Kitchen Gadget Hoarding, A Subcategory Foodies Belong In
I love to eat. Secondly, I love to cook. I've written previously how I hoard cook books. Now I have to fess up to some gadget hoarding. And while I'm on the topic of the kitchen, I want to touch on something I wish I had done less of in the pursuit of cooking amazing meals for myself and others: Food Waste.
So here's how it goes:
I read the book and I plan meals around the favorite recipes. I spend the next few weeks planning to visit places I can buy harissa, pomegranate glaze, raspberry shrub, sourdough starter or that mouth numbing hot relish I recently ate at the North African restaurant.
I cook lavishly for a week or two and then, I take a break. I have to because in my life there are other things to attend to: work, the family, volunteering, self care (sleep, exercise), seeing friends. Once I pull back on the intense cooking, the cilantro I bought goes south, the kimchi gets a little too funky, that Mexican Cotija cheese turned a different color in the back of the fridge and I feel bad.
Food goes to waste. It's a horrible feeling to know that in my fridge there's always something falling over the edge of usefulness to waste. I'm the cook and food shopper in my home so I feel a constant tension to be alert to the radishes shriveling or the herbs turning to brown mush.
The leftovers are always calling to me.
The math? I made that beef stew last Tuesday. It's now Sunday. I should have put it in the freezer. It's too late. Or is it? Now it's Monday, and after the smell test, something's not right. Or maybe it's just me. I'm going to avoid it for now. Now it's Wednesday. Ugh, I don't even want to open it.
Many times we do end up using everything, I have ideas for all the odds and ends we save and I repurpose things. I feel very Tamar Adler, who wrote Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace. Other times, the week is unexpectedly hectic and no one eats the chicken pot pie for 6 days. When I open the chicken pot pie and give it the sniff test... I know right away it's done and I get the spatula and scrape into the trash.
Now that I've confessed to wasting food, despite good efforts to eat mostly at home, let me just lay it all out there.
According to simple living rules I shouldn't have more than I use everyday or weekly.
Here, I will confess, I am a lover of gadgets and am therefore always coveting some tool.
Gadgets I own but don't use very often:
- ice cream maker
- arepa maker
- tortilla maker
- belgian waffle maker
- chapati roller
What to do? Give them away? Never!
Cooking is a hobby, I like being able to make Colombian arepas or roll out my own chapatis. But I admit, it gets to be a bit much, having the gadgets violates the simple living I advocate. Especially when we are eating take out, while I'm surrounded with surplus kitchen gadgets and a past due beef stew in the fridge.
So how to reconcile these two? I'm both a foodie and I hate wasting food.