Sometimes the items you have hanging around your kitchen turn into the perfect tool you needed. 

Sometimes you find yourself short on things in the kitchen. No milk, only one egg left, tons of baking soda but no powder. Really it happens more often than I would like.

Luckily, there are situations where that is easily remedied. No buttermilk? Milk and white vinegar is a fine substitute.

When it comes to a lack of kitchen utensils, your skill of improvising can really shine. Can’t mess up a recipe using a wooden spoon and a bowl instead of a stand mixer.

In my case, I like making homemade pasta on occasion. I like being able to put whatever I want into tortellinis and not be railroaded into the spinach and ricotta. A mixture of pork sausage, cream cheese and spices really hits the spot.

When I make spaghetti or something, I find myself in a real bind. If i just lay the noodles on the cutting board, they tend to get clumpy or one side gets slimy. It is really a weird reaction they go through touching anything.

In an ideal world, I would have a 4,000-square-foot kitchen where I could just have various stations all set up, ready to rock and roll when I felt like making something.

In the real world, my kitchen barely qualifies as a kitchen. Get two people in there and you are elbow to elbow and quite cozy. Getting a pasta rack would just be another cog in an overcrowded wheel. My kitchen is already looking like my grandmother’s, who spent decades building up all her stuff, overflowing to the brim.

The solution? Kabob skewers out of my top cabinets held down by canned goods. It worked flawlessly. The skewers even made excellent pasta stirrers. Bonus. After I was finished, I cleaned up and I was back to the square one crowded kitchen. Next time you find yourself lacking something, look around and use your imagination. The solution might just be waiting under some canned corn!

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