Tuesday, December 2, 2014

aspirational clutter, wedding dress, fine china

Aspirational clutter is stuff you buy or hold on to because you are going to be That Person.  That person who plays the flute, that person who gardens.  Except that somehow, you never get around to actually being That Person.  You just can't seem to find time to play the flute, and you don't particularly like dirt under your fingernails.  The flute stays in the box under the bed, and the gardening tools are as shiny and clean as the day you bought them.

I don't think I have much aspirational clutter--my clutter tends toward decor mistakes and "I bought this one really useful thing, thus I should buy five of it in every color."  But I do have one significant piece of aspirational clutter that I have been having a hard time getting rid of, because I paid a lot of money for it and ONE DAY I WILL DO THAT.  (But I probably won't.) 

"That" is canning.  

I have a brand new pressure cooker that I bought two summers ago, still sealed in the box. I have a flat of glass jars, and some expired pectin, and a cookbook on canning.

Botulism fears aside, I just can't bring myself to get started.  I read tons of slow food blogs, and we make just about everything we eat from scratch because of Peter's allergies, so you would think that I would be a natural devotee to canning.  

But I hate cooking.  Really, really hate it. I like to eat, and I am dedicated to Peter's allergy safety, so I cook a lot, but I don't enjoy it at all.

This canning stuff will probably always be clutter.  Even with our "make it all from scratch" tendencies, I try to do as little work as possible. For example, we rarely eat commercially made bread, but I am not kneading bread with my bare hands.  I either use a breadmaker (two minutes of tossing in flour, water, olive oil, salt and yeast), or I ask the Mister to throw together a batch of no-knead bread in the evening, and then next day I spend one minute tossing the bread in a cast iron pot for baking.  (Note what I did there, the bulk of the work is done by the Mister.)  

Things like canning, which involve buying large batches of fruit or vegetables, cleaning them, prepping them, cooking them, decanting into glass jars, boiling and sealing them.....I am unlikely to do something that seems like this much work.

I should note here that I did canning once--my law school professor helped the Mister and I make peach jam as our wedding favors, and we accidentally set my law professor's mother's newly renovated kitchen on fire. I am well acquainted with the amount of work and peril that canning entails.

 So I should just sell the canning accoutrements on craigslist and move on with my life.  

A while back I posted about possibly donating my wedding dress. I didn't at the time; it is currently stored in the top of the boys' room closet.  But!  I came across the organization NICU Helping Hands, that accepts wedding dress donations for making burial gowns for babies.  That seems like a worthy organization and I would be happy to send my dress there. (They are currently not accepting donations until the new year, as their organization is moving to a larger warehouse, so I'll send it in January.)

When we got married, the Mister and I registered for fine china.  I don't know what I was thinking, since I do not enjoy giving special treatment to delicate objects, couldn't cook at the time, and was unlikely to throw large dinner parties needing special dishes, but that's what adults do in the 1940s, so we received plenty of china.  

When the Mister's parents moved out to California this summer, they brought with them our wedding china that had been packed up in boxes in their basement. I now have two large boxes full of packing peanuts and good china.  We are in need of new dishes, as our stoneware ones are mostly chipped and/or broken.  

I have decided to use the good dishes instead of buying new ones. I already own them, they were expensive gifts that unfortunately are not worth much in secondhand resale, and they are pretty.

Do you use good china as everyday dishes?  Share your experience, especially if your experience is "they all broke when I ran them through the dishwasher."   (I will not be handwashing all our everyday dishes; see the above paragraphs about me not doing more work than I have to.)  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Yay! You're commenting! I love comments!