Friday, May 11, 2007

Stuff - III - The Kitchen

I've gone through the kitchen and realized that between the house and Laurent's apartment in Beijing we have enough kitchen "stuff" to open an intimate bistro. Do we really need all those pots, pans, casseroles, the two woks, the bamboo steamer? I certainly haven't used them much in the past three years - but then I haven't been entertaining all that often. And when was the last time I used that ginormous wire whisk? As a kitchen utensil? ..... Never mind!

A design on Hunting SceneAnd the dishes!!!! We have Tante Fernande's china (York Rose - a rather lovely set that she collected in DUZ detergent during the 40s and 50s, a cup, a plate etc per box), my Crown Staffordshire (Hunting Scene, "a favorite of horse lovers....") that cannot go in the dishwasher, the old Robertson Stoneworks every day set, the Chinese blue and white set, the.... well you get the picture. And Laurent just bought another set in Beijing to go with those celadon rice bowls we just had to buy in Hong Kong at Christmas.

The one item I am loathed to chuck out is my Cuisinart Food Processor. I bought it when I first moved to Ottawa over 31 years ago - it came with a James Beard Food Processor cook book that included a recipe for Gazpacho. Gazpacho? Thirty years ago nobody in Ottawa served gazpacho - except at 210-1833 Riverside Drive where it became a find-a-boyfriend-for-the-winter-dinner-menu staple. I even got all the attachment - and of course ended up using only the chopping blade. The motor still runs fine, the blade is still as sharp as a newly-stropped razor but the plastic bowl is cracking and finding a replacement is next to impossible. Question is: do I want to cart it all the way to Italy? Something to think about.

As a sidebar: In this week's NYTimes Style section the Minimalist maintain that a good no-frills kitchen can be equipped for $300.00 USD. And he's right - so maybe I'll just throw everything out and start all over again!


BigAssBelle said...

oh it's so hard to decide these things. i recently pared down my kitchenware and it was wretched. as soon as i get rid of something, i find that i need it to make some fabulous recipe or other.

i got rid of my duplicates and kept only the best of everything. your food processor story made me laugh because i spent half of last summer getting my mother-in-law settled in a 400 square foot apartment and getting rid of her 2500 square foot house full of stuff and the thing she was INSISTENT she was not giving up was the cuisinart. :-)

i am also a dish fiend and have my mother's beautiful china, a set of Woodfield, which i adore and never even touch but can't let go, an entire set of harlequin, less than i want but still a lot of riviera, various and sundry luncheon sets (as if!) and then i have boxes and boxes of entire sets of china and porcelain and tea sets and dessert sets in my warehouse. i simply cannot resist them. my weakness. one of many, but it continues unabated.

i say TAKE THEM ALL!! how DO you move all of this stuff halfway around the world? does someone come in and pack it and fill a container?

BigAssBelle said...

whisk . . . "as a kitchen utensil" . . . haha!!

Anonymous said...

How I remember those detergent dishes. I guess we didn't use Duz as our dishes were melamine! We had green, blue, yellow and pink plates. Apparently I named them all and had great converstions while drying the dishes - obviously I did dishes at a very young age!

laurent said...

Start over in the kitchen, Oh my!