Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Less is more

First: yes this ironic coming from me. But with 2 kitchens, I have discovered something: you might have enough stuff in your house to equip 2 kitchens.  Sure, there are a few things you will want to duplicate, because they are perfect and you use them everyday.  But beyond the basics, having more stuff in your kitchen will not made you cook more. Or be a better cook.  In fact, having more stuff will slow you down. If you have to dig through the utensil drawer to find your favorite spatula (and in those of you fortunate to have large kitchens, look through 3 utensil drawers to find that spatula), it delays getting dinner on the table – no matter how many time savings gadgets are in that drawer. 

So apply those same rules that you are supposed to use for your closet:  if you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.  Yes, make exceptions for those special event type pans, but don’t put them in prime locations.  If it doesn’t fit (your dishwasher, your lifestyle, or your cupboard), find it a new home.  If you never run out of something because they are all in the dishwasher, you probably have too many.   If you love a pan but don’t use it, try using it differently.  For example, I received a really nice ceramic pie pan as a gift.  I loved it.  But it was a little deep for a pumpkin pie. Apple pies have been replaced by apple galettes in my kitchen.  It moved to the 2nd kitchen and gets used for quiche and cakes (since I don’t have quiche or round cake pans), used for serving, used for holding breading for chicken. It even has been used for pumpkin pie.  It does the work of 5 different cooking tools!

Don’t stop with the pots and utensils.  If there is food that has been in your house for over a year … realize it needs to go, no matter how healthy it is (or was), how enticing it looked at the store, or how well intentioned a gift it was.  If you have to dig through your freezer and dig through your cabinets to find what you need to get dinner on the table, dinner will take longer to make. 

The real irony:  Having fewer options will make you a better cook.  If you cook the same things over and over, you get good (and fast) at fixing that thing.  If you don’t have a pan or ingredient the recipe calls for, you will learn to be creative.  If only I was good at applying this logic to my closet. 

I will close this rant with a simple recipe that I learned from my mom. 

Ice Tea:  

Use whatever tea you like.  I generally use green tea, and sometimes mix green tea and ginger tea.  This works for black tea too.

6 – 8 tea bags (depending on how strong you like your tea)
2 quarts of water

Put the water and tea bags in a pitcher.  Put in the refrigerator.  The next day, remove the tea bags.  The tea is ready to drink. 

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