Before I moved in with future husband, I’d been living alone on a student budget for a while. In spite of my fiscal constraints I managed, with some pride, to eat well and have an uncomplicated, if well stocked kitchen. As far as I was concerned, I could spend what I was saving on kitchen gadgets on nice food from the local gourmet grocery store, five minutes’ walk from my flat. My place was small, but managed to avoid clutter, by virtue of the fact that I did not enough money to clutter it. And I ate well.
Fast forward to a gainfully employed (alleged) adulthood. I still eat well. Our kitchen is a galley-style number with some standard MDF cabinetry and I find myself with a stunning lack of space to put supplies (edible or functional) anywhere. Since losing the all-important ‘on top of the microwave’ storage area in an unfortunate rice-cooking incident[i], I’m re-evaluating the usefulness of some of the items around the kitchen.
There’s only two people (plus one dog) living in the house, and the list of things that we use all the time is fairly short:
- non-stick fry pan
- knives (we have a magnetic rack for them, so no need to downsize there)
- cutting board
- wooden spoon
- mixing bowl
- coffee press
- coffee mugs
- electric kettle
- coffee grinder
- tea cups (handy one cup volume, so I use them instead of cup measures)
- mortar & pestle
- salad spinner
- Kenwood Chef (aka ‘Kenny’)
So why is my kitchen bursting at the seams? If I’m honest, I can only blame myself. I'm the one who came home from the supermarket with a bag full of spice containers (although they are really handy and magnetic and attach themselves to the side of the fridge). I’m the child of a pathological hoarder, and I’m fairly confident that these tendencies can be inherited and might be expressing themselves in my need to have:
- four other fry pans (stainless steel, ceramic, unknown Aldi material)
- six wooden spoons
- five cutting boards
- four strainers
- three sets of measuring cups (two metric, one imperial)
- four spatulas
- set of four nested mixing bowls (which never get used because they are a pain to get out of the cupboard, and also the lids for them have warped and don’t fit) plus two other regular stainless steel mixing bowls.
- three woks (all beautifully seasoned, mind you)
- second Kenny (this is the hand blender Kenwood Tri-blade, AKA ‘Kenny II’)
- second Mortar & Pestle
Other things I have but never use:
- 8 L Slow Cooker (not so useful for two)
- deep fryer
- second food processor
- second coffee grinder (for spices, of course)
- second stick blender
Of course this only scratches the surface, because if we were to get into obscure spices, weird dried beans or strange condiments we would enter my dark world of well meaning, but ultimately unachievable recipe ‘projects’[ii].
So tell me - am I alone in my kitchen hoarding tendencies or do we all share a bit of the pack rat once we settle down?