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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Prosaic


For me this means but one thing: an heir and a spare, whether it be towels, sheets or boyfriends ( in my younger days). I am  madly  minimalist;  two  of everything makes me feel happy, any more and I feel the panic  of the quotidian rising. 

Inspired by Janet's posts on day to day living, here  are  the minutae of my every day life  at home.


Cutlery drawer - I promise you, I haven't tided it up, I live by the mantra 
'a place for everything and everything in its place.'
(If you are really really good, I will show you my  sock drawer.) 


Smeg fridge, with small freezer at the top, there is nothing in the freezer, it's just not something that I use. 


The ugly truth: oh look, a jar of goose fat that has been there since Nineteen Canteen.
As we are but two; don't live on the San Andreas fault line (more's the pity)  and will never be snowed in, I have no need to collect food ad infinitum. 
I shop every two days, buy exactly what we will eat and never have any waste. 

Have had to footer with editing here, it's so dark, grey and glum  outside and everything is coming out yellow.

The pantry: this is the  shelf of aesthetic pleasures, a sybaritical escape from the  kitchen humdrum,  it's the part  which I  see all the time  as I waltz through the kitchen and I do  so enjoy a vignette. 


My only pantry staple,  peasant oats, juxtaposed  with a high fallutin' silver Art Deco butter dish,  I'm neither  a foodie nor a cook, sometimes I really tire of the whole, what to eat malarky and just  strap on my nose bag and porridge up for a few days. 


The great unused: I loathe cooking but quite enjoy baking, it's the my little pony of the culinary arts but no one ever ate it -  we're gym bunnies.


Larder wise; yes I'm not quite sure how I differentiate between the two either, my staples include this majestic trinity, plus Tabasco, liquid smoke, chillies and nuts;  salted pistachios, walnuts, almonds and pecans are crunched with much delight chez nous.
The cacao nibs?


I have them on top of my Fage yoghurt and croissant breakfast every morning -  no fancy glass bowl, the plastic pot suits me just fine, I am however  still waiting on the  "feeling loved up and blissed out"  promise on the back of the packet.

First Sea Monkeys and now this .

Life is hard. 


Cleaning products? Here they are, nestled down in a basket in the kitchen cupboard as dark as Hades,  hence the B & W.

So there it is,  the unexpurgated  truth behind the kitchen door.

97 comments:

  1. Love the ice trays...some on getting ready for valentine cocktails. Thanks for the peak. Of course I have canned goods years past their due date which means they came out with Moses. One goal this year is not to waste food...but I loathe going to the grocery store. Have a wonderful Sunday.

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    1. BB, I filled them 12 years ago and have never touched them since!
      The only can I really use now is tomato puree.

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  2. My goodness I wish I were that efficient! Clutter makes me crazy but I'm immersed in it.

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    1. Cate, I can't sit for 5 minutes if there's clutter anywhere.

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  3. I do like everything to be neat and tidy too, although I don't think I could manage to be as minimalist as you. I think it brings a feeling of calm and order to the chaos of life. I have to ask what liquid smoke is and what you use it for?!

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    1. I put it in jambalaya and things like that, it gives a sort of BBQ smokey flavour to food.

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  4. I've got a new job for you... Domestic superintendent chez the Curator family! And you can have as much porridge as you can eat.

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    1. Curator, thanks for the giggle! I'll get my nose bag and wicker basket all ready, I await the provisions list.

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  5. Sending private jet now. Check with Fortnum's to approve provisions list.

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    1. Oh I am picking out an eau de nil ribbon for my basket now!

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  6. but what do you do when you have people round? is there sufficient cutlery???

    meanwhile that is one bare freezer. Mine is full! x

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    1. I never have people for dinner, are you mad? I don't cook!
      A cocktail and one olive per person.

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  7. No ice in the freezer?! I'm desolated; my tipple needs a lot of ice...even in Scotland.

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    1. columnist - when I have ice in a drink I have to wrap my glass, or take it out really quickly. If you pop by I promise to refill that tray.

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  8. I admire your minimalist approach in the kitchen. I've been a serious sloth the last few years and my kitchen reflects that.

    Bonnie

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  9. Bonnie, I'm just minimalist with everything, we also take our book to the charity shop once a year and just keep our favourites, if you saw inside of my drawers and cupboards, you'd think Howard Hughes lived here.

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    1. Tabs, you can throw any unloved books this way!

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  10. I also loathe clutter and try to get rid of everything we don't use. It's an ongoing battle with the rascals and MrBP around. I love the simplicity of your kitchen, the baskets juxtaposed with silver, everything clean and fresh looking. Okay you've inspired me which is nice as I have a cleaning list a mile long today!

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    1. Dani, whenever I clean I think of you because I know that both of us quite enjoy it!

      Curator: bring the Landrover round once year and fill her up.

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  11. Love that you are using your silver daily. Mine is only used irregularly, but I need to use it more. My stainless steel daily cutlery is looking worn to me. My pantry is much fuller than yours, which makes sense as there is typically 5 people eating here regularly, but I am being very careful about food buying this month and it is making a difference! It is so funny to me, I am such an excessive personality - you are such a Spartan!!!!

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  12. I laughed at your sea monkey comment. :) Food shopping is one of my least favorite errands. I would go batty trying to do it every two days. I very much admire your streamlined pantry though!

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  13. Wendy: Oh no, it's stainless steel, I could never be bothered with silver, I have no interest in over toiling at domesticity, we gave most of it away years ago. That's funny, my parents used to always talk about "my red cloak of Sparta" !

    Merry Wife: I was broken hearted when I found out they weren't sexy lithe little people with horns.
    And I have very small brain, I can only work out what we will eat two days at a time.

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    1. Tabs - my sea monkey have had more babies - all is going quite well there! God, that makes me sound very eccentric, doesn't it????

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  14. We have 2 things in common,never have waste, and HATE cooking......have a large notice in
    my kitchen 'Ban cooking,Eat out' + my cutlery drawer is the same....oh 3 things! Just spotted the Elderflower pressie am rather partial to the drink especially in hot weather.

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    1. Judith - my mother has never cooked in her life either, it's just not for us!

      ooooh, lovely pooch pic!

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  15. Love the spare living. I'm such a magpie but I'm trying. Never quite got over the sea monkeys disappointment: still waiting for them to flip their hair and do gymnastics.

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    1. Me too Jen, I was quite thrown when Wendy showed me real sea monkeys just last year. Thrown is code for revolted.

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  16. You have always said you were a minimalist, now here's the proof! I can't believe how empty your freezer is. Ours is full to bursting and we have a second freezer in the basement (not as full, but still!). I try my best to declutter but it always seems like a losing battle, esp. with 2 small kids. Husband hates clutter and is very good at getting rid of it - he's been threatening a major clean-out come spring. Fingers crossed we can pull it off!

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  17. WHOLLY TRINITY Tabs, along with a crimson cloaked Spartan, I surmise you would make a great Shaker. I like that your simplicity has a warm, homey note and a bit of sparkle, vs. stark. Vs. pairs or heir & spare, I live by rule of three, one to use, one to launder/ for the other season, just one extra. (The DH is talented but prone to dramatic domestic disasters and we forbid crying in the kitchen.) We are actually tearing out our whole pantry storage cupboard for an overhaul next weekend. I'll wave when the dust settles.

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  18. RATION MENTALITY Growing up in earlier Caribbean/ South America, where basics like sugar, butter, cooking oil were chits and sweaty queues, I have to have enough on hand to rustle up a decent dinner for 6. Funny how food habits we learn from parents, upbringing stick.

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  19. Louise, I still live like a single girl really, without a family i didn't have that same transition after marriage.

    Get Fresh - oh yes, I had a Shaker phase too! Sabbathday Lake - I was ready to move in. Really, there were chits there for things like that? That's incredible.

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    1. Especially ironic in places that produce sugar, cacao etc. But all destined for rum making and export given low GDP, spend on fighting drugs, developing tourism.

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  20. I flamin well knew it, we were seperated at birth!! Simpson Memorial, March 1977????? I have two of everything, right down to my nail polishes (2 Pink, 2 Red, 2 Peach, different shades same brand) Janets pantry made me squeal with delight as did your freezer :)
    Sharron xx

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  21. Oh dear, I admire your chic minimalism but could never emulate it. I am a dreadful hoarder of certain types of things, mostly because I am the Discontinued Woman--if I find something I adore, the manufacturer immediately ceases production. This is as true of food as it is with clothing and beauty products.

    And maybe it is some type of American pioneer spirit, but I feel much more secure when the cellar is full of non-perishable food. (Cellar is a metaphor; really it's a rack in the basement with cases of Costco canned tomatoes and TP.) My sister lives in Europe, and whenever she brings a friend home for a visit she makes me take them to Costco for a demonstration of U.S. excess (and to take home a 5 lb bag of M&Ms.)

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    1. Oh Hexicon, I know, same with me too, it drives me batty but you always have to let go in the end!
      Ok, I get really really excited by Costco, the giant cheeses, all the stuff, I constantly demanded Costco trips where I would wheel along on the back of the trolley like a teenager.

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    2. I've only been to Costco twice, find it incredibly overwhelming, weird reminders of UN relief aid sheds in Haiti. Do see the wisdom and comfort of buy-it-once, staples cases, but would need a basement first.

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    3. It's crazy there, I had never seen anything like it before.

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    4. Hex, I'm with you. I have a similar jar of oats as our exemplary author, but next to the jars of quinoa, pinto beans, Jacob's cattle beans, millet, 8 kinds of flour, etc. Never been to Costco-- the nearest is 2 states away--but sounds excessive.

      Tabitha, I am in awe.

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    5. I believe Costco is the land of giant- everything! I've only been once.

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    6. Oh Barry thinks Costco is like the Warsaw Ghetto - there is chain link fence and you have to show papers to get in and out!

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    7. WMM, that's part of why it reminds me of relief supplies, the fencing, cards to enter/ exit. No fun IMHOO, but have a good friend who really saves with it.

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    8. The savings are deceptive though- theres all the other stuff you put in those enormous trolleys that are bargains you didn't realise you had to have until you saw them. I would go in for a few groceries and something exciting like a pallet sized package of loo paper, and come out having spent $650 on all sorts of weird random things including books, clothes, sporting equipment etc etc. And I'm still using up the plastic food wrap and tin foil that I bought at Costco 4 years ago...

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    9. I haven't been to Costco in Sydney ...got to drive for ages in the terrible Sydney traffic..also prefer Australian based conglomerates

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    10. @ Heidi- " And I'm still using up the plastic food wrap and tin foil that I bought at Costco 4 years ago..." I firmly believe that. My aunt cooks a lot, and has tons of both, and for a while I thought maybe she owned stock in those companies. She replied she shopped at Costco. Thanks for the chuckle.

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    11. @Heidi- " And I'm still using up the plastic food wrap and tin foil that I bought at Costco 4 years ago..." I firmly believe that! My aunt is the same way, I thought maybe she owned stock in those companies, she replied. No, Costco. Thanks for the chuckle.

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    12. This thread on Costco is utterly hilarious!

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    13. Good Day Tabs- if this went threw multiple times forgive me dear.....I'm button happy today.

      XOXO

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  22. I love this. Quite beautiful. You might like the chocolate almond butter on whole grain toast breakfast too.

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  23. I love it. I have two things in the freezer, plus ice. One is butter because I don't think they would let me buy one cube. :) People used to do that. The other thing is organic soy milk ice cream. My husband picked it out. I'm not sure what do think of it. :)

    During the last power outage here a man lost everything in his freezer. What a waste.

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  24. Oops, "what to think of it"

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  25. LPC - I don't really like chocolate, I'm more of a toffee person but I'd give it a try.

    Sheree - whey have iI never thought of putting butter in the freezer? Genius!

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  26. Authentic Sabatiers, very nice, do you use the steel to sharpen them?

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  27. I think I am too ashamed to show some of my kitchen drawers....they need a tidy up.
    Your vignette is lovely! My freezer is chock full but it is a smallish freezer on the bottom of the fridge....now what about that sock drawer?

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  28. Now I know I love you! We really do a lot of the same. 'a place for everything and everything in its place is also my motto. When friends visit, they know when helping to clean up, ask first where it goes!!! Love the basket under the sink. I have three galvanized square bucket in which things are kept. And your vignette make me happy!!!! Since I cook a lot, I have to separate drawers for my sweet utensils and another for my savory ones! You can imagine the rest.

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  29. OMG you really are a minimalist! My kitchen cupboards have more stuff in them even now with the renos - sugar extra boxes of tea and coffee biscuits etc. I admit i also dont use my freezer except for chilling vodka. I love a stuffed larder though and have made an improptu dinner for 6 quite a few times but i do end up with a lot of waste which i want to change when i get back in. I don't think i will be quite as zen and tranquil as that though...

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    1. I think when you're renovating you learn how little you can in fact live with. But I like to be prepared for unexpected guests too, so I could never go back to the tiny kitchen and minimalist shopping list ways I had just a few months ago (but I am trying to be better - I loath waste)

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  30. I think this the time I finally get to say: The Cutlery Drawer is looks fab although I could never pull if off.

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  31. Your cutlery drawer is fabulous. I love having everything in its rightful place, but hubs has never heard of the idea. Everything gets moved and then they're "lost", so he replaces them. Only to have the originals show up. Work in progress here! Love your vignettes too.

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  32. ok tabs now i get it. i finally get it! everyone is always so excited when i show a little slice of my interior life and now i see why. i'm so thrilled to see inside your kitchen. i mean what a beautiful way to live. you make me look like a hoarder! thank you for the mention too. gosh i hope you can make LA this spring. :)

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  33. How gorgeous are you cutlery, so fancy!
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx

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  34. Wow.. so fab. Your life is so different then mine. With two teenaged boys in my house, I have food all over the place. They are always hungry

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  35. I don't cook I think because my mom was a magnificent cook. That does not make sense but I never had to lift a finger in the kitchen. I am not a minimalist but I don't like waste. I enjoyed this wonderful personal post. Delightful.

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  36. I love looking into your cupboards - I'm such a stickybeak. Nothing makes my heart sing like a well ordered cupboard too. But I'm afraid I have far too much stuff. In some areas I feel this is acceptable (like the wine in our cellar). But with our moving/ renovating I have been packing and purging and unpacking and resorting and organising for the past 4 years, and can't believe how much stuff we still have. This year is the year of the big clean out, once and for all.
    We have the same silver pattern too. Although I haven't seen my silver for 4 years - it's been in safekeeping at my paren'ts house. It will make a big homecoming soon!

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    1. How funny, we have the same pattern too! Inherited from my parents, but we have at least 8 of everything plus lots of specialist equipment like grape shears, carving sets, tablespoons, ice cream spoons, butter knives, cheese knives etc (some of these things even belonged to their parents). Ultimately it will pass down to the next generation - or to our grand-daughters. I like the idea of continuity, enjoying things our parents did and love that our family will one day enjoy too. My parents liked to entertain and so do we, in fact it went with our jobs. Enjoy cooking and have all that kitchen clobber as well. So no hope of Janet's beautiful minimalism, or yours Tabitha. Luckily there's room in the world for all of us to enjoy our thing! Best wishes, Pamela

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  37. You would be astounded at my parents' place -- they have two huge freezers FULL in the basement, plus the downstairs fridge (the top freezer is full) and the upstairs kitchen fridge freezer is full too. Must be a Slav thing, and growing up on the farm, no one must starve! We just have our freezer part with our fridge, it is full but we use the stuff that's in it.

    I tried cacao nibs, but the taste was a bit much for me, but then again, I probably shouldn't have dumped a huge tablespoon in with my Greek yogurt! probably should have had more like 1/2 tsp. or a full tsp. instead.

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  38. had to pop back and say how much i envy your smeg. one would be perfect in my kitchen.

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  39. Beautiful. Mrs Beeton has nothing on you! As for the cooking, Im with you-drudgery. So much work, just for eating.

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  40. oh the cleanliness! the simplicity!

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  41. Love the peek into your cupboards Tabs! So impressed at your simplicity and minimalism. I just couldn't do it, an wired the opposite! But I really admire it.

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  42. I dont like cooking much either , however I heard somewhere I had to feed my child or suffer dire consequences.

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  43. Jeez I bet you can find everything in a flash. We'll done Tabs. I finally gave away all of my silver pieces . I had a tea service in the storage cupboard for many years. Every time I opened the door I would see the tarnish. So I'd clean it and then return it to the dungeon. what a great feeling to get rid of it.
    I hate clutter.

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    1. Mum gave me a silver ice bucket, I use it to keep all the spare candles in. Once a year I get a bucket it, line with foil, add silverware and bicarb soda, then pour on hot water. When the fizzing's done, a quick rinse and it's clean. And gets to tarnish nicely across the remainder of the year :)

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    2. You could also try a good quality silver cloth. If you don't leave silver too long between polishes (talking weeks/months not years) the cloth will clean it up to a lovely soft shining state quite quickly and without too much elbow grease. I often use my ice bucket for flowers when not cooling champagne. And always store all my silver/silver plate cutlery neatly in drawers so it doesn't clutter benches. There's nothing like the shine of silver and sparkle of good crystal on a candle lit table. Perfect for Valentine's night. And lovely fresh flowers. Cheers, Pamela

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  44. It looks lovely, but as someone who enjoys cooking across a wide variety of styles/regions, I'd go mad. I DEFINITELY have more in my kitchen! It's also the Australian country mentality, when a trip to the shops was once a week or once a fortnight (or more if you lived remotely) and you stocked up. I've been trying to shake that, but the shelves, fridge and freezer are always comfortingly full.

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  45. I'm like you. Clutter would send me into a spin.

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  46. Thanks for the peek! I love your shelf of aesthetic pleasures.

    We don't own much, kitchen-wise. When I met my husband, he tried to convince me that we should just use our camping-ware as our kitchenware as well.

    We are loathe to own too much kitchen wise, and adding something such as a bowl takes a lot of discussion and thought!

    That said, our kitchen is not organized and it drives me nuts. Our storage is really limited and weirdly shaped, and as much as I re-organize, I cannot keep it tidy. I finally figured out a nice system for dishes and pots and pans, but nice food storage is still proving elusive.

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  47. Replies
    1. Neds - just don't let me loose on a bowl of nuts.

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  48. Those shelves with that wonderful silver are just little works of art. I am the same with kitchen and wardrobe, don't like too many things hanging around, makes me panicky. I just assemblage these days and have never been a baker, so every appliance bought gets donated or given to the cleaners. People hate staying with us as there is no coffee machine.

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  49. That's such a cute fridge you have. Love the vintage look of it.

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  50. I'm with you on the spices but would like to recommend Sriracha (replace Tobasco) and Worcestershire sauce (a perfect complement for liquid smoke). I love the spare life too. My family of five only have one set of towels and sheets each. I keep two extra for company. I do admire your pared down kitchen but I do cook 6 nights a week so maybe at a later time of life. Thanks for the peek! I do love your blog!!!
    Angela

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    1. Angela, I've had it before but it's too sweet for me, I am a Tabasco fiend.
      Wow I am amazed at how you do the same with a family of 5!

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  51. I'm not going to let you anywhere near my pantry cupboard then….I fear you may faint at the ridiculous quantity of nuts, spices, grains and endless goodness-knows-what-else in there!!

    I have cutlery drawer envy. There, said it.

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  52. Oh, I am really impressed, you are really a minimalist. I started my journey through decluterring some time ago, but seeing your kitchen I have the feeling that I am nowhere, despite this empty drawer that I "cannot" fill because of too much space... I need to do more work and I particularly need to be more strict. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  53. I love this - but I will never show you my fridge now, haha. Living in the States, we have very difficult items about food shopping - they are Trips where you pile in as much as possible. It's different in NY, but in the southeast, there are very few places that are not supermarkets. No butchers or bakers or local grocers where you can just go and grab a little something just for the day. Still trying to find a good bakery for bread!

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    1. Lisa - supermarkets are so soul destroying aren't they?

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    2. Lisa,
      If you are ever in John's Creek, the Great Harvest bakery is wonderful--the one in Druid Hills went out of business, sadly, but Whole Foods does a pretty good job for my money, I miss Eatsi!
      Tabs,
      Love this post, so you in every way. I'm a weird hybrid, love to cook,so a bit more in the provisions category, but hate waste, so big on planning and using everything up, like to clean, and agree with FF that clutter is the devil's work. My cabinet doors could all be glass, it's pretty in there : )
      n.b.

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  54. Oh!! I admire you. I have started decluterring our house some times ago, but when I see your kitchen, I feel I am no where. I was so proud of this empty drawer in my kitchen because I simply have nothing to put in, but yet... my cutlery drawer is fuller than yours... I have to tackle things and be ruthless as I tend to be way too conservative! Thanks for sharing this.

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  55. Steph- I took all the extra stuff to the charity shop years ago, I just didn't want two sets of everything, I live with what I love every day now. The silver, the crystal - all gone. Simple!

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  56. I adore this peek into your life. And if you're ever giving away things, I'm anti-minimalist and I'll gladly take them off your hands. :)

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  57. Tabitha, how much fun it is to have a peek at your home. We are three and was thinking the other day we don't need dishes and cutlery for twelve as we have no family around and seldom entertain. Will have to add organizing the cutlery and dishes to my To Do list. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  58. Tricia when we got married I was pressed gang into getting so much stuff but after a few years I realised that I just didn't live the life that required it nor did I want it, so off it all went.

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  59. I just discovered your blog. Very delightful!

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  60. Everything looks so nice! Your stainless is very pretty - if you don't mind , what is your pattern?

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    1. Kay, I think it might be Kings and Queens?

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