Utens-hell

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Graters, slotted spoons, melon ballers, apple corers, peelers, tongs, knives, canning supplies, can openers, corkscrews, blades from mixers, spatulas, cake servers, cheese slicers, egg timers, whisks, strainers, steamers, squeezers, zesters, beaters, choppers, serving forks, thermometers, mashers, and ladles. What do they all have common? They all need somewhere to live.

Kitchen drawers? Can there ever be enough? We find ourselves returning to this problem area again and again. Unless you are among the extremely fortunate who either don’t cook or have moved into a newly renovated kitchen equipped with cabinets and drawers designed to house enough gear to open a restaurant, your tolerance for cramming may be stretched to the limit. Your cutlery drawer may be overflowing with a few too many mismatched soup spoons. But, forks, spoons and knives are child’s play to organize. They fit into their allotted spaces in their plastic trays. The utensil drawer is another story. Imagine a 10 car pile-up on the freeway in the middle of rush hour. Nothing is moving. You need to call a tow truck just to get the drawer opened.

Utensils, like pots and pans, are your tools for food preparation. But, what can you do if the volume outstrips the supply of available storage? If you have any wall space available you could hang some on a rack. If you have room on your counters, you can use a receptacle like an open canister to handle the excess. Keep in mind that you will be encroaching on your work area by adding to the load already dedicated to toasters and seltzer makers.

CRUD Challenge

Paring down your utensils is not a major undertaking. You can do it in less time than it takes to find a pair of sandal foot pantyhose with any runs in your hosiery drawer or search for the receipt for a lip balm you need to return. Simply take everything out of the drawer and apply the following tests:

1. How many poultry shears (or anything else) do you have? Compare them. Keep the best for yourself and donate the runners-up.

2. How many utensils perform identical or similar functions? Can you reduce using these criteria?

3. Can you remember the last time you actually used something like an egg-slicer? Would your life be diminished in any way if you no longer had it?

4. Do any of the utensils appear worse for wear? Are they missing parts? Are they so decrepit as to be no longer capable of performing the functions for which they were purchased?

5. Do you have any utensils whose uses are a total mystery?

Once you have performed this mini- evaluation, clearing your drawers of relics from a long-ago passion for gourmet cooking, enjoy opening and closing your streamlined utensil drawer that slides with ease.

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