Wednesday, May 16, 2007

reduce, reuse, recycle

See that pretty box? For my birthday I received a food processor, but decided it just didn't suit my luddite lifestyle, even though it was something I had coveted for ages. I'm now thinking of getting rid of my microwave since it takes up precious counter space. Yesterday I heated up leftovers on my stove with excellent results, so I decided that I don't need a microwave to reheat. Softening butter for recipes? Hmmm, is that enough to justify keeping a microwave, especially when I can plan in advance to take out the butter? Thoughts? Opinions?

This is interesting because last week in the New York Times, Mark Bittman writes about how to stock a kitchen on the cheap. While I can't agree with his claim that a food processor is a must-have item, most of his information is pretty good. However, there is no mention of thrift shopping for kitchen scores. All my pretty cruset comes by way of Value Village. Cake tins, muffin pans, dishes, pyrex, glassware? Thrift scores. Scouring thrifts certainly won't guarantee yourself an instant kitchen, but it's nice to piece something together that has a bit of history. I like that.

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Anonymous Joanne said...

I can totally relate to the reduce, reuse, recycle approach, however I get giddy with excitement over nicely designed modern kitchen appliances. What can I say, I studied industrial design for 4 years.
There are many things my kitchen still lacks - a mixer for cakes, a blender for smoothies, a slew of sturdy pots and pans, etc, etc. Just the other day, the handle on my steamer pot broke. I can't afford to replace it at the moment. But I have a bamboo steamer I can use instead.
The place we rent came with a microwave and dishwasher. I don't really care for either but do use them occasionally because they're there. When we move out one day, I don't think we will be buying either.
Sounds like your Value Village has some great finds! Whenever I pop into a VV, I usually come out empty-handed.

6:45 PM  
Blogger kickpleat said...

our blender came from value village! it's an old beehive osterizer - an original and it works like a charm. best part, we only paid $4 for it.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Joanne said...

that's so cool!

8:45 PM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

thanks for the interesting link to the NY times piece. there's tonnes of equipment i don't have either. do quite a bit of baking but don't even own a hand blender. however i did recently splurge on a microplane. and though i should probably get a peeler, i've only ever used a knife. don't know if i could do without the convenience of my microwave though. it'd be great if i could but if i can heat that frozen burrito in 2 minutes it sounds good to me. i may be wrong but wouldn't an oven take up more energy? there are pros and cons.

9:35 PM  
Blogger kickpleat said...

stefanie, i totally love my microplane. i got for xmas as a gift and i'm completely smitten with it!!

1:52 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I like the microwave for heating leftovers because it doesn't create as many dishes as reheating on the stovetop does.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a microplane for christmas too - It makes grating zest sooooo much easier, and I LOVE zest (it's where all the flavour is, of course), so where for many people, zest might be something they only use everyonce in a while, for me it is a necesity.
Which is the thing, I think.
I defrost a lot of meat in my microwave. Ok, not a lot, (because I don't eat that much meat) but enough to make it worthwhile. And I use it for the occasional lunch (soup and leftovers). You don't dirty a pot you then have to wash, and it uses power more effectivly to zap it for few minutes then to heat up the whole stove. It's actually BETTER for the enviroment than wasting all that heat from the oven (especially since we have an old electric one).
But most of the time the microwave just sits there. So I kinda would like to get rid of it... But I don't think that's really practical.
And girl, how do you find Creuset at the VV? How? That is amazing! Who would give away their Le Creuset!

5:58 AM  
Blogger jenn said...

My microwave is one of the most used things in my kitchen, but I have little kids, so heating things QUICK, as in RIGHT NOW is a priority. Other then using it for them...nope really don't use it??? Maybe I'll ditch when they're older? don't know for thought though! Totally agree, thrift stores rock for cool finds. I got a waffle maker for 2bucks there! Do I need it?? no but it was 2 bucks! I love waffles on sundays :)

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, maybe a little late to leave my two cents. I do have a food processor which I use occasionally. But honestly, I use my coffee grinder if I need to grind up almonds or walnuts for a recipe, and it works fine.

I haven't had a microwave since I lived back home in Texas (11 years ago, gasp!), and I haven't missed it one bit. I have a kid too, and need to heat things pronto, be it leftover Chinese, veggie purée or a bottle, and the stove top works just as fast (it's gas).

I can hardly remember why I ever felt the need to reheat a cup of coffee when I'd rather have a fresh, or eat pre-packaged popcorn when stove top is better and healthier since I decide what goes into it. Totally overrated. And my brother swears it rearranges the molecules in the food, which will f*** you up.

2:20 AM  
Blogger miss tango in her eyes said...

Microwaves freak me out a bit, never owned one.

7:07 PM  

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