Can there be comfort in kitchen routines?

I love coffee.

But, even more than drinking coffee, I love the routine of making coffee.

Every morning I follow the exact same coffee routine. I heat water on the stove top in a tea kettle until the water boils. Then, I let the water sit briefly until it cools to 197ºF. The point at which the water is the perfect temperature, I pour it over freshly ground beans in my AeroPress:

I stir the water and grounds 10 times with a non-reactive stirrer, then depress the plunger at a steady pace to extract a beautiful cup of coffee.

I find great comfort in the daily making and drinking of my cup of coffee. It might seem ridiculous to you, especially if you aren’t a coffee drinker, but you likely have a food or drink or other routine in your life that has a similar effect on you.

Kitchen routines have both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, an after-meal clean up routine keeps the kitchen clean and clutter free. The routines of making your favorite meals or getting ready for a dinner party can be just as soothing as making that morning cup of coffee. On the negative side, routines can also imply that you’re in a cooking rut — you make the same things over and over again because you’re busy and the creativity isn’t flowing.

What are your favorite kitchen routines? Do you love making a morning cup of coffee like I do? Do you look forward to the time alone with your thoughts each night after dinner while you’re doing the dishes? Share your favorites (and your least favorite routines) with everyone in the comments.

7 comments posted

  1. Posted by Rae - 04/05/2011

    My morning coffee routine is almost identical, and just as sacred! I moved to the French press when I started RVing off hookups and never returned to my drip-type maker!

  2. Posted by Megan - 04/05/2011

    My favorite kitchen routine is making baby food for my 9 month old. Chopping fruits & veggies, steaming, pureeing or mashing, then spooning into ice cube trays. I love that it’s such a simple process but so satisfying.

  3. Posted by Matt Fetissoff - 04/05/2011

    I find joy in my little morning routine as well.

    wake up
    fill electric kettle with water and switch it on
    teabag n sugar in mug or fresh press with coffee
    pour hot water, stir or press
    drink for chilly morning comfort

  4. Posted by Sky - 04/05/2011

    Baking bread. I use a starter that has to be “fed” every 3 days and used the next day so I bake 3 loaves each time or make rolls. It is very therapeutic.

  5. Posted by Damsel - 04/05/2011

    I have kitchen routines that I love, but never in the morning! It’s funny that you wrote about loving your coffee routine, because I just wrote this week about how much I love my programmable coffee maker… I love it so that I don’t have to *think* about my coffee in the morning until it’s time to drink it. Funny how two people that both love coffee can have such different opinions.

    Now that I think about it, though, I guess I do love what little coffee routine I *do* have in the morning – pour it into the cup (always the same one), four cubes of ice, and off to the living room to sit in my recliner in the quiet!

    I love getting my son’s lunch together each evening. It’s super quick since I make all of his sandwiches and bag all of his snacks on the weekend, but I still like it. It makes me feel like a loving mom!

  6. Posted by Living the Balanced Life - 04/05/2011

    Oddly enough, even though I actually *dislike* doing the dishes, I like the routine of getting the sink empty, rinsed out, strainer emptied, counter wiped down and trash taken out each evening. It feels rewarding to see it happen! For so many years when I had a houseful of kids, I did not get that satisfaction, lol!

  7. Posted by Karen - 04/05/2011

    I actually like putting the kitchen “to bed” every night. While my husband does the kids’ baths, I empty the dishwasher (which is run right after dinner), clean out the sink, wipe down the counters, set up my teakettle and cup for the morning, and turn the lights off. To me, this signifies that the day’s work is really done, and I can relax for the rest of the evening. And having a clean kitchen, with an empty dishwasher, is a great way to start the morning.

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