A February take on the state of my kitchen.
It's February in southern Ontario. It's that Canadian month that goes by quickly and slowly at the same time. Usually only 28 days long, it's our shortest month of the year but yet the winter drags on. Two years ago I finally gave in and embraced the wintery outdoors. I purchased cross country skis, snowshoes, spikes for my boots, warm layers of clothing, and warm wool socks. It's been great, I absolutely love going outside in any weather, but not in -24c temperatures. For those days, I realized I needed to find some new indoor hobbies.
After years of coveting other peoples dehydrators, I finally came home with a five tray'er last week. This purchase meshed nicely with my evolving food choices. A lifelong pescatarian, I decided to take things to a new direction by focussing on a plant based diet. The transition was relatively easy from an ingestion point of view. What was hard was restocking my kitchen with different foods and finding creative new recipes that even the carnivores in my family would like.
I also want to be more mindful of packaging and waste. I now avoid buying fruits and vegetables that sit on styrofoam and are wrapped in plastic. I am amassing a glass jar collection at home for storing bulk food grocery items and dehydrated items.
The good and the less good.
An interesting side-effect of this pioneering evolution of mine, it is causing me to examine my kitchen objectively. While things still have to evolve from a reorganizing perspective, I am appreciative of other qualities of my kitchen and how they make me feel on a cold February day.
My kitchen is bright. I have lots of windows facing south, and the lighting is also well thought out for those nights when it gets dark at 6pm. I do not lack cupboard space. I lack organization. I find now that I'm using different sets of small appliances that need to be more easily accessible. I have a few cupboards that I might only sift through every six months or so, the contents of which need to be relegated to a box inside a closet.
I will have plenty of counter space once I start to declutter (i.e. remove) the coffee maker, toaster, soda stream, and kettle. What stays are my plants. They are my lifeline to spring! Especially on the gloomiest days of winter, I go out and buy myself some tulips. My kids know me well. They surprised me with this Valentines Day orchid that sits on my centre Island. While I did find space for my dehydrator in the corner of the countertop, I decided the fan was too noisy so I relegated it to another room not far from the kitchen. Dehydrators, when in use, usually need to run for 8-20 hours.
The traditional triangle configuration of fridge, stove, and sink make working in the kitchen pretty convenient, and the granite countertops make cleaning up so much quicker. My appliances have never let me down. The dishwasher is quiet, I'm in love with the gas stove, but I am often overwhelmed with the number of veggies that I manage to stuff into the fridge.
My takeaway from this story? The less good things about my kitchen are within my control: declutter, organize, and clean. February is a great time to reevaluate and make corrective measures in the kitchen. It's also a great time to try experiment with new recipes!