Several months ago, in a “next step” to live more simply (and declutter), I looked around the kitchen and asked myself, “What can I live without?” Being a homesteading family, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen–it’s where we try out new recipes, can delicious goodies and sew or craft. We laugh, cry and entertain in this room. Why do we need so much stuff in it?!
My daughter and I were committed to having a room that not only looked more simple but functioned more simply.
The first thing to go? The microwave. Yep, I said it–the piece of equipment that provides the most convenience to a family on the go. Why did we need it? I grew up in a home prior to microwaves, and we’d done just fine. (Some mornings, I have to remind myself that as we’re running late trying to get out the door!) We were a bit skeptical, but once we got used to it, we found that with minimal planning, it wasn’t much different. Food tasted better, but even more importantly, it has taught us to slow down a bit rather than eat on the go.
Next step? Donate all the extra pots and pans–all we need is a large saute pan, a small sauce pot, a larger soup pot, and a crock pot. Anything else is just taking up space. Plus, I find when I have 4 things cooking on 4 burners, I am a mess–figuratively and literally. Cooking with fewer pans has helped me enjoy cooking again–taking my time rather than trying to rush through dinner preparations and ending up too overwhelmed to enjoy the meal.
We’ve moved some of our favorite cookbooks from the little pie safe cabinet onto the open corner cupboard shelves. They look beautiful there but also remind us of all the wonderful slow food recipes that await us each week. It’s also encouraged us to spend more quality time together planning meals rather than rushing through a store grabbing odds ‘n ends.
I cleaned out my utensil drawer and pitcher by the stove so that we have quality food preparation utensils that can be
found and used to make cooking easier and more efficient. My favorite local cooking store has tempted me with many new gadgets and gizmos that make meal prep fun (my teen can’t get enough of the herb shears). [See my blog posts on guilty pleasures for the homesteader.]
Finally, I strive to keep the kitchen table clean. I can’t promise that it is so every day, BUT at the very least, if there is a pile of stuff, it is small enough to be removed to an empty chair. I want our table to invite us to join together in healthy eating, share stories about our day, and linger over Saturday breakfast for as long as we’d like.
You see, slow food isn’t just about the food itself–it’s really a way of life. It’s a commitment not only to slow and healthy food preparation but also to a slow and healthy lifestyle–a significant and vital undertaking our society today.
Think about it, what is one change you can make to contribute to the slow food movement within your home? Hmmm, I’m wondering how many Goodwill stores will be receiving microwave donations tomorrow?!