Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Simple Pleasures

I'd like to think that I'm simplifying my life - eliminating unnecessary stuff and limiting myself to purchases that will be used over the long term.  I hate the fact that I am such a consumer and that it doesn't take much for me to process through something and then be finished with it.  Lately that means I've tried to really think about purchases that I make and items that I use.  Instead of just tossing something into the cart, I question myself pretty hard about its potential outcome and find that it isn't so difficult to just leave things on the shelf.

With that said, I found something the other day at the grocery store that simply couldn't remain on the shelf and when I weighed the $2 cost against its potential demise in my world, I figured I just couldn't resist.

It's a pepper keeper!  Isn't it wonderful?  How did I justify this?  Well, every time I use a portion of a green pepper, I put the rest in a zip lock bag and store it in the fridge.  I toss out the bag before I get a new pepper, so that's waste - right?  On the other hand, this will be washed out and ready for the next pepper as soon as it comes into the house.  By the way, I love green peppers and this will be used all the time.

Another absolutely favorite item is my cast iron skillet.  I didn't grow up using one of these.  Oh, every once in awhile, mom would go on a kick and use hers for awhile, but it ended up in a cupboard at the cabin and has long since been taken to Goodwill.  Once I discovered the joy of a well-seasoned and well-used cast iron skillet, I have never wanted to use anything else.

I cook nearly everything in this - including pizza - with my own great pizza dough and my own ingredients.  I'd forgotten how good homemade pizza could be.  I love that it the skillet works in my oven and on the stovetop.

One other item that I hate the idea of living without is my bread machine.  I'm on my third machine.  The last two wore out and I'm hoping that this will hold up for quite some time, but I use it constantly.

I finally broke down a few years ago and purchased a gorgeous machine. I work this thing to death. I could get a little more experimental with it and try some of the wild bread recipes that are out there, but for the time being, I love making bread for my friends and I'll keep it busy with the bread I know.  My Grandmother Greenwood baked bread every week and I spent a lot of time with her learning how to mix and knead the dough.  She taught me what I need to know to do this by hand, but I do love the machine.

As I glance around, I realize there are a couple of other things in the kitchen I don't want to have to live without - my glorious mixer and my toaster.  I live for toast.  Right now I don't have the perfect toaster - someday I'll find it, but until then, I'm happy with what I have.

Simplifying my life isn't as easy as I want it to be.  I can't get rid of stuff fast enough.  I know if I invite my sister into my space, it will all be gone in a whirlwind.  Consequently, she's not invited ... yet.  Someday I'll get to the place where I just need it to be gone and I'll call her up.  I'm just not ready for it yet.

While I process on all of that, I'll enjoy using these things that make me happy in the kitchen.

By the way ... I'm not much for beautiful photography of things in the kitchen. I'm fine with being utilitarian in my photos. If you want to spend some time with a beautiful young woman who sees the world through the lens of her camera and has lately taken that camera into her kitchen, check out my friend Alison's blog at "This Homemade Life."  You will love her stuff!

1 comment:

alison said...

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