Class Up Your Kitchen
A while back, Dominic wrote an article about how to stock your bathroom with consideration for the ladies, so that you may be considered a gentlemen. I’ve been thinking about writing some companion pieces on how to prep the rest of your domicile that way, and I thought I’d start with the area most single men seem to be lacking in: the kitchen.
Step One is simple. If it’s not clean, do better. A girlfriend once told me she didn’t want to come over to my place, simply because walking in the door to my vaguely controlled chaos immediately de-aroused her. This isn’t something we’re ever going to fix about the fairer sex, so take heed. If you’re one of those men who actually cooks for himself, you’re likely to need to be even more careful about this.
Step Two is Stock Up. Don’t be the cliché single male who only has beer, a half-full flat bottle of soda, and condiments in the fridge. Don’t be that guy! Have enough on hand that you can spontaneously make any meal of the day. Eggs, peppers, and cheese for making a nice scramble or omelet in the a.m. (check out my article on cooking for some help there), deli meat and (good!) bread for sandwiches, and some pasta basics for dinner. Cheap enough, and it’ll make you look much more on top of things when she peeks in your fridge. Because, sir, right after the medicine cabinet, she totally will.
Step Three, Stock Better. Once you have the basics so you look like you’re in control, step up your game. Buy a good saute pan. Cast iron is great, but can be a hassle. Non-stick is easy, but can be high maintenance if you’re a beginner. Calphalon makes an excellent stainless steel pan series that work wonderfully and look sexy too. You need two key knives, a paring knife (blade about the size of your small finger) and a chef’s knife or santoku, six or eight inches in length. And do I have to tell you that any adult ought to have enough matching cutlery and plates to serve four people without mixing and matching?
Step Four is Bar Up. If all the alcohol you have in the fridge is beer, you’re a lousy host, especially for a woman. Have a dressed up six pack for occasions, as well as a good bottle of wine or two to serve, preferably a red or a white, but stock what you like. Finally, one bottle of good liquor that is NOT for you in your off time, but is for you and your female guests. A fun, different-looking bottle is a nice conversation starter, but keep the booze simple. No tequila, this isn’t party booze, gin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so rum or vodka are the safest. Keep some good mixers handy, too, which means cosmo mix or the like for vodka, and lime, mint and soda for the rum, rather than just coke.
Lastly, Step Five is Decorate. You don’t have to do it a lot, but a blank kitchen that looks largely the way you found it, except for stains, is not appealing. You don’t have to do window treatments, but make it your own kitchen, as opposed to just a kitchen. Fridge magnets are easy, but be discerning, find ones that are your taste, not the first ones you can find. Poetry magnets are easy, but don’t get them if you’re not going to use them. A few articles on the fridge make you look like you’re a thinking man, so don’t put them up if you’re not. Coordinated hand towels, dish towels, and hot mitt might seem a bit much, but trust me, it’ll be classy. Finally, if you can stay on top of it, put some flowers in a clear glass vase or a clever receptacle. Only do this if you can be man enough to buy flowers every week or two, because the effect will be ruined if they’re dead.
Simple? I’d like to think so. Unless you go nuts on the kitchen implements, the food and booze won’t set you back too much, and you’d buy it eventually, just not necessarily all at the same time. The funny thing is, once you’ve gussied up your kitchen and put a bit of effort into it, you’ll surprise yourself by wanting to use it more often, and that makes you just that much more appealing to the opposite sex.
Featured photo credit: “Danger, Men Cooking” by jacobfg on Flickr. CC, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Some Rights Reserved.
In-line photo credit: ”Men Can Cook, 9 Janvier 2010” by Michael Carpentier on Flickr. CC, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), Some Rights Reserved.