936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
I don’t want to boast, but that is an entire three feet of usable counter space to prep food on! Sometimes I don’t know what to do with it all. That is, until I bring out the bread maker, or the ice cream maker, or the waffle iron. Oh wait, I just did something with all that space, and now it’s gone.
Yes, there are dirty dishes and a food-splattered stove top. I thought for the sake of this tour, I wouldn’t clean up. You are on the unedited tour, after all.
It’s not that we don’t wash the dishes or wipe down the stove top, it’s just the we often cook throughout the entire day, and so this is what the kitchen looks like apart from the one hour time slot surrounding it’s once a day cleaning.
Let me now turn your attention to our multipurpose pot and pan “rack”, as well as our spice “rack”. Both double as dust collectors.
Grayson took me to a kitchen store on Friday. I had to chuckle to myself when I realized that as walked through the mall, I could care less about the stylish displays of clothing and shoes. It was the kitchen store that evoked a spirit of lust within me. Let me just say, this is my weak spot. Yes, dazzling displays of shiny whisks, spoons, and knives, and colorful assortments of measuring cups can be quite unhealthy for my wallet. A kid in a candy store.
I picked up an espresso tamper and it took my breath away. So bottom heavy, it could have tampened our freshly ground espresso beans to perfection with absolutely no muscle work involved. I had to put it down and quickly walk away.
There were a few things I had been needing for the kitchen; a few things that I caught myself often without and wishing we had. Grayson must see kitchen tools as an investment for his taste buds, because he obliged and bought me my entire list. Leaving with my shiny new prizes, we decided our little adventure could turn into a fun and enlightening blog post.
And so here are some before and after photos of the items we bought, and what we used before we had them. My aim is to convince you that in order to cook good food, you most definitely do not need fancy kitchen tools, gadgets, and whatchamacallits.
We zest a lot of lemons and oranges. Until we bought this very capable little zester pictured on the right, I was using the smallest holes on the busted $2 grater on the left. The cheap plastic frame cracked and fell off long ago, and so when zesting for the past year I’ve had to carefully maneuver my hands as to not slice them open on the sharp, exposed metal.
I own one whisk. I’m usually only whisking one thing at a time, so it has never posed a problem. However a few weeks ago I noticed my faithful little whisk developing some rust spots. I just tried not to think about it as I whipped up a batch of brownies or some salad dressing. This week my whisk met its fate in the hands of my two year old. One too many whacks to the oven, the dog, and his baby brother (I quickly intervened…), and my whisk lost its youthful shape. I like to see my new whisk, pictured on the right, as a friend for my old faithful whisk, rather than a replacement. Old faithful now sits in a drawer, retired to toy status for Zeke.
We’ve been eating a lot of quinoa. Quinoa should always be thoroughly rinsed before cooking in order to remove the bitter outer protective layer of the seed. Unfortunately, quinoa seeds are much smaller than the holes of either of my colanders. Making quinoa has become for me a very frustrating and time-consuming episode in my kitchen. I fill up a small tupperware with the seeds and water, I then hold the lid on just tightly enough to allow a dribble of water, but no seeds, to ever so slowly trickle out of the tupperware. Fill, repeat. Fill, repeat. Sigh as seeds slip out. Fill, repeat…. This new colander with holes smaller than quinoa seeds may be my greatest prize of the day.
This may seem ridiculous, but in almost four years of marriage Grayson and I have just become the owners of our first pair of tongs! This might just cause for celebration with grilled steaks.
Let me now introduce you to my favorite part of the kitchen. I like to call it the “refueling station”.
I’ve often daydreamed of a small studio in a greenhouse type setting; well lit by walls of windows, a perfectly distressed white picnic table with immaculately matched silk settings, and a crystal clear white vase, home to a perfectly arranged bouquet of exotic flowers. The ideal place to take photos of the food I create.
Yet here it is folks, my little round wooden table that we got from a stranger whose father had just died and left it behind. With all respect, I’m very thankful for our dead man’s table. It is distressed, I’ll give you that, distressed from the lacerations of a toddlers toys, and I always have to scrub off the sticky remains of peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwich drippings before I can begin a photo shoot.
It may not be much, and I’ll be glad to see it go, but for now it is mine, and it is where my food photography days began. Best of all, it always displays the gorgeous bouquet of flowers Grayson buys for me each week at the farmers market.
After we had Ellison many friends brought us over meals. I remember one friend who hadn’t yet been to our home walking in and remarking, “So, this is where everything happens?” She had been eager to see where we cook. Her comment was not at all ill-intended, rather it was reassuring to me. Yes, yes it is! In my tiny little kitchen we create inspiring, delectable, and wholesome food.
It doesn’t take much. In fact, if you have three feet of counter space, a threatening grater, a rusty whisk, some mismatched tupperware, and a pair of hands you’re not afraid to burn, than you have everything you need to create good food!
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!