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things we keep

I had to do some major rearranging in the kitchen this weekend, and of course what is pulled from the back of the cupboard must be cleaned. Having no dishwasher, this means it all has to be individually handled. I was standing there rinsing off a pair of beaters for an electric mixer, when I realized that the mixer had died a few years ago. Along with the beaters i found lids to blender jars that had been dropped, or whose motors had burned out (you can't make mashed potatoes in a blender.) A meat thermometer that probably arrived in Hawaii with Captain Cook, partially melted spatulas, knives that wouldn't hold an edge cutting butter, and various chipped, dented, and rusted utensils, dinnerware, etc. This doesn't include the things that I've never really liked - those ugly glasses that I won as a door prize, or duplicates (why do I have 3 bunt pans?) I don't even know where some of this stuff came from. Did I really buy it? Was it left behind at a potluck? Does someone miss it, or was it left on purpose? I suspect I will keep the bunt pans, but the glasses have got to go. Of course now I have a whole new set of decisions to make. Which of these should go to a charity and which ones would I not want to inflict on Sandra Lee. Bah, no wonder they were hiding back there!

What's hiding in the back of your cabinets?

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  1. I am proud to say that I have an unopened jar of Postum in my cupboard that I might have to strategically unload someday soon. Check online prices for this delicacy and then you'll understand what I'm talking about.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cheese Boy

      "Goodbye, Mr CoffeeNerves!" It's been a while now since they stopped making the stuff, I believe.

      1. re: Cheese Boy

        Keep the postum if you ever want to tell the joke that follows, since many people don't know what Postum is anymore. The joke: A guy went to the doctor for an itch down there. The doc told him to get some soppositories and put them in the rectum, and told him to check back in a week. A week later he went in and said the itch was worse than ever. Did you get the soppositories and put them in your rectum? Doc asked. He replied, well doc, I did not know exactly what a rectum was but, I looked all over the house for some, I found some postum and put them in there, you know for all the good it did me, I could have shoved them up my ass!

        1. re: vegasmike

          yuk yuk! that's bad, really bad, but you get points in my book for it.

      2. Yeah funny how it seems easier to just live with the clutter than get rid of it. I live in what had been my grandparents' house for 70 years. We cleaned a fair amount of stuff out after Grandma passed, but there are still the drawers with multiple sets of measuring cups and tools I can't identify, the stash of matchbooks older than I am, ancient bottles of liquor etc etc.

        12 Replies
        1. re: babette feasts

          Even though I am a rabid *use it or lose it* type, my beloved could write an ode for a spatula that he used the night we had a really good party...how could I even think of re-cycling that sour cream container?

          I on the other hand have winnowed all of our storage containers to glass mason jars. Only made by Kerr...I'm actively trying to lose all our drinking glasses too. One Jar so many uses!

          More space is what I crave. And sooOOoo much less to clean during those horrid deep cleaning days!

          1. re: Luna2372

            I too always crave more space, but that is the primrose path to too much crap. the smaller your storage, the easier it is to weed (and keep it weeded). The Mother designed her own kitchen (and house) with a ridonkulous amount of storage space and if I even tried to catalog the insanity I'd hijack this thread, although I will say thank god she doesn't have multiple pets. (I mean how many mismatched coffee pots that lost their brewing part and brewing parts that lost their pots can one deal with?)

            1. re: hill food

              Some months ago I took loads of non-used and faintly used and used kitchen pots, pans, baking equipment, electric appliances to a goodwill-type drop-off. Then a month or so back, I donated 580+/- books (mostly cookbooks) to the library. I've not looked back. By the way, these spaces are miraculously all filled again

              HOWEVER:

              My father-in-law moved from a home that has been in the family since 1835, which my husband cleaned out most of, and moved about 7 years ago to a retirement living apartment (yes, I have a lot of it now). This week, today, in fact, he is moving to a newly furnished retirment apartment with only one piece of furniture previously owned.

              My husband called and asked me if I wanted a coffee pot glass carafe that was in the upper kitchen cabinet (Krupps or Mr. Coffee), and I said, "Yes, of course, you will never know when I can use it."

              Aarrgh!

              1. re: Rella

                see - this is how it happens (although I'd give my eyeteeth for a once-over on the 1835 kitchen) Last yrar people were asking me what my mom might want for Xmas and mty answer "NO MORE small kitchen appliances!" has so much stuff she doesn't use (gifts mostly) that the spillover is now colonizing the garage and the basement.

              2. re: hill food

                My point exactly, my partner and his dad built our house...biggish...with many cupboards...and he really feels most comfortable when they are FULL.

                I personally like to look in them and see....SPace...lots and lots of space. Perhaps I should have said...emptiness.

                1. re: Luna2372

                  yes, to paraphrase Peter Eisenmann (architect) I appreciate the presence of an absence(or the absence of a presence). the Father wants to hang old cabinets in the garage and I said NO you won't use them except to shove more and more crap down the hidey-hole.

                  my only question would be: are the multiple pets fixed, have names and if they don't appear for a day do you notice? if the answer to all is yes you're cool.

                  1. re: hill food

                    Luna-18 yrs old - fixed and queen of the manor
                    Leemur-10 yrs old -fixed...adopted at 2 yrs...a little sensitive about his 24 toes
                    Mink- 5 yrs yrs ols - fixed ...rescued...deeply evil..AKA...the Dark Lord

                    Lost Leem for 2 days once...phone calls, flyers the whole shebang. He was locked in my neighbours green house. Almost killed me. He ate all her parsley.

                    ?

                    1. re: Luna2372

                      well see you're cool (24 toes? wow I thought I was a freak with 11 fingers - used to be 12, long story)

                1. re: Luna2372

                  I'm secretly glad every time I break a glass, that's one less to cram in there.

                  1. re: coll

                    Oh I have so many secret "accidents"...who would have thought a pro waitress and bartender could just have so many glasses just "slip" right out of her fingers!

              3. Oh yeah. My wife has cabinets full of stuff from before I moved in that we NEVER use. The problem is that some (if not most) was inherited from her grandmother or great-grandmother. Some of it is leaded crystal.

                3 Replies
                1. re: PotatoHouse

                  What-to-do, what-to-do, especially when no descendants here would be caught dead with it. Still not ready (and I 'should' be) to give/sell/discard the fabulous china and some other things.

                  1. re: Rella

                    The big problem is that we don't have any kids to pass them down to, so what do we do with them when we pass on?

                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                      Let me know when you have the answer.

                      I don't have the energy to sell things; I save that energy for 'buying."

                2. A salad spinner that never worked and never will, which begs your question: Why, oh why is it still there? Why maybe I'll find another, previously unthought-of use for it! Perhaps something involving storage, who knows? Next, something called a "Hot Pot." It's not a crockpot 'cause the box is not big enough, but it's a pot and evidently it gets hot for you. I have not looked inside the box, but I know it's in there because I have to shove it to the back every single last time I need to get my hands on my best, most magic colander, which btw I bought pre-college, cheap! Which rusts, and the metal holders and footies are all yaya and twisted, but pasta doesn't taste the same drained through expensive stainless mesh, so I keep that bad ol' girl around.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: mamachef

                    ROFL - I haven't seen a Hot Pot in YEARS -- it boils water and has been used by thousands of college students to cook pasta and similar "heat and eat" meals in dorm rooms!

                    but yes, good God yes -- when we relocated a few years ago, I had a *massive* cleanout of my kitchen -- and I'm appalled by how much money I'd spent over the years on stuff that was just sitting there collecting dust.

                    Why in the *world* do we put dead electrical goods back in storage? I have a hand mixer and a coffee maker sitting in a box to go to the recycling center, but at least it's moved to the garage (!)

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      LOL! My roommate loved making StoveTop Stuffing in her hot pot.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        I wonder if you'd like to hazard a guess how long that Hot Pot (thank you, now that I know what the hell it IS and what it DOES) has been following me? mmmmmhmmmm. Since college. That means it's followed me for jussssst about 30 years. I think it's time for a re-gift! #2 Son moved out on his own not that long ago and has bemoaned his lack of kitchen supplies. I am going to lay this wonderful device on him. If all goes per my plan, by the time my first great-grandchild Ebays it, it'll be worth something as either an "antique" or a "pop culture" item. :) If not, we'll have a family heirloom.

                        1. re: mamachef

                          My Hot Pot years were the early/mid 70s, in college, when it was illegal to have one in the room! What's your era?

                          1. re: mamachef

                            30 years old sounds just about right, maybe 32? I remember having one in a dorm room in 1980.

                            1. re: jlhinwa

                              I was in college in the late 80s/early 90s and I am certain Hot Pots were not allowed because I remember we stored it in the closet.

                              Looking back on it, I don't know why we all had them. Our dorm was less than 50 yards from the cafe, which served rather good food, and there was a small snack bar type of place on the bottom floor that accepted meal plan dollars.

                              Why did we make Top Ramen and Chef Boyardee in our room when decent (and paid for) food was steps away?

                              1. re: cleobeach

                                Because those places were not open at 2am when you just came home from the library and were hungry!

                              2. re: jlhinwa

                                There you go, girl. O-kaaaaaaay. 32 it is.

                                1. re: mamachef

                                  Storing in the closet wasn't an option for us--we still had room inspections in those days, so when we left the room, the Hot Pot got stashed under the mattress. Now students have refrigerators, microwaves, all sorts of equipment (bet some have espresso machines!). How come our era all that was a fire hazard but it's safe now (and in the same dorm, no wiring or other changes)!

                            2. re: sunshine842

                              Perhaps there are hundreds of college kids looking for "retro" non microwave type appliances?

                              Do them a solid and get them to the Goodwill!

                              LOL

                            3. re: mamachef

                              Oh my gosh, what a blast from the past! Totally forgot about the hot pot!

                              1. re: jlhinwa

                                I would like to forget that effing Hot Pot, ma'am, but I can't because everytime I open that freeking cupboard, there it is (cue to horror-movie tense reeeeeeet!reeeeeet!reeeeeeet! sound). Hence my decision to lay it on the manchild. I have a deep subconscious fear that, having driven 150 miles to do this, I will arrive home and need something in the cupboard, and there it will be. Just like the horror story. Only now, the Hot Pot will be angry; angry that I didn't love it enough to keep it. It will be vengeaful, suspicious and jealous. At night when I wake, it will be at the foot of my bed, waiting silently, appearing to have grown a few inches.
                                I have a feeling I am never getting rid of it. :)

                                1. re: mamachef

                                  That is hysterical! You don't want to make it mad and have it call out its Hot Pot friends to assault you for not properly revering it.

                                  Honestly, it seemed like the coolest thing at the time. We couldn't have hot plates in the dorm rooms (fire hazard, and rightfully so) and microwaves were still very new and quite huge and expensive. So the Hot Pot was a brilliant answer for college students who wanted hot chocolate, tea, instand soup, etc.

                                  I just googled it and you can still buy them today!

                                  1. re: jlhinwa

                                    The Presto Hot Pot was the only cooking appliance we were allowed to have when I went away to school in 1978. I received mine as a graduation gift from a friend who had gone to the same college. Couldn't have lived without it then, but I haven't thought about it in years!

                                  2. re: mamachef

                                    WALK AWAY...WALK AWAY from the hot pot...don't look back...don't EVER go down stairs until it is safely at BlahBLah Uni!

                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      LOL...holy moly I just snorted beer up nose reading that!

                                      Reeeeetreeeeet! I love it!

                                2. I was married three months ago to a 41 year old bachelor. Just imagine the sorts of things I had to clean out of the cupboards and pantry when I moved in here!

                                  One round of it included a verbal battle with my m-i-l where I tried to tactfully explain to her I did not want seven boxes of expired tuna helper because it didn't "taste just fine, even if it was a little old." And by a little old, she meant 2007. The only way I prevented her from fishing it out of the trash to donate to her church food pantry was by telling her I'd take it to a school food drive instead. (Which I didn't, just to be clear.)

                                  Ah, the things I found! Avocado rimmed corelle wear plates, still in daily use (they were his mom's), ancient kitchen appliances, the dullest knives I've ever seen out of a children's play kitchen, and a collection of gadgets meant to simplify things for the single guy who doesn't cook that promptly gathered dust while he cooked frozen pizza. Entertainingly enough, what I didn't find were measuring spoons or a ladle.

                                  Ah well, we've come a long way since then and I continue to slowly make progress on the rest of the house!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: alitria

                                    I hear you about the bachelor! Why oh Why 5 badly shaped and dull knives and not one good one that could be taken to the sharpener?

                                    But I have to say, Paddy's mom had some rockin' stuff, great stainless pots, nice strainers, lovely old stoneware bowls.

                                    All old is not junk...and all new is not a classic.

                                    It's a balance

                                  2. You mean things like the two (yes two) stove top Pyrex coffee percolators in the back of the bottom cupboard? (I'm pretty sure both still have the brewing inserts, but I haven't seen them in years.) And the pack of disc filters in that drawer over there that fit into the bottom of the coffee basket of the aforementioned percolators? What if the power goes off?

                                    How about the Melitta drip coffee maker in the back room from the late 80's that still works, or at least did when I put it there about 5 coffee makers ago.

                                    Or the unopened boxes of quinoa and bulgar wheat that moved here with me almost 23 years ago. One of these days I'm going to learn to prepare these...really.

                                    It's a good thing I have a small house with limited storage...and no garage.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: al b. darned

                                      ACK...23 year old grains are only important to archeologists!

                                    2. The Hot Pot remarks cracked me up. We had one in college and cooked in it almost daily.

                                      Concerning this -

                                      One round of it included a verbal battle with my m-i-l where I tried to tactfully explain to her I did not want seven boxes of expired tuna helper because it didn't "taste just fine, even if it was a little old." And by a little old, she meant 2007. The only way I prevented her from fishing it out of the trash to donate to her church food pantry was by telling her I'd take it to a school food drive instead. (Which I didn't, just to be clear.)

                                      There must be a medical term for this type of person. A food hoarder maybe? There are quite a few in my family and in my circle of friends. I chided my best friend relentlessly after she told me she cleaned out her pantry and pushed 5+ year past the "best by" date pasta on her new DIL.

                                      I am pretty good with controlling the kitchen clutter. The rest of the house is a different story.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: cleobeach

                                        How many of your friends/family either lived through the depression of the 30's, or are children of people who did? My Grandparents were both born in 1910 and had strong cases of the depression era mentality of not wasting, not throwing away what could be fixed, and trying to get every last bit of value out of everything. Consequently, my Mom seems to have inherited that, her twist on it being that my grandparents worked so hard for everything, it would be disrespectful to give to goodwill or throw anything away, instead we should find someone who wants to reupholster that chair, or wait until the market for cut glass rebounds and we can sell it on ebay. On one level I understand these positions, but on another, I just don't have the same aesthetic as two generations before and I'd rather have new modern stuff than old, even if it is 'perfectly good'.

                                        1. re: babette feasts

                                          someone else told me to "let it go and bless someone else" -- which seems like a good way to put it.

                                          My town has a once-a-month pickup for things that are big and bulky -- and people cruise the streets, looking for things they need.

                                          I figure if I don't have a need for it, someone else might...so they might as well get good use out of it.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            let it go and bless someone else" -- which seems like a good way to put it.
                                            ^^
                                            Perhaps it was you Sunshine who gave me the push over the edge to go ahead and get rid of my goods a month or so ago. Whoever it was had a great philosophy such as you posted. Thanks.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              someone else told me to "let it go and bless someone else" -- which seems like a good way to put it.

                                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                              That is an excellent way to operate. I am going to use this on my mother.

                                              1. re: cleobeach

                                                I like that reply as well. I also have a mother who needs to hear that. She lives with us--she and her six sets of china not counting the Christmas stuff, two sets of sterling silver and lots and lots and lots of other useless serving pieces. Some of the stuff is beautiful and worth keeping as a treasure, even if not that practical, but some of it is just 1960's era junk that she won't part with.

                                              2. re: sunshine842

                                                That day which for you is the day to get rid of stuff, is a bonanza for antique and collectibles pickers. We live for that day.

                                                And yes my house is packed but not my kitchen cupboards.

                                              3. re: babette feasts

                                                In the same family, for example, a father and son, one from Depression Era and one not, can inherit traits of a frugal nature.

                                                I'm from an older generation myself, but I prefer new things, too. But most of all, I get all edgy when I see goods sitting around doing nothing. Even if there is a new twist on something I already have; say, a potato peeler that is in good condition, I'd rather have something new and shiny!

                                                1. re: Rella

                                                  I accidentally threw out my 1970s Ecko peeler (I think) and cannot find anything else that peels as well. The company is still in business but the metal is different. I will miss that peeler for the rest of my days.

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    check flea markets and rummage sales. I love old Ecko peelers...but I do have a new Euro peeler with spongy grip and I do like it.

                                                    1. re: Luna2372

                                                      Yeah I have a thrift store nearby that seems to clean out attics of deceased grandmas, I get the coolest retro kitchen gadgets there. Unfortunately the old Ecko tended to rust, and they might not consider it desirable, for such a small cheap item. But I'm going to swing by there, they also have the greatest old cookbook collection too, so I won't walk out empty handed!

                                                2. re: babette feasts

                                                  Family? All are/were Depression or WWII refugees so I completely understand their food issues.

                                                  What I still can't understand is their stingy attitude about giving something to Goodwill or similar organizations. They would rather food/useful items collect dust then give it away to someone outside the family, as if strangers are somehow unworthy or don't deserve our old plates and mugs.

                                                  My mom has been begging family members to take an old china teapot off her hands. When I said I would put it in my next thrift shop drop off (a non-denomination church run store that donates all proceeds to charity) she grabbed it back out of my hands. It has been riding around in her car ever since.

                                                  Friends? None. They are two generations past depression era and also came from families that were always comfortable. I don't know why they are hoarding 99 cent boxes of pasta for 5 years and then pushing them off on new spouses but I will ask

                                              4. I'm very good at getting rid of stuff that I don't use. If it's broken or expired, it gets chucked. If I just don't use it, it is passed in to someone who will.
                                                But I will 'fess up here. About 2 months ago, I founf 3 cans of chicken stock that came from a grocery chain in the city where I lived 5 years ago :(
                                                I made 2 moves, one of which was pretty long distance with movers and all, and these cans slipped past me the whole time.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                  On a slightly different note, I have one 7.85 oz. of marmellata di Arance Rosse (Sicilian Blood Orange) in the refrigerator which has been opened for many a month. It has a "Best Used Before 2-23-2014."" (BTW does that mean "after opened," 'Best used before 2-23-2014?)

                                                  It has all the requirements for saving: It's made in Italy, it has Cane Sugar, instead of Sugar as an second ingredient. And it cost $11.99. Whoa, why did I do this?

                                                  I took a few teeny spoonsful and there it sits. I made a plain cheesecake this week, thinking I would put a teaspoon or so on each slice. I didn't. There it sits. Oh, well, February 2014 is a ways away :-))

                                                  1. re: Rella

                                                    Girlfriend, if that was in my refrigerator, I'd have already made a date for me, it, and a spoon.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      I was not looking for a refund, but just expressing my opinion. When I told the grocery store that I didn't like it at all, they had the same reaction. LOL.

                                                2. Excellent thread. Nothing makes you clean out your pantry and cabinets like putting your house up for sale. I've had my house for sale 3 times now. I packed away a lot of stuff in 2007. I started getting rid of stuff bigtime in 2008. And I continue in 2011. I do think that donating to Goodwill or other charity shop is a good thing to do.

                                                  If someone is reading this, is hesitating about getting rid of old cookware, I want to encourage you to watch a couple episodes of Hoarders.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                    There is a movie called PACKRAT - a documentary. The people targeted in the film are over the edge though. It is online at http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/...

                                                    It's one of those films that tears the heart strings or disgusts. - or both.

                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                      My husband's grandmother, now deceased, was a hoarder before they had a name for it, much less a tv show. It was truly sad and awful. If either one of us get weird about wanting to keep something, all we have to do is invoke the name of Grandma Ayers and the disputed item gets donated or dumped!

                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                        Rella; Julie: Oh, how sad. Yes, "Packrat" was disturbing but it did give a human face to the psychological dynamics of hoarding - before I saw it, I'm sure I'd have been incredibly judgemental. Now it just makes me sad to think about people in that much pain who need objects for comfort, no matter what caused the need.

                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                          Both my mother and my MIL became hoarders as they aged. My mom had old knives, duplicate silverware, odd pieces of china that appealed to her, and on and on. But the food in her fridge was old and spoiled. As she was being affected by dementia, she refused to consider throwing anything out. She wasn't nearly as bad until she became elderly. Although she did have a freezer full of meat I don't think she ever ate.

                                                          At any rate, I try to not keep things I don't use. I really don't want plastic lids and such. I am making an effort to recycle stuff like that.

                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                            in my family aging isn't such the issue (although increasing), she's always been that way. I either wait until she's asleep or out of town and do a clean-out. sneaked out and it's not noticed, taken out in the presence of the parent and yeah chances are it gets fished out of the trash and dragged back in (ew) I know that freezer of ice-burned flesh so I plan on a big old pot of some kind of stew this winter, but the purpose of liquified vegetables or 3 jars of a spoonful of relish each escapes me.

                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              Keeping the last bit of pickles, olives or relish is a habit of mind. Finally you have to throw it out. Some of us don't like to take suggestions from children, either! My mom and I used to clash about cooking.

                                                            2. re: sueatmo

                                                              Sometimes when I buy something that I don't need, such as another cookbook, I always think of my male cousin. When I asked him why he bought another one of "something," he would ask me, "Don't you ever collect things?"

                                                              Well, I guess buying more cookbooks can fall into that category of 'collector." It's hard to analyze one's self.

                                                      2. Not hiding anywhere, but in it's brand-spankin' new incarnation of an item that I have no idea why I was gifted with it: The Shrimp Server and accompanying bowl set, currently appearing as our cats' waterbowls on a rotating basis. The server it self is fully non-occupational, but it's the worst of the lot: a Lucite (excuuuuuuuuuuse me, plastic) bowl-within-a-bowl. The premise is you fill the outer basin with ice and the inner bowl with shrimp, w/ side bowls for make-your-own-damn shrimp cocktails, and it's not a bad premise, but it's.....plastic. And plus, it's mo'fugly. So. The kittehs have lovely "Lucite" bowls. I bet they wish they DID have shrimps in 'em. :)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                          I've two bottles of Orbitz Soda that have followed me from house to house for approx. 14 years. I've never tasted it, but when I first bought them I thought they looked "happy". They don't look so cheery anymore but now I'm committed to keeping them. Sad, I know.

                                                        2. Long lost tupperware lids. I have long advocated that you must dry the tupperware and then secure the lid to the container. This is how to prevent the two from never meeting again. Yes, it makes sense to stack bowls inside of bowls, but the lids will get lost.

                                                          15 Replies
                                                          1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                            Graydon, do you still have all your socks, too? :)
                                                            That's a good idea you have there. And I'm assuming as long as it's really really dry, it doesn't develop an odor?

                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                              I simply don't have the luxury of having enough space to store my t-ware with the lids on.

                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                I simply don't have the luxury of searching for the proper top, "stored" separately. I now use Ziploc Double Guard Freezer Bags almost exclusively.

                                                              2. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                Funny story, sort of - my husband hates plastic storage of any kind. Prior to one holiday dinner, he flipped out when a bunch of lids fell out of the cupboard so he threw all of them into the trash.

                                                                Fast forward to the next day and he is cursing up a storm because he can't find lids for the leftovers. When I said "all the lids are on the 2nd shelf above the....." he realized he threw out all the lids.

                                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                                  Do all couples have the post holiday leftover fight?

                                                                  i hate plastic...with exception of a few freezer bags.

                                                                  Shove it all in large mason jar...or use tin foil!

                                                                  But my guy...he is all over those yogurt containers! ACKK!

                                                                  tha

                                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                                    My DH has similar feelings about plastic. He doesn't like to air-dry ANYthing, and the lids in the dishrack cause him vexation. Years of working in community kitchens, and I RARELY towel dry anything.
                                                                    For some reason he would rather use a casserole dish with saran over top. Bah! How do you stack anything on top, or see what's in the container, in the fridge? LOL. So, I picked up some glass containers w/ plastic lids. Somehow he never remembers where the lids are (in a drawer, below the cupboard where the containers are kept).
                                                                    @Graydon: I often use the Ziplock bags for freezing, but for refrigerated storage... have experienced too many "liquid escapes". Also, where do you dry the ziplock bags between uses? I am using a hanger designed for drying several small clothing items... but wonder if there's a better way.

                                                                    1. re: KarenDW

                                                                      Should we make some kind of international sign for "LIDS", like the little stick men and women for bathrooms.

                                                                      We have lived together for almost ten years. The lids still go in the same place. I do suspect the reason they are left on the counter is you have to close the dishwasher to put them away. Put why can't you find them later?

                                                                      Years of food service make me icky about air drying. *shivers* And for me better saran, than yogurt containers that you find a week later...*shivers*

                                                                      1. re: KarenDW

                                                                        "Also, where do you dry the ziplock bags between uses?"

                                                                        If/when I wash a plastic bag, I dry it by hanging it on a chopstick stuck into a mason jar.

                                                                        1. re: Jen76

                                                                          oh that's a good idea, lately while tending to my folks, I've been on a solo mission of bagging bags (god forbid anything is wasted - anybody need twisty ties?) but yeah I like your method, otherwise they get icky just draped over the dish rack. god sometimes I think I'm Albert Brooks in the movie 'Mother' and try really hard not to turn it into 'night Mother'

                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                            Yup! No more icky bags. I bought a pack of wood chopsticks for $1, stuck them all in a mason jar, and have a nifty zip top baggie dryer "tree" now.

                                                                            1. re: Jen76

                                                                              Genius! Wouldn't fly for long with my OC husband with the German Lutheran background, but I think it's fabulous.

                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                Haha! Sounds like my grandmother! She was a total clean freak back in the day. Also German Lutheran.

                                                                    2. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                      I don't have Tupperware any more. I've purged it all. I do have plastic containers, which I go through periodically and match with their lids. Spare lids and/or spare containers get pitched. Who needs them? You can buy perfectly serviceable food storage containers now anywhere. But after reading the post from the Hound who wants to eschew plastic, I feel a little guilty. I do save straight sided jars for all sorts of storage. So, I guess I hoard glass jars.

                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                        I hoard Ball mason jars. The Kerr mason jars wait in line until they are needed. I get panicky if I can't find 1/2 gallon Ball mason jars.

                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                          get your mismatched plastic to a wild life rescue/rehab group if you can.They will use it to the end and then recycle.

                                                                      2. I rest very happy with my kitchen eclectia.
                                                                        Every item's been used
                                                                        and has its own story
                                                                        and lineage of memory.

                                                                        Rotation of usage
                                                                        finds its own pace.

                                                                        There've been targeted recipes
                                                                        Just to bring down that dish.

                                                                        We each have our own kitchens
                                                                        With their memories and aromas
                                                                        And of course lots of tools
                                                                        Lots of dishes.

                                                                        May each of us allocate daily accord
                                                                        to those items we so gently hoard.
                                                                        Recipes rotated to dishes
                                                                        Continuing memories.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                          Just dusted off a really neat bowl
                                                                          that flows from my Grandma and who knows how further back.

                                                                          All this for plebeian purveyance of some so simple beans
                                                                          but the bowl made it special.

                                                                        2. Having never been in the storage business,a knee jerk reaction to the habits of parents and parents in law stuffing everything full.Clean or dirty,used or not shoved in anywhere just drives me crazy.

                                                                          We moved 30 months ago.I weeded out maybe four wine boxes of ? stuff.2 were worthy of donation and 2 were full of things dumb as dirt.Coffee mugs,cracked,chipped,missing handles,good for ? someday,as long as they had been there I DON'T THINK SO,a box of keys,TO WHAT etc.

                                                                          We use our good stuff all the time so that wasn't a problem.I readily sell or give away valuable and useful.

                                                                          Soon we will be facing the father in law's house,he is 90 and just OK for his age,my husband's baby sister lives there also.She is perhaps worse in the hoarding,sanitaion department and doesn't believe that we are just going to bring professionals to DO IT ALL in less than 3 weeks,paint to floors,
                                                                          estate agent etc.Rather than her plan,18 more months rent free.

                                                                          1. freecycle.org. when I packed up last time, I hadn't bought a new house yet, then bought this one. had lots of stuff I wouldn't use here, had no room for in the smaller, galley kitchen and I hate clutter. if you don't have the energy nor inclination to yard sale or sell, folks will pick up your stuff same day when you offer it on freecycle... second best is get a dumpster and empty out the attic, basement, etc. If you have good stuff and no heirs, offer it to a non profit for charity auctions, or museums (art, artifacts, etc.) or something like that.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              I agree. Sometimes you just have to let stuff go.

                                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                I used to move with stuff I'd had since college, but that big dumpster cleanup we did was so liberating! Moving wasn't nearly the drag it would have been, and keeping our house neat, clean and organized became so much easier. Life felt so much lighter and more manageable, and the comfort I thought I'd derived from saving all that stuff wasn't real, compared to the comfort of ridding myself of so much. We sold a lot, too, at a yard sale. Now we have yard sale stuff all collected and ready for tagging here, too, all in one spot. Can't wait to get rid of it!

                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                  We had a garage sale in 2008 when we thought surely we had our house sold. After that, we just have a box in the laundry room to collect the stuff I'm getting rid of, and Mr. Sueatmo takes it periodically to the Goodwill. We had to declutter when we listed our house, and I have learned to look at it with a critical eye. We have very few tchotchkes out now, and we put our family photos away, and we didn't ever bring them out again. I put a lot of kitchen stuff in boxes, and sold some of my old kitchen gear I kept on a shelf. I got rid of some old baking pans, and some other things I didn't think I needed. I also gave to the kids some useful cooking items I didn't think I'd ever use again. Cabinets are orderly, and not crowded. I agree it is liberating, and I enjoy cooking in my kitchen the way it is now.

                                                                            2. And then you realize most of the gadgetry sits there because right in front of your face are your:

                                                                              POTS (electric tea kettle, fondue maker, hotpot, air pop machine, digital steamer)

                                                                              PANS (foreman grill, panini maker, microwave egg poacher, deepfryer, crepe maker, electric wok)

                                                                              and KNIVES (mandolin, egg slicer, food processor, garlic press, avocado scoop, herb mincer, apple corer, carrot peeler, mango splitter, bagel splitter, electric carver, cheese wire, french fry cutter)

                                                                              All of the ooh and aaah of the cooking.com catalog . . . and then you just go, "nevermind" I'll just use the knife.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: notsuperwoman

                                                                                That's interesting. Of all the things you have listed I have:
                                                                                food processor, garlic press, and an electric carver - but the electric carver is only used to carve styrofoam for theatrical props.
                                                                                I keep the spoons that went down the garbage disposal to stir my coffee.
                                                                                I keep all the baby food spoons and forks.
                                                                                I keep a set of fondue forks, even though I haven't had fondue in years, and use them to level dry ingredients when I bake.

                                                                              2. Pots that are black and crusty on the inside

                                                                                Pans that are warped and dont sit flat

                                                                                Nonstick pans that are scratched

                                                                                Pot lids that don't fit any pots

                                                                                An electric wok covered in dust

                                                                                Promotional pint glasses

                                                                                Promotional tumblers. The ones that come in the holiday packs with liquor.

                                                                                Tasting glasses from brewery tours. Now being used as juice glasses. But really, how many Sam Adams and Harpoon glasses does one need?

                                                                                I just threw away a can of mushy peas that my mom bought me for xmas 5 (?) years ago

                                                                                I just threw away an old waffle iron that has a thick crust of butter and sugar (those pearled sugar waffles were quite tasty though) that I was unable to clean.

                                                                                I have a couple (several) boxes in my parent's basement of china that I claimed (were forced upon me) when cleaning out my grandmother's and my bf's grandmother's homes. My parents are redoing their kitchen so we'll see what I acquire from them.

                                                                                28 Replies
                                                                                1. re: viperlush

                                                                                  Promotional tumblers. The ones that come in the holiday packs with liquor

                                                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                  I refuse to buy booze that comes with "clutter" as my husband gets attached to those stupid glasses.

                                                                                  I need to have my cupboards as neat as possible to keep my kitchen running smoothly (I have limited storage space) and I have no time for odd ball glasses.

                                                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                    one of these days, the shelf in the cupboard where all those stupid promo glasses live (and gather dust) is going to fall unexpectedly, shattering all of them into a pile. Magically, the crystal will have been smart enough to move to a higher shelf where it will be safe and sound.

                                                                                    (I thought the fate of the leg lamp in "A Christmas Story" was a beautiful thing.)

                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      Ah, that clever crystal.......

                                                                                      I am also of the opinion that logo coffee mugs should be outlawed. I don't even try to find them a home, they go straight into the trash.

                                                                                      1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                        Before we moved the last time, I took an *enormous* box of logo mugs into my office, where they were initiated into combat service as "anonymous office mugs"

                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                          I like that solution, I hate offices where people get all possessive over "MY" mug.

                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                            I was a "MY mug" person - but it was a handthrown pottery mug that I'd bought on vacation. I kept it in my desk drawer, so it never got drawn into the MY mug battle downstairs in the break room, nor picked up by a well-meaning cleaning person to go back downstairs. (It's still MY mug, right here at my elbow as I type, and the running joke is that anyone who touches it will immediately die a painful death)

                                                                                            But there are always visitors, and new employees, and the folks who just want something to hold their coffee right now...and the endless parade of mugs that hit the tile floor for various reasons...I'm sure that box of mugs has been busted and in the trash for a couple of years by now!

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              When I was 16 my first real job was as an overnight radio announcer during the summer (the radio station just went to 24 hours). Anyway, the kitchen in the break room always had dirty dishes in the sink, mostly coffee mugs. There weren't any 'community' mugs, visitors got disposable cups. Somebody decided I did not have enough to do so I was supposed to wash the coffee mugs. I resented having to do it since I didn't drink coffee and there were signs all over the kitchen telling people to clean up after themselves. Curiously, the mugs were all from the women that worked in the office. I washed and dried the mugs then put a thin film of dish soap on the inside of all the mugs to dry. After a while I was told that I did not need to worry about doing dishes anymore, everyone would clean up after themselves.

                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                "Don't get mad, get even". Good one.

                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                  I got a good chuckle over this story. I've been involved in this sort of problem myself. For some reason, people don't want to clean up after themselves in the staff room. 1st commandment for a new employee--if you get it out, put it away; if you dirty it, wash it and put it away; if you open it, close it; if you unwrapped it, throw the wrapper away. And yes, this means you!

                                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                    "Your mother does not work here and is not here to clean up after you".

                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                      one office I was in had a good system, 2 D/W's run on alternate days. one was expected to load one's own dirty and retrieve the clean as needed. At the end of the day all the office assistant had to do was turn one on and change the clean/dirty sign and just unload what was left in the clean one. it was a "green" office so mgmt also invested in real flatware glasses mugs etc. instead of wasting the money on paper goods (they HAD done a cost comparison and the short term difference was negligible).

                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                        We didn't have a dishwasher and this was long before anyone was 'green'. This is going to make me sound really old, but the coke machine sold ten ounce glass returnable bottles for .20¢, 2 nickels and a dime.

                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                          In 35 yrs in the workforce, I only worked in one place that was civilized enough to have a dishwasher. Even then, everybody kvetched about loading/unloading/ proper dish placement/ad infinitum. Every office, tho, should have a decent dishwasher.

                                                                                                      2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                        There was a sign in my dept's staff room that said "Please buss your own dishes". So somebody kissed the sign with lipstick on. I couldn't stop laughing, but a lot of the employees had NO familiarity with restaurants or military mess halls or basically anything but their mums' kitchens. So now they think I"m crazy, only I can't find out who did the bussing.

                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                          even more rare are the folks that know the difference in use between one and two "s" in the word

                                                                                                      3. re: John E.

                                                                                                        John E. - I love your story. When I got my first job my one of my chores was to make coffee for the boss. I made it so strong that it would grow hair. Needless to say, the boss decided to make his own coffee after that

                                                                                                        1. re: MARISKANY

                                                                                                          an early job for me included making the coffee as well, and since I'm not a coffee drinker, it was never very good, but apparently not bad enough for someone else to volunteer, until i found an old jar of ovaltine in the back of the cupboard. Within a week I was relieved of making coffee. No one could ever figure out how I made such weird tasting coffee. Father forgive me for I have sinned . . .

                                                                                                          but back to the original posting... the ovaltine did get thrown out - by me.

                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                            Reminds me of yesterday when I had just sit down with a cup of coffee at a restaurant when I heard the young girl who had served me "say" in a loud voice to be heard clearly, "Well, this is no more than a job to me." These are the small things that give us pause enough to stay away from food served by anyone else but our own beloveds - who hopefully are not mad at us.

                                                                                              2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                842 - is that the Jean Shepherd tale? but yes so many things can be 'lost to accident'

                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                  Yes - the movie version plays it out in agonizing detail.

                                                                                              3. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                I was able to clear out some on our last move. But the way that our roommate breaks things, I'm content having glasses that I am not attached to. And luckily for now we have the cabinet space.

                                                                                              4. re: viperlush

                                                                                                LOL! Did you ask your mother for a can of peas for XMAS?!?!?!

                                                                                                1. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                  No, they were in my stocking. More like gag gift. Probably because we spent sometime in England when I was younger. She tends to buy interesting/random food items and cooking tools for our stockings.

                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                    When I was a kid we would get an onion. Sorta like Charlie Brown getting rocks while trick or treating. I suupose Sqnta ran out of lumps of coal.

                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                      we got oranges -- and when you live in the cold white North, oranges are *awesome*. Then we moved to Florida, and oranges weren't such a big deal anymore...especially when Santa picked them off our own tree....

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                        Once my church held a secret santa and I decided to buy a gag gift: a can of schmaltz. A little old lady received it and graciously came to me to thank me for the gift. I felt like a creep.

                                                                                                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                          It could have been worse. You could have bought a Heinze dessert product in a can such as this:

                                                                                                          http://www.britishdelights.com/spotte...

                                                                                                2. Most of my "things kept" are sentimental... I have (a matching set, no less!) a "griddle" and a "waffle maker." I don't remember my mother using the waffle maker, but she used the electric griddle everytime she made chocolate chip pancakes for my slumber parties in middle school. There's no WAY I could get rid of it... and, actually, I can't make pancakes on anything else, even though it's a pain to clean.

                                                                                                  I also have a color-coded set of teaspoons/tablespoons that came along with a cardboard book called "KIDS COOK!" when I was 6. It's actually the only set of measuring spoons I still use, though, so that's probably OK.

                                                                                                  And then, I have a Mexican hot chocolate maker that I bought in Oaxaca when I went to a cooking class there with my mom about 8 years ago. I've never made Mexican hot chocolate, much less with that wooden instrument, but I still keep it. Can't throw it away!

                                                                                                  Then, of course, there is grandma's china, the spatula I stole from my ex-boyfriend year ago, the cocktail glasses I most likely stole from college bars a decade ago, the cheap wine glasses my husband and I got for free with our wine tastings in Temecula on "our first vacation together"... and a metal tagine engraved around in Arabic that a random woman gave me when I bought something else from her off Craigslist... My kitchen is a trip down memory lane, utility and organization be damned! :)

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: anakalia

                                                                                                    the cocktail glasses I most likely stole from college bars a decade ago

                                                                                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                    This is the only type of glasses my husband had when we moved in together. Oh the wailing and tearing at hair when I put my foot down and bought a real set of of matching glasses.

                                                                                                  2. I don't do clutter. I especially don't like hidden clutter, because I always feel scared of it if I don't know exactly what's back there lol! I make a point of going through all my cabinets and drawers regularly to make sure everything in there is getting used and worth keeping, the rest goes in the trash or to goodwill. I don't even have a "junk drawer."

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: emilyjh75

                                                                                                      I can do that with my book and with my clothes, but for some reason I can't with kitchen stuff. It's either, "it's not too expired I'll eat it" or "I'll use it eventually".

                                                                                                      1. re: emilyjh75

                                                                                                        after spending the last 20 years in postage stamp kitchens I RESENT ridiculous use of space, sorry, enjoy it, but don't take it for granted. something comes in then something goes out

                                                                                                      2. You 'hounds have inspired me. I'm shutting this computer down and heading to that little room I call my "catering closet" (haven't catered an event since 1989) but still have 120 white napkins from Williams-Sonoma...not too sure they're white anymore; 24 "colored" napkins; 24
                                                                                                        assorted tablecloths...none of which fit the table I now have; fondue sets and I fondon't; a special "pheasant under glass" serving piece...good grief; and so many more items that it will
                                                                                                        take 3 trips to the library resale shop to get it all there. Whew! I'll be exhaused, snarky and
                                                                                                        hungry. Maybe I should just keep on typing or go take a nap............

                                                                                                        38 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: amazinc

                                                                                                          You're a good person.

                                                                                                          I should do the same with my inherited mother-in-law's dishes.
                                                                                                          It's even harder for me to give away things that are from spouse's family.

                                                                                                          (None left in the family to give them to.)

                                                                                                          1. re: Rella

                                                                                                            but if your spouse doesn't want it....maybe you or he knows a young couple starting out who *need* a nice set of dishes? (or someone from work, school, church knows someone)

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              "As long as we have a place to store it, we'll not do anything about it." is spouse's reply. But it remains as a 'clutter' no matter. It takes up a lot of storage shelf space in a storage room.

                                                                                                              Along with 'old computers and their ancillary items." :-)) AARGH!

                                                                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                *facepalm*

                                                                                                                Oh geez, yes. We need to hang on to 3-1/2" floppies because.....???

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  I just know Jaz and Zip and Syquest drives are going to come back any day now

                                                                                                                  and yes I AM holding my breath. I feel if it's not being used at least once every few years, it's junk. may as well donate it to somebody or group who can use or cheaply re-sell it. and how many households among family and friends need a punch bowl? we should consider our cabinets as a lending library.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    At least they aren't 5" floppies!

                                                                                                                  2. re: Rella

                                                                                                                    "As long as we have a place to store it, we'll not do anything about it." is spouse's reply.
                                                                                                                    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                    I have one of those spouses. It drives me bats.

                                                                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                      Lots of tension between the declutterers and the hoarders. You could sit down with the offending spouse and watch an episode of Hoarders together. There is emphasis on that series of shows about how the amassing of stuff impacts others in the family, and how it can be a substitute for human connection. When I watch an episode, it makes me much more careful about hanging onto things. It would drive me nuts to live with a someone who doesn't throw things away. But all kinds of problems occur when the other spouse throws things out. I extend my sympathies to any in this position. I hope you can find help. And yes I am aware that severe hoarding is a psychological problem, or illness.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                        Thankfully, we are not anywhere near a hoarder house! I only watched the show a couple of times and holy cow, it really does give one food for thought.

                                                                                                                        Part of our "problem" is we live in a large house so there is lots of room to store things neatly and out of the way - out of sight, out of mind.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                          Thanks for your counsel. Perhaps we should have an intervention. LOL.

                                                                                                                          Oh, I forgot to mention, we don't watch TV, so we don't get counsel from there either.

                                                                                                                          Two Ratpacks.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                            my problem is I'm sorta bi-polar that way "KEEP IT! TOSS IT! Wait, no, reverse that!" gotta be diligent and all hard-ass on myself. constantly.

                                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                              I actually just repurposed the ceramic insert from a slow cooker I had that broke years ago. I am using it to make pickles! YEah. I know I would need it someday. LOL! We'll see how they turn out!

                                                                                                                              1. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                                                I use my crock pot so seldom that I SHOULD take the insert out to use as another mixing bowl, thanks for the idea.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                                    I made a panettone in it. It was very good. The shape was perfect. (The crock pot insert is taller than wide.)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                      OK I am going to retrieve it from over the fridge right now!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                        Here is a picture of my effort. Bake in OVEN!

                                                                                                                                        http://tinypic.com/ehkc4m.jpg

                                                                                                                                        I don't have the recipe any longer; but I would suppose that any pannetone recipe would work.

                                                                                                                                        Let the pannetone dough rise in the insert.

                                                                                                                                        Then or while:

                                                                                                                                        Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut an X in the top of the bread.; then bake for 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                        Reduce the heat to 375ºF; then bake for 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                        Reduce the heat to 350ºF; then bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. Be sure that a toothpick or a skewer comes out clean. .

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                          Whoa wonder how my banana bread would come out?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                            I don't know because a banana bread is a quick bread. The pannetone/panettone is a yeast bread.

                                                                                                                                            I've tried a few quick breads in a bread machine and they never were a success. This crockpot I showed is of almost the same configuration as 'some' of the bread machine inserts.

                                                                                                                                            However, I'm not a "quick bread" bread baker.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                              are y'all saying I could put my crock pot liner in the oven?!?! I did not realize that. Could I use it for my no knead bread, instead of my dutch oven?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                                                                The recipe says to use "cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic" so I'm sure the slow cooker crock could be used.

                                                                                                                                                I made the no-knead bread 2 or 3 times and each time the crust got real dark before the interior reached 210°. The result was a gummy bread. The second time I left the lid on longer but the result was similar. Any idea what I was doing wrong?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                  What temperature DID it reach?
                                                                                                                                                  What flour did you use?
                                                                                                                                                  What pot did you use?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                    I think it hit about 190°. I used unbleached, all-purpose flour (I used the ATK recipe). I used an enamel cast iron kettle using parchment paper.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                      The temperature should read at least 204 - better yet 207-208.

                                                                                                                                                      The ATK recipe does differe somewhat from the NYT recipe - even Bittman has a take-off of the NYT - take my advice and stick to the orginal NYT-Lahey recipe.

                                                                                                                                                      I always use bread flour - I don't know that that is necessary vs. all-purpose.

                                                                                                                                                      No need to use parchment paper. The heat is high enough to keep it from sticking when thrown in.

                                                                                                                                                      I never cover the bread with bran, as NYT recipe says. To me it gets bitter.

                                                                                                                                1. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                                                  interesting. you'd think the ceramic insert would break first (but then I guess one could re-purpose the base as a chafing dish of sorts).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                    We had a slow cooker bite the dust. It was fairly new, but cheap. I used it frequently on high and the heating unit burned out but we saved the 6 quart oval crock with glass lid. (The one time we wanted to use it we could not find it).

                                                                                                                                    I was not surprised it burned out because I think the FDA made the manufacturers increase the temperatures of slow cooker because they did not think the old ones were cooking at a high enough temperature. I discovered that 'keep warm' was low, 'low' was high and 'high' was really high.

                                                                                                                                2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                  I can actually relate to that dilemma. You know I used to have to decide whether to discard old library books. In the end, anything that doesn't work for you any longer, needs to be passed on, or trashed. The thing is, the world for most of us is still a remarkably provident place.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                    "whether to discard old library books"

                                                                                                                                    took me a moment to realize you probably are/were a librarian. I DO hoard books, I read and re-read ones I like a bazillion times and always find something new I hadn't considered before.

                                                                                                                                    "The thing is, the world for most of us is still a remarkably provident place." I might qualify that statement to reference certain parts of the world. but yeah for those of us in the US that are willing to buy used and freecycle - you can stock up a lot of gadgets for very little $, so little sense in keeping that 40 cup coffee urn used once a year, just give it to a church or shelter or something. or park it at someone's bigger house and consider it a permanent loan for your social/family group.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                      exactly. And of course some parts of our world the world isn't a provident place at all. But if we are posting here, it probably is. Hoarding beloved books is a harmless obsession! :-)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                        We finally bit the bullet and sold/donated nearly 2,000 books. Bunches sold on Amazon, a local book-dealer bought a slew, and we gave the rest to the library. It's actually been very freeing (plus we sold maybe 12 6' oak bookcases that held them). We do occasionally look for a book that we "released," but mostly it's been a good decision.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                    "Lots of tension between the declutterers and the hoarders" Welcome to my world.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                      I am not a professional in this field. But I have noticed that there is hoarding that occurs in the elderly, and hoarding that seems to be more extreme in relatively younger people. With the elderly, we used to say it was Depression mentality, but there aren't that many people left who experienced the Great Depression in their childhoods. So, I think perhaps hoarding in the elderly might be part of the onset of dementia. But I don't know this. I only speculate. I cannot imagine dealing on a daily basis with someone who can't bear to part with useless stuff. My sympathy is with you if that describes your situation. You could probably write a book, and perhaps you should.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                        my parents were depression babies and they blame that for their behavior, I silently mutter BS and toss stuff (not all - always leave a little something) when they're not looking or asleep. god I hope it's just crotchediness and not early ALS.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                          My parents were both born at the start of the depression. Both could be quite thrifty, but it was my father who was the 'packrat'. I think it's more a matter of how they were raised rather than just the depression thing. My father's parents were both immigrants and came here with nothing and raised 6 children without much money. My mother's parents were not well-off by any means but my maternal grandfather was never out of work during the Depression. So I always cut him some slack as I got older when he would say something like "that's a good jar, you can use that to make pickles". I'd say, "I don't make pickles and you yaven't either for 17 years". Then the jar would go into the recycling bin.

                                                                                                                                          We were lucky, my parents moved out of the house I grew up in and had a household auction more than 20 years ago. Then they moved three more times and got rid of a bunch of stuff with each move. I have seen friends of mine overwhelmed with their parents' house and stuff and I am thankful our situation will be much easier when it does arrive.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                            lucky you indeed, at the I'm moment picking through 60 years and 3 houses of hoarded junk because I know when the sad day comes my siblings will be of little help.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                            You don't mean ALS, I am sure. You mean Alzheimer's. A good friend of mine died of ALS. Terrible disease.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                              right right (both terrible diseases) but you are right I meant Alzheimer's.

                                                                                                                                              god forbid either strike even my worst enemy.

                                                                                                                          2. I keep all of my cookbooks that I began collecting back in the '70s.

                                                                                                                            Over the years I have built several runs of long shelves.

                                                                                                                            There was one house where the floor joists gave creaks and gave groans,
                                                                                                                            So in today's house I went down there and put in a floor jack.

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                              Can I ask how many of them you use? I have a thing with cookbooks too, but I hate them in my kitchen getting all greasy and dusty. I keep them in the laundry room and only rotate the few in that I'm into at the mo'.

                                                                                                                              do you have any must haves?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Luna2372

                                                                                                                                Call me goofy, but here is how I cover the tops of my cookbooks.
                                                                                                                                This is because I recall the day when some homes had bookcases that had a glass window, and each shelf was encased, and you raised the door. I suppose this was the day when people revered their books. Books still cost aplenty today, as we know.

                                                                                                                                Fooffuser, I think it is a great idea to put a floor jack. One of my rooms have books on each side; so far it's sturdy.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                  Here is how I cover the tops of my cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                    for a while I'd line the walls with them along the floor, spine up so the pages wouldn't get dusty. it looked cool, but chewed up a lot of space.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Luna2372

                                                                                                                                  Keep an eye on those books in the laundry room. Paper & humidity are not good friends.

                                                                                                                                  Cheers!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: FishTales

                                                                                                                                    AND, an ozonator (or whatever it is) to refresh air which some say be dangerous, but I don't really know, will dissolve all bookbinds that use elastic-type or rubber-type glue. Experienced.