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Thursday, April 12, 2012

De-cluttering

  The Mayan doomsday prophesy has had me thinking along the lines of "the end". I, for one, am very skeptical about the prediction, but that is material for another blog, not this one. But, in the vein of things changing quickly, I was thinking about what I would take with me from my kitchen, should I have to relocate quickly. I confess I am also thinking about reducing the physical clutter so maybe I can reduce the mental clutter, as well.
   What would you take if you had to move, not by choice, but by necessity? What could you just not do without?
   Hands down I would have to say my KitchenAid® stand mixer, with the stainless steel bowl, dough hook, whisk, and paddle, is something I cannot see myself living without. Then there's my aluminum-clad bottom pots and pans made of 18/10 stainless steel--no, I don't use ANY of those non-stick things. I'd also bring my cast iron dutch oven, my Pampered Chef® sheet pans and Covered Baker, my pasta roller--yes, I finally got one, and the only cookbook I would have to bring would be The Stocked Kitchen by Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins. I have to stop there, because I could very easily get carried away.
  Hmmm. I can hear some of you asking, you'd only bring one cookbook? Well, yes, but you see, I have a backup plan already in action. I keep a copy of my personal favorite recipes in an email to myself, so I can open it and retrieve them wherever I end up. And when I update my collection, I just send myself another email. Just a little cyber trick my son taught me. I also have a file on my computer, and I sent a copy to my son, as another backup. After collecting recipes for over 30 years I would really be unhappy if I lost all my work. My original intention was to burn a CD for each of my kids with my recipes in order to preserve them for the future generations. I haven't done the CD yet, but the collecting and saving part is in full swing. I think once I kick the bucket, and will no longer being adding any entries they can use whatever technology is then current to save their Mother's recipes. Sounds like a plan to me, and a lot less baggage. This "book" can be edited for all time. I like that.
   So that, in a nutshell, is what I feel I need to start-up a new kitchen: a stand mixer, a pasta roller, 18/10 stainless pots and pans, a few pieces of cast iron and ceramic, one cookbook, and one computer file. Now to translate that info into reality...hmmm, as I look around this much too large kitchen, there are many many things that could go.
   I have started de-cluttering by donating about 20 cookbooks to one of the local High School classes for an auction fund-raiser. I certainly hope those books do someone some good. They are ones I haven't used in a very long time--I got over the likes of Rachel Ray years ago, although she did teach me certain things about speeding up the cooking process, her fare was still too foreign for my family (we are Italian, but from a different area.) I hope someone locally can appreciate what those books have to offer. I am just thankful I found a good cause to donate them to.
   So, what about you? What would you bring?



 Kallio, Sarah, and Krastins, Stacey, The Stocked Kitchen: one grocery list...endless recipes. Atria Books, New York, NY. 2009.

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