Monday, May 8, 2006

What's in Your Kitchen Drawer?

We all have one - or am I deluding myself into thinking there are others living with the same crazy catch-all drawer - you know the one with everything from bamboo skewers to graters, peelers and everything else you have no other place for. Or am I alone in this regard? I think not because IKEA and other stores sells tons of organizer items like drawer liners & dividers, boxes, bins, hanging frames….to house the cool and funky gadgets they also sell.

So just for fun, I thought I’d share a photo of the mess

Charming isn't it? But let me back up a bit and set the stage....

Yesterday morning, being Sunday, should have started out with our usual ritual – the Sunday edition of the NY times and coffee in bed, but my daughter Jo & and her husband are in town and had a full day working session with her senior camp staff (She’s the Director of a summer camp in Nova Scotia, but most of the staff and many of the campers come from Toronto. Personally, I love her job almost as much as she does because I get to see her way more often than I used to – she lives in Halifax).

Back to the point – we got up early (at least for a Sunday) for a family breakfast of frittata made with baby spinach, sautéed mushrooms & onions, fresh oregano, grated cheeses and starring the leftover sausages my honey bbq’d the night before. There were lamb merguez, veal with mushrooms, garlic & spinach and some other interesting kind (we couldn’t remember what was in them) – some were spicy, others rich and mild so every bite was a surprise.

But I really digress this time, because this post is eventually, if I can just focus, about kitchen toys. It’s been quite a while since I wrote about any and I do love my kitchen toys. Lately I’ve been very focused on what we can (and shouldn’t) eat on the South Beach Diet (and for those of you who have been following – we’re stuck at around 12 pounds, which isn’t bad, but we’re hoping to lose at least another 12 pounds each – but that’s for another post). Recently we ate dinner at a great new steak bistro near us (I’ve written about Lola’s before) and I am obsessed by how tiny the kitchen is and how any chef could cook for 38 people at a time – plus 12 in the secluded wine grotto downstairs (and the place is packed on the weekends) and vowed never to complain about my kitchen again. Right, who am I kidding?! Come over some time and watch the show as I crouch down to try to find the matching lid for the plastic containers that are jumbled in one cupboard and stand clear when I try to find some spice or herb precariously balanced in another (scroll down to #6). The language is colorful and the visuals almost slapstick.

So small kitchen spaces are on my mind, and today I finally got to read at least parts of the Sunday Times on line - check out the slide show on Bento Boxes - Japanese kitchens where space is really a prized commodity. There is even one apartment that has the bedroom and kitchen combined – yikes!. I really must stop complaining about mine.

This morning I also read Heidi’s 101 Cookbooks post about fabulous kitchen finds at flea markets which made me think of all the stuff I've collected over the years and keep trying to find homes for in my little kitchen. Sooooo, finally to the point of this’s time to clean out my catch-all kitchen drawer (where most every small item gets stored in my little kitchen) and see exactly what interesting hidden treasures I can find.

So to start…how many graters can a girl have? Well….starting from the top...obviously the KitchenAid grater attachments that was a bonus when I bought my gorgeous red mixer and that so far (one year later) I’ve only used once and the box grater that I’ve had forever are too big for the drawer, but how could I leave them out of the collection.

Bottom row starting from the left are the grater and slicing blades for my Cuisinart food processor. I use them at least once a week. Next are the microplane grates - different sizes for variety. I use one of these every day. Keep moving right and you find two types of zesters. One gives you long strands and the other justs grates off the zest. Actually I use one of the microplanes for zesting and grating ginger and this little grater sits under a lot of other junk er wonderful tools, at the bottom of the drawer. And last, and definitely least valuable and takes up too much room too, I might add - the microplane cheese grater. Frankly I like my other microplanes much better.

That's it for today...come back soon and see what else I've got stashed away.

Oh - and please share your kitchen drawer collection in the comments. I need to know I'm not alone.

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Sara said...

i posted about cleaning out my drawer a month or so ago - you've got me well beat - i only had 3 graters!

Ruth Daniels said...

Sara, the excuse I'll use for having so many is that I've had many a kitchen for many a year. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. That and I love new gadgets even if they're do the same job as ones I already have.

barbie2be said...

sometimes i am afraid to even open that drawer. i think there is a dragon living in there.

i did have to clean it out a week or two ago because i have a roommate that is moving out and i wanted to be sure that none of MY treasures went with her to her new home.

Anonymous said...

Ruth, 3 of the same grater is a little excessive, don't you think? But then it won't be if friends come along in the kitchen to help out!

Ruth Daniels said...

Well now of course I sort of have to justify my overindulgence....

Barbie - I too am afraid to open the drawer, but it was time to check out the bottom layer.

Mae, actually the graters are slightly different thicknesses and thanks for the rationale - others over to help!

Thanks everyone for dropping by.