Wow. When did February happen? And – for that matter – what happened to January, December, November, and October? Is time going at warp speed right now? When life goes too fast, I slow it down by getting back to the basics in the kitchen.
We’ll talk about that in a minute.
Wait, isn’t life always going fast?
I don’t know if it is just because I am getting older or is life – for everyone – going too fast? I suspect it’s a little of both, honestly. And for those who are suffering with illness or heartache, life mostly like is hard to grab a hold of.
If you and I are real-life friends or virtual-life friends, you know how much I looooove simple living and slow living. Both lifestyles take a lot of work for me to do because I love allll the things and I want to experience allll the things!
Can you relate?
Let’s chat about slowing down, shall we?
Slowing down isn’t about getting to the point where we stop living. Actually, it’s quite the opposite!
Slowing down is a mindset that says, “Hey, why am I doing this? And this? And that?”
Slowing down is a mindset that says, “Let’s stop doing X so we can do X.” The first X is the thing we do on rote (if unnecessary) and the second X is the thing that we have on our wish list (important or fun).
I believe that simple living leads to slowing down. For instance, a key component of simple living is having less “stuff” that we never or rarely use. As the stuff piles up, so do our responsibilities of taking care of them.
Remove some of it, and viola! Now we have a wee bit extra time on our hands.
And thankfully, a little more breathing space.
Getting back to the basics in the kitchen.
Okay, I told you I would get back to this concept: When life goes too fast, I slow it down by getting back to the basics in the kitchen.
For me this means that I:
- Ruthlessly clean out the pantry.
- Clean and organize the fridge and freezer.
- Use up those condiments and ingredient impulse buys.
- Organize the kitchen gadget drawer.
- Pull out and use those kitchen gadgets (or else get rid of them).
- Meal plan (I just meal plan our dinners).
- Get back to once-a-week grocery shopping (hence, the meal plan).
- Use up fresh vegetables before they go bad.
- Turn on some happy music and enjoy the process.
Basics don’t have to be… basic.
Even though I like to keep a lean pantry and fridge, it doesn’t mean that what I stock is boring! Keeping the basics allows me the freedom to be spontaneous.
Think about it.
If I keep red potatoes, black beans, rice, and chicken breasts on hand, then I know that there is always a meal base. For me, experimenting and trying out new ingredients is a secondary level of basic. In other words, it is in my nature to add something a little different to a meal while keeping it simple.
Fundamentally, it’s little ol’ me just getting back to MY basics in the kitchen.
It grounds me.
Take a closer look at the photos in this blog post.
I purposely selected photos for this blog post that illustrate my point about getting back to the basics in the kitchen doesn’t have to be boring.
- For instance, the main featured photo is a snapshot of my pantry shelves. I like to store the basics: rice, nuts, and beans to name a few. If you look closely… you will see dried fava beans. Fava beans! Beans = basic. Fava beans = basic but not boring!
- The second photo is a snapshot of the produce section at my local grocery store. Sure, there are carrots, celery, and Brussels sprouts. Produce = basic. Green and purple kohlrabi = basic but not boring!
- A closer look at the third photo is a wooden bowl I keep on my kitchen counter. Yep, you can see apples, garlic, oranges, and squashes hanging out. Fruits, squash, and garlic = basic. Honeynut squash = basic but not boring!
Getting back to the basics in our kitchen means that we KNOW our core basics and we are willing to experiment without going too far off the beaten path. I’ve been doing this hard core the past few months and it’s amazing how much it has invigorated me in the kitchen!
Now, it’s your turn.
If you were asked to bullet point the ways that YOU like to get back to basics in the kitchen, what would you write? I would love to learn what makes you feel grounded. Would you mind sharing your thoughts in the comments?
Life is short.
Let’s make the most of it, friends!