I love camping, sleeping in a tent, which is where most of my friends and I part ways.  But I have great memories of lying in the star-filled air on the Navajo reservation and in the Grand Teton forest where you can’t even see the next campsite, as well as sitting awed for hours in the Swiss Alps, watching the mountain reflected in the tiny, perfect lake (okay, there isn’t that much else to do in Eggbergen).

       This is not a paean to Nature, however, just an observation that even with a Coleman stove and a couple of pans we were able to eat well--a prelude to pulling apart my kitchen to downsize it with the new Monday Morning challenge in mind.  

    Back in the day, cookbooks printed lists of what you needed to have in a fully functioning kitchen.  So I pulled out The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukens to see what they suggested.  Tom and I were both interested in cooking once upon a time.

    Rosso and Lukens wisely break kitchens down into three types: Basic, Complete, and Professional.  I found most of what they suggest for the Basic kitchen, with the exception of an oven thermometer, a salad spinner, and a kitchen scale.  But our kitchen doesn’t meet the Complete Kitchen standard (no waffle iron or individual souffle ramkins etc.) and Professional is off the charts.  A mother-of-pearl caviar spoon?  Oh shoot, I must have given ours away.

    Even before starting, I can think of several sticking points.  We have two colanders, one a very large, bright stainless steel from Williams-Sonoma, the other smaller, dull-finished and slightly dented that we’ve had forever.  Guess which one we always use to drain pasta?  Another problem is the large, gorgeously colored Kitchen Aid mixer (ours is royal blue) that everyone once needed and that I haven’t used in years.  It takes up prime space, a consideration since we converted our pantry to a sunroom a few years ago.

    So I’m heading into the kitchen with a carton and the image of other people happily using  what I discard.  I also want to be able to easily find what I need to cook a meal without having to move stuff to pull it out.  

    I’m curious as to how this will play out!  I’ll report on Friday, along with several responses from you.
 


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decluttering, psychology of stuff, Last Typewriter Standing, organizing, Scaling Down, The Clutter Cure, mysteries, New York author, bookselling, writing, used and rare books, travel books, Paris, Long Island,