Autumn is the busiest time of the year when it comes to the kitchen. I can usually get away with simply throwing together a salad during the summer, but the colder months call for hearty home-cooked meals and a steady stream of seasonal vegetables cluttering up my countertops.
As a result, getting my kitchen ready for the new season involves a fair amount of preparation. Luckily I enjoy every minute of it, so I thought I’d share my tips and tricks here with you so that we can all enjoy the upcoming autumn months to the absolute fullest.
Clean, organise and declutter your kitchen
As someone with a stereotypical Type-A personality, it goes without saying that I absolutely love organising and decluttering. So a new season is the perfect opportunity for me to dig through the cupboards and drawers of my kitchen, getting rid of anything expired or unwanted and giving each surface a good scrub.
You may think you like your kitchen now, but just wait until you see it all shiny and spotless! Having a freshly deep-cleaned kitchen always inspires me to rearrange my appliances and cooking utensils on the countertops, and I’ve recently made some changes to my layout that almost makes me feel as though I have a whole new kitchen.
Bring on the wind and rain – I’ll be cooking up a storm this season!
Treat yourself to new oven gloves and tea towels
If you’re anything like me, you don’t replace your well-worn tea towels and oven gloves on a regular basis. However these seemingly insignificant items can make a huge difference to the aesthetic of your kitchen, particularly if they’re displayed on the front of your oven for all to see.
I recently treated myself to some deep brown waffle-print tea towels, which will be perfect for mopping up stew spillages and drying casserole dishes during the colder months. I also decided to replace my bee-print oven gloves as they felt a little too spring-like, so I purchased these adorable fox-print oven gloves instead. It may sound silly, but these small touches make me so excited to get back into the kitchen this season!
Dig out the casserole pot
I had been dreaming of this vibrant orange Le Creuset casserole dish for years, so I was overjoyed when Elliott presented it to me as a gift for my birthday back in August. I also have four mini casserole dishes from the same brand, which are perfect for serving homemade pot pies and soups.
Recently I decided to mark the changing season by displaying my new casserole pot on top of the cooker, a constant reminder of the stews and soups that I’ll be stirring up for the next few months. As well as being practical, it also serves to bring a burst of colour to my apartment and makes the room feel as cosy as a countryside kitchen.
Gather and display seasonal vegetables
I always make it a priority to visit Hewitt’s Farm as soon as their pumpkins, kabocha squash and various root vegetables become available and have also recently signed up to Riverford Organic Farmers, allowing me to receive a weekly boxed filled with organic and locally-grown fruits and vegetables. There’s nothing better than filling my kitchen with seasonal and colourful produce, and I’m lucky enough to own the most beautiful dishes in which to display them on my countertops.
Recently I’ve been researching the most effective ways to store various fresh ingredients, as in the past I’ve been guilty of simply cramming everything into the fridge. It can actually be more beneficial to store certain items in dark cupboards or on the countertops, as many fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutritional value when refrigerated.
While a display of seasonal produce looks beautiful in the kitchen, I also recommend sourcing some pretty little storage pots like this Terracotta Garlic Pot from Spice Mountain which I recently purchased and couldn’t be happier with.
Switch out your seasonal recipe books
There’s nothing nicer than a recipe book propped up proudly on a stand in the kitchen, providing endless inspiration and ideas throughout the year. I love to purchase them specifically for the different seasons in order to take advantage of the abundance of local fare, with salad and smoothie recipes during summer and homemade pies throughout the colder months.
Currently my autumn and winter Riverford recipe book has taken pride of place on my kitchen countertop – I purchased the stand from John Lewis and I think it adds the perfect rustic touch that I’ve been craving. I can’t wait to create a countryside-style kitchen when we purchase our first house soon, but until then I’m very happy with the wooden additions to my London apartment!
Add autumn touches with candles, pinecones and mini pumpkins
I always make sure to decorate my apartment for the autumn season, but somehow the kitchen always seems to be forgotten. This year, however, I’ve made it a priority to add seasonal touches to this much-loved room with mini pumpkins, natural pinecones that I picked up during a walk in the Suffolk woodlands and my favourite spiced pumpkin candle.
There’s something special about cooking a meal with a candle burning next to me, filling the room with the sweet smell of autumn. I could almost swear that it infuses some of that rustic charm into the meal, making everything taste that little bit more delicious.
Replace expired spices and condiments
This morning I suddenly decided that my collection of herbs and spices was completely unacceptable. The majority of them had been sitting in my pantry for years, losing flavour and vibrance with every meal. I’ve been reading a lot about the health benefits of various spices lately, so I decided to treat myself by placing an order with Spice Mountain and replacing every single one of the little jars in my pantry. As cooking is one of my favourite activities, it makes sense to spend a little more on high-quality and freshly ground spices in order to take my meals to the next level.
It’s also very satisfying to replace your expired kitchen goods at the beginning of a new season, including condiments such as Worcestershire sauce and English mustard. What better way to begin the autumn months than with a well-stocked pantry filled with all the necessary ingredients for hearty, home-cooked meals?
Autumn is just around the corner, and I challenge you to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon preparing your kitchen and your soul for the cosiest and most delicious time of the year.