The Kitchen Drawer…

By Louise Froggett

I don’t do “spring cleaning”. I don’t have the energy or will power to tackle everything all at once, certainly not just because it’s the season. When I feel energetic (or curious about what’s lurking beneath), I tackle a specific job. Today, it was “the kitchen drawer.”

When we moved to the apartment five years ago, a lot of things came out of boxes and it was enough of a challenge just to decide where to put them. Having a major philosophical re-think about whether the item was necessary was beyond us at that moment. I’ve tidied the drawer many times over the past few years, but have not really looked at these things and made the tough decisions. Until today.

I opened the drawer and stared inside. It’s a good-sized drawer, with all the things we regularly use sitting in the front middle where they are handy. It’s what is lurking at the edges that demand attention. So, I took everything out of the drawer and placed it on the counter. I washed the drawer and felt pretty good about that, but now the hard part started. What deserves to go back into the drawer?

There’s the rolling pin with the pastry mat wrapped around it. I haven’t made pastry in at least 15 years, but you never know. Back into the drawer. String, tape, birthday candles and two balloons. Balloons. You never know, so back into the drawer. An envelope with coupons (all expired), a take-out menu for a restaurant that no longer exists and a “how to take care of your new knives” booklet in ten languages all went to the recycling bag. Things were going well.

Then I got to things I couldn’t identify. There were two weird little springy metal clips, now kind of sticky and dusty. My husband looked at them too and we had no idea what they were. Nervously, I threw them into the garbage; I’ll probably remember what they are and why I kept them at 3am one night. There were other oddities; little brown plastic covers for…something, and another clip of unknown origin. Some we kept; most we didn’t.

The things that really gave me pause were wrapped in an ancient plastic bag. I removed the twist tie and unwrapped the contents. Inside were skewers and string for trussing up a turkey. Wow! There are only two of us and I can’t remember the last time we bought anything as large as a turkey. We discussed it for a moment and then threw them out. I stared for a long time at the little green twist tie, shorter than twist ties are now. It suddenly came to me how ancient it was. This twist tie was older than any of the staff at our local coffee shop! I felt like a fossil.

But, the great drawer clean-out was a success. And, we discovered that we have a meat thermometer! Who knew?

Book: This Old House, Volume Two: James Bay

Book: This Old House, Volume Two: James Bay

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