot to another, even cutting things that don’t require a sharp blade.
  • Lazy Susan (!) – I have several, in different spots in the kitchen (spice shelves, drawers..) and they are fantastic for organizing because you can whirl them and see everything at a glance.
  • Metal measuring cups, stacked
  • Multiple measuring spoons in a container, metal, detached from their metal rings so you can access them quickly and easily
  • Bowls to measure things into.
  • Sieve to set over a bowl.
  • Hang as many things as possible on hooks, near where you cook, so you can access them easily.
  • Fresh herbs handy, for garnishing
  • Trim bowls, other bowls handy.
  • Peelers, zesters, spatulas….nearby, in a container or hanging nearby, for easy access
  • Put things in bowls, have ingredients in containers at hand, such as butter, salt, oil…
  • Have a collection of pitchers of different sizes, for measuring liquid into
  • Sponges, one for work surface, one for floor
  • Bleach solution ( about ¼ cup to a spray bottle’s worth of water)

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