An inventory

As we approach closing (please, let me not jinx closing, now rescheduled for November 12), I’ve indulged myself in a little fantasy about my cupboards.

cabinet guts

I'm not proud of this.

Our real-life house–the one we bought in 2001 and live in now and will continue to occupy 90 percent of the time–is small by modern standards: three bedrooms, two baths, 1290 square feet. In fact, the mountain house is 78 square feet larger. And into this real-life house, we squeeze: one man, one woman, one acutely squirmy 7-year-old boy, one wildly tall 4.5-year-old girl, one tiny cat, and two chickens. (Actually, the chickens live outside, but they consume a few nano-particles of psychic energy in our home.) We are not small people.

Seven beings accumulate a shocking number of things in nine years–too many things. Our cupboards overfloweth with THINGS. For economic and ecological reasons–and to preserve my over-cluttered sanity–I want to move a good chunk of the THINGS to the mountain house.

Bonne Maman jam

These jam jars will be our drinking glasses--except, you know, without all that pesky jam. What can I say, we eat a lot of PB&J around here.

I’ve started a kitchen list of items to move–objects I have now and know I will need upstate:

  • French jam jars, 6 (to be used as tumblers)–an idea I stole from our friends Kath and Greg.
  • plates, 4
  • spatula, silicone
  • chefs knife, dull
  • saucepan, 1
  • saute pan, 1
  • casserole dishes, 5,002 (Seriously, I have so many of these. I don’t know why.)
  • plastic storage containers (replaced by a glass set at home)
  • wine glasses, motley
  • cereal bowls, 8 (Currently making these in a ceramics class. No promises that they’ll look nice.)
  • French blue tea cups, 6 (Purchased at a garage sale by my 7-year-old dude. He kills me.)

If I did a thorough inventory of my kitchen cabinets, I’m sure I’d find more THINGS to move to our northern kitchen. But if I were the kind of person to do a thorough inventory of my cabinets, I wouldn’t have so much extra crap, now would I?

So, here’s your homework. (I know! Ballsy, isn’t it, to ask all 12 of my readers to do homework?) Please leave a comment telling me what you think I absolutely must have in my new kitchen. I’m trying to be minimalist, here, but I also want to cook. Must I buy a new mixer? Can I live without steak knives? What’s your favorite all-purpose kitchen utensil. I could look on Unclutterer, sure–a fantastic blog by all accounts–but your ideas are much more fun.

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7 Responses to An inventory

  1. Danielle says:

    I think you need a French press and a coffee grinder for coffee and spices.

  2. David Yeomans says:

    I would have to cast my vote in favor of a blender, it always sits on the counter unused in the daily routine, however you will be on vacation and vulnerable to its charms.

  3. Lindsey says:

    David, I like the way you think. (Although, truth be told, we’re partial to our vacation entertainment on the rocks.)

    Danielle, you’re right: French press in indispensable; we can’t live without ours at home. Do you grind lots of spices? I still haven’t broken away from the jars, but your technique sounds inspiring.

    Keep it coming, guys!

  4. Jennifer Sparkman says:

    * Baking sheets and possibly Silpat/parchment paper, in case the cookie-baking bug bites
    * Teapot
    * Can opener, vegetable peeler, pizza cutter, measuring cups/spoons, good kitchen scissors, mixing spoon

  5. Myra Burns says:

    Stick blender with attachments.

    It’s my blender and food processor, without taking up precious counter space. I use mine all the time… although I’m not sure if it would be as useful for a family of four as it is for a single person.

  6. Elaine Cull says:

    This is what the people who lived in our house this summer left behind (and I don’t think they bought very much else while they were here):

    – one big pot (i.e., spaghetti-making size)
    – one medium saucepan
    – one wooden…spatula? There’s probably an official name for it, but it’s somewhere between a wooden spoon and a spatula.
    – travel mugs
    – water bottles (though these and the travel mugs were all cafepress rejects)
    – coffee mugs
    – a few random kid plates and cups
    – plastic wine glasses
    – a small coffee maker

    I think if you throw in some plates and sporks, you could probably survive with not a lot more than that.

  7. Sarah says:

    You’re probably going to need a barbeque and some barbeque utensils…but those don’t really go in the kitchen, per se. You’ll need a colander for draining pasta and such. And, well, I would bake cookies a lot there. I would want a hand-held mixer (a standard at yard sales) or a manual method of creaming butter and sugar (wooden spoon? potato masher? pastry blender?) and a couple of cookie sheets, but maybe you can use a really shallow casserole dish for that? Consider also that you may find yourself entertaining and will need more like 10 jam jar tumblers. (When I was in college we used pasta sauce jars as larger glasses, but the people in my kitchen co-op ate a lot of spaghetti so we had a lot of jars to put to use. I once dropped one in a lecture hall, during a lecture; it was loud when it bounced and shattered.)

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