By Marsha Fottler.
Making New Year’s resolutions that pertain to your everyday working life in the kitchen is rewarding because practical and aesthetic changes in that space are easy to master and will leave you feeling empowered and happily in control of your attractive surroundings. Start today.
• If you haven’t used a particular cookbook in the last two years, recycle that cookbook by giving it away to a friend or making up a box for a local thrift shop or friends-of-the-library book sale.
• Read Micahel Pollan’s book In Defense of Food and act on any three things that the author suggests. You’ll feel spiritually virtuous, but more important, you’ll be healthier.
• Clean out the refrigerator and be ruthless about tossing items in jars and bottles in the back or on the lower part of door. Tartar sauce and horseradish do have a limited life span you know.
• Throw away out-dated spices and start fresh. Keep glass containers for new spices you buy in smaller quantities at specialty markets or health food stores. Dried herbs and spices lose their potency fast.
• Paint your kitchen including the ceiling and trim. Use satin or semi-gloss paint so that you can wash down surfaces.
• Find a spot in your kitchen for a piece of artwork, not on the refrigerator door.
• Clean out your dreaded junk drawer reducing contents by at least 30%. Don’t spend more than 20 minutes on this project at the first go-around or you’ll become overwhelmed and never return to the resolution. Organize the remaining contents using little baskets or plastic dividers. It’s a powerful feeling to know the exact hiding place of scissors, tape, matches, twist ties – you know the rest.
• Replace your dish towels, yes, all of them. It’s a new decade. Buy brand new white or ivory ones of the best quality you can afford. Start with just two or four if finances are a big issue. Luxury towels you use every single day will change (ie: improve) your perspective about coping with small drudgeries.
• Stop using the front or side of your refrigerator as a photo gallery, message center or memo board. A clear refrigerator surface goes a long way in making the kitchen less cluttered and visually larger. Try it for a week and you’ll become convinced that your personal life has a better place in the world than on your fridge.
• Remove an upper cabinet and replace with sturdy open shelving for stacks of plates, mugs, cereal and serving bowls that you use every single day. If all the plate-ware is one color the visual impact is greater and the shelves look professionally organized and classy. Open shelving works best when the items on it are in constant use. No dust-catching display objects need apply. Put those lovely things behind glass or on a hutch.
Flavors and More Magazine – January 2010