Sunday, April 28, 2013

How Purposeful? How Plastic is your Kitchen?

I have a question for all of you. How much plastic do you use in the kitchen? Plastic bowls? Plastic spoons? Plastic measuring cups? Plastic trays? Plastic everything else?
 Or do you deal only with purposeful kitchen ware and gadgets?
 What do I mean by purposeful? Well, let me try to explain...
Many years ago my brother-in-law and sister-in-law sold their large modern home and, in an attempt to down-size, they gave away everything that did not hold a memory or a meaning, anything that was void beauty or purpose. At the time I didn't realize they had discovered and taken seriously this quote:

"Have nothing in your home that you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." William Morris
That quote stayed with me all these years.
I recently cleaned out my kitchen cabinets. Like I've done so many times before.
This time I took that quote and became intent with its meaning.
My grandmother's house was also decluttered recently and I claimed a set of bowls I remember dishing out spoonfuls of her many delicacies. Any other place I'd have left the bowls for someone else. But these bowls were more than simple bowls. Some bowls churn out memories worth tasting again and again within one's own kitchen. And, yes, they are useful.
 {"One should never be the oldest thing in one's house." Patsy Stone}
Like my mother's old green bowl I kept. I remember pudding days in this bowl.
And this metal cake cover that I found in a thrift shop that reminded me of childhood days and treats. Not pretty. But useful.
 “Decorating golden rule: Live with what you love.” Unknown
Which brings me to my first question. How much plastic do you use in the kitchen? A part of me wants my grandchildren to remember items I used. I want these items to churn delicious memories in their minds. Something tells me that plastic doesn't make the cut.
And so I kept pretty bowls. Beautiful.
And antique pitchers which were my grandmother's wedding gifts in May of 1943 which were not made in China or Japan. Older than me.

And salad bowls given to me at my own wedding shower. Useful.
"Everything has a place, and everything in its place." Unknown
And I did place a few, colorful plastics in a hidden shelf for scoops to be distributed to children heading home after supper and mothers with new babies and friends on the mend but, other than that, I am taking a purposeful look inside my cabinets and pantry and asking myself "What ingredient does this kitchen item hold that I have not put inside it yet?"

In boxed version: Purpose vs. Plastic is what I'm contemplating.

Have any of you banned plastic from your kitchen? How purposeful is your kitchen? Is there a favorite pot, pan, gadget you use in the kitchen? Why is it a favorite? Do you collect vintage kitchen items? Do you have any of your great grandmother, grandmother, or mother's kitchen ware? Do you use it often? Or does it sit safe on a shelf?

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  1. I gave away almost all of my Tupperware a few years ago. I would like to be completely plastic free, but I still have some in the kitchen.

    I do have things that belonged to family members, my husband's great-grandmother's cast iron skillet, my grandmother's wedding china, my mother's set of Minton teacups and saucers, an antique Scottish breadboard, and many other things. I use them all, cherishing the memories of times with the women who owned them previously.

  2. We've moved to storing leftovers mostly in mason jars - yes, even pizza fits in a mason jar! We still have plastics, but we use them so infrequently, that I'm probably going to get rid of most of them. I do have pretty glass serving dishes I inherited from my grandmother or found in thrift stores because they remind me of family.

    Here's another idea about purposeful items - my friend gave cast iron skillets to her young daughters for Christmas one year. The family is using them now and when the girls have homes of their own, the well used and well seasoned skillets will go with them!

  3. I don't use plastic. Everything which needs to be stored goes in glass jars. You can even freeze things in them. The only plastic items I have are two lunch containers my daughter takes to work, and they have to be plastic because they get jolted around. But they are BPA free, at least. Oh, and bulk-buy seeds etc come into the house in plastic bags, which I then re-use to cover the dog's food tin.

    My kitchen is almost entirely purposeful, but I try to get beautiful things which I use for specific purposes. I used to have some antique china from my grandmother but no longer. And while it was very nice to have, and I wish I still had it, I want nothing in my kitchen that can't be actually used. This may be because I've moved house so many times, I am no longer sentimental. Every couple of years I declutter because I don't want to move loads of unnecessary things!


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