We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Last weekend was emptying a storage closet. 95% of what was in there ended in the trash. Even some good stuff, but never needed.
As in Babar, we found an old Father Christmas in there, and, stuffed in the furthest back under the eaves, two boxes of Christmas decorations and ornaments. Forgot we had them, but we do less-decorated Christmases these days.
Yesterday's project was the kitchen drawers. Just for a few examples, we found my wife's grandmother's walnut pasta rolling pin, her mother's rolling pin, and of course, ours. I think we have enough kitchen tools for three households. And I found two sets of meat-injectors (I guess I couldn't find the other one so bought a new one), and three basters. One steel, two plastic. Clearly, could not find a baster so got new.
And you know those great tongs you use to take pasta out of the pasta pot and dump directly into the sauce? We had three. The thing with cooking tools is that there are many of them that you use rarely, like meat thermometers or meat injectors, so they end up invisible in the backs of drawers, so you say the heck with it and just make do without.
Virus projects. We are not on any sort of phobic lockdown, but there aren't many places to go except for hikes and horses. Have we been home-cooking more? You betcha. Twice/week takeout from our favorite places, but otherwise, more.
I have a lot of old kitchen tools as well, handed down for generations. Slaw cutter, bone saw, meat tenderizing hammer, milk churn... It seems a shame, but I'll probably end up throwing most of it out. Or maybe I'll set up a card table down by our mailboxes with a sign "Free to good home".
What you did was smart. For me, though, it's not so much a practical decision. My problem is that I'm emotionally attached to some of these utensils. When I pick up...say...a paring knife that belonged to my grandmother, I can picture her peeling apples with it and feel connected to her in some way. We still use the set of steak knives that our grandparents gave my wife and I as a wedding present. I think fondly of them whenever I use those knives. To toss out any of that stuff would be like breaking the bond between us.
Dad was a wholesale butcher at a small packing plant when I was a kid. The owner's younger son and I had free run of the place every weekend, from killing floor to smokehouse to the cellar stacked with stinking salted hides, and we loved it. Dad upscaled to teaching arts and woodshop and we left that all behind, until Dad retired back in the 80's, and rekindled his old friendship with the late meatpacker's sons. Dad left me some great handmade woodcrafts, some worn woodworking tools, and a double handful of butcher knives, repeatedly sharpened to half their original width. None of which I would ever part with; I use them daily.
Six weeks quarantined now and all home cooking. Lunch was always my favorite time for fast food and restaurant diners either for specific occasions or when appointments put us in town at dinner time. I miss pizza more than any of my other favorites. I am reluctant to do the curbside delivery because you have zero control or knowledge of what contamination may take place where the food is prepared. I'm beginning to think that the road back to normal is going to be very long even if they eliminated all the closure requirements today. I may not go to a restaurant ever again. I'm old enough and with multiple health issues that the Wu-flu would probably kill me. So I just don't intend to take any risks at all.
I miss pizza more than any of my other favorites.
Pizza isn't that hard to make. I do a faster version that doesn't involve heating up the oven, but cooks the dough on a skillet.
For the dough, I put ingredients into a bread machine. I use just an ordinary bread recipe. After an hour or so of rising, I grab a handful of dough- about 1 cup of flour's worth- and roll it out. I then put the dough in a medium hot skillet. I set my electric skillet to 300-325. One side should cook in 3-5 minutes- see bubbles on the top. Flip and add topping- cheese, some already cooked sauce.
A common perk here in Israel is company-paid lunch. Typically it's a debit card that is recharged every month. Most restaurants and takeouts accept them, especially in business areas..
My wife and i really miss those lunches, which were often the main meal here as in Europe. We are empty nesters so we got by with salads in the evening - but now we are doing a lot more cooking from scratch. Very slim takeaway options out in the boonies.
I bought a bullet smoker for Passover and have been playing with that. Passover always precipitates a spring cleanout/reorg of the kitchen, so we are doing that too.
Heaven only knows what duplicates we have of many kinds of things, but it rarely happens in the kitchen. My husband is fanatical about things having a predictable storage spot in the kitchen, so if we had duplicates, we'd probably notice quickly.
I wish I could say the same about my clothes closet, or the garage, which are black holes most of the time. Nor can I claim to have done any extraordinary tidying, which is not too surprising, considering that my daily behavior during the lockdown has barely changed from the last 20 years.