Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Cleaning Up, Cleaning Out
Some things, such as our three containers of ground mustard, are merely incidental. You need ground mustard, can't find it, and buy more. Of course the reason you can't find it in the first place is because your spice cabinet is jam-packed with extra containers of turmeric and allspice. Other things, however, are harder to account for. For example, what does anyone need with two citrus juicers? I suppose this trait goes back to our pioneer forbears who, if they discovered they had an extra citrus juicer would've said, "Keep it. You never know when one of our citrus juicers will break down, and if there's an Indian raid or we get snowed in, we'll run out of citrus juice."
I once had a French teacher who'd lived through privation following World War II. When he moved to America, he was delighted to with his first visit to the grocery store. "Look at all these wonderful and useful jars the food comes in!" After he'd eaten whatever pickles or tomato sauce the jar contained, he carefully scrubbed it out and put it in his garage. When his garage was stacked to the rafters with empty jars, he realized his obsessive frugality was out of place in the states.
So Nancy and I have culled our possessions, at least a little. We didn't get rid of everything, naturally. We still have three cocktail shakers, but each of these is vital to the Martin household. I use one for mixing martinis, and Nancy sometimes uses another in case wine has to be chilled on an emergency basis. And one might be in the dishwasher.
Just because you're trimming back, doesn't mean you have to live like savages.