Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In My Kitchen

Music: Bee Gees

I don’t own many of the typical appliances or cookware that most people have in their kitchens. I believe in less clutter, for one, and I also like to find the best way to do things that works for me. For example, when I moved to this house in 2004, my microwave oven didn’t fit anywhere on my limited countertop space and I didn’t want to remodel the kitchen nor change anything just so that I could keep it. Also, I never really liked how microwave ovens cooked or reheated my food; it didn’t taste the same anymore (kind of unnatural in both taste & texture) and it also heated unevenly and cooled quickly. Finally, you have to kind of wonder about the safety factor when even experts don’t know the long-term implications of using them. So I donated mine to Vietnam Veterans of America. I now use my toaster oven to make toast as well as to reheat food or else I reheat on my stove top. I don’t miss the microwave at all. Another friend of mine (in Portland, OR) doesn’t like them either and yet another just doesn’t want one. But most people have them in their kitchens and think nothing of using them. And I know the “green” experts say they save energy but I just don’t think they’re safe. And, when you think about it most people only really use it to reheat food, not cook it.

Non-stick cookware is another kitchen item I decided to get rid of when I began reading about food and health. Yes, they might make cooking and cleanup easier but did you know that you should only be using wood or plastic utensils when cooking on them (not metal)? My mother & Jim’s grandmother both own non-stick pans and they have used metal on them; as a result, the pans are all scratched up. I ask you, where did the scraped off coating go? Into the food, that’s where, which you ate! So I’d just rather not use them. Instead, I use plain old stainless steel. I find that if I cook at lower temperatures, the food is less likely to stick. Try it sometime. I’m looking into some cast iron cookware as I have heard they are wonderful, but I need to do some research as I have a smooth top electric range and those are believed to sometimes scratch the cook tops.

A few years ago, Jim started a worm compost for our food scraps. In the winter, he brings the worms inside so they don’t freeze to death & we keep them in the basement until spring. This has been a great way to use up vegetable/fruit scraps & coffee grounds. It also makes a great fertilizer when mixed with water for all the plants, too.

I bought this at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market last Saturday at the Dirty Girl Farm stand. Laundry is my next step for going more natural and using less chemicals.

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