Friday, September 30, 2011

cookbooks and crockpots

So we've been in the US over a year and the date of our departure is still fluid (that's a nice way of saying we have no clue). We've been trying to use our time well and be thoughtful of what we leave in storage. So we've been packing over a series of months, partly because we have thought more than once our departure is pending and partly because we have a policy of work avoidance. We'd much rather procrastinate decision making. But now we are getting down to it. The easy stuff has been decided. Towels we obviously keep. Clothes and books that must go back home with us. For some things its clear we leave it hear. I have small kitchen appliances, pots, pans, baking things that all stay in the states in case the next time we're here we don't have a furnished home. But a few of my appliances I knew were nearing there last leg when we came home and I've kind of decided to kill them just so we don't have to store them any longer.
My mixer is a fine example of deliberate kill. My wrists don't stir heavy things anymore. Anything requiring kneading or heavy stirring - like cookie dough, I pull out the mixer. Thus the paddles of my hand held mixer don't stay locked in anymore= Pitch. My crockpot has been wonky for months. I pulled it out the other day to give it once last go. It tried to burn a hole through the counter top and didn't cook the beef stew after 7 hours = Pitch. My blender continues to serve well. I blend all of !'s food, grind grain, and make frozen smoothies all the time. Blender = Keep! My coffee grinder. Given to me by someone I worked at wal-mart with who died too young. The coffee grinder always makes me smile because of the memory of the friend and the fact that I love the coffee. Still serves faithfully = wrap back in the original box, pat it on its top and place kindly back in the rubbermaid, look forward to seeing it again in 3 or 4 years.
Cookbooks have been harder to decide. I have 4 that are my favorite Go To's. Simply in Season, More with Less, Extending the Table and Madhur Jaffery's Indian. I adore these. More With Less gets repurchased and given away everytime we're stateside. I have a copy at home that stays there. The Indian Cookbook, Simply in Season and Extending the Table go back and forth. The other cookbooks are hangers on from by gone eras. 2 from Eureka IL, where we lived when we were first married. They have very americana recipes in them. Things with Cream of Mushroom soup, spaghetti noodles, cream cheese or cool whip. I don't make anything out of them often but I keep them as unusual treat books for the states. I have an Asian cookbook that has helped me keep current on my language but I don't cook out of often in the states because the ingredients here aren't quite the same. And then there is Jonathan's cookbook contribution to our marriage. A source of constant disgust and debate. This cookbook I think came from his high school PTA and the recipes are a riddle of mistakes and false starts. Completely confusing. Its small but the repeats are ridiculous. 8 recipes for Broccolli Casserole. 4 for Monkey Bread. 3 for Avanti's Bread. And they are the SAME RECIPE but from different ladies. I have one recipe I pull out of it and Jonathan has one too. I've written it elsewhere and I ask Jonathan if we can part with it. No, its a memory. So it goes back into storage and lives to fight another day. But we won't be counting as a cookbook any longer as it really provides no instructive cooking advice.
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