We all need a quarantine angel. For me, it’s my Russian neighbor who burst into my apartment six months ago, declared it was “time for a change,” and expertly rearranged my living room. For many others, it’s sweet, sweet Ina Garten, who released her ultra-comforting new cookbook Modern Comfort Food last month. Now, fans can peer into Garten’s legendary barn kitchen thanks to a video recently posted on the NYT Cooking YouTube channel.
In the video, Our Lady Of Roasted Chicken welcomes viewers into her very approachable barn kitchen-slash-home office, located in casually swanky East Hampton, New York. For Garten, the barn is a way to maintain a bit of work-life balance; she mentions that she used to work and film in her house, which was “crazy.” Now, she starts the workday by strolling across the property and preparing a few kitchen necessities she keeps close at hand, including room temperature ingredients like eggs, garlic, and citrus. In the video, she also highlights her handy jar of antique silver tasting spoons, which she keeps on her kitchen counter. Finally, she shows off her butcher blocks, which she says “last forever” with proper care.
To round out the tour, Garten shows off her very favorite kitchen essential: her homemade vanilla extract, which she says she’s been making for 35 years. It’s apparently pretty easy to execute: she just plops vanilla beans into a jar, fills it with cheap vodka, and waits for the extract to develop over the course of four to six months. Like everything else in Garten’s kitchen, the vanilla extract is practical, affordable, and accessible for even the most no-nonsense home cook.