Mixing and Whipping – Day 20

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Kitchen Aid Still Life

Today we tackle the tools that mix and blend including the stand mixer, the hand held mixer, and various hand tools.  Pull out all your tools that serve these functions and consider the redundancy in your collection.  Choose your favorites and make changes as needed.  Then move the rest to the donation box and clean out your kitchen cabinet and return the remaining items neatly.

Xaver and I have just purchased a short bus and we’ll be building out the interior for our third tiny home so I’m considering the usefulness of each item right along with you.  Since we’ll be going from 125 square feet, down to 110 square feet – and it will be configured very differently – it’s not going to be a huge adjustment and we are very excited about the places we’ll visit and the people we will meet along the way.  This also serves as a reminder of why we continue to work at downsizing and it helps us to reinvigorate our efforts.  Perhaps you would appreciate a reminder of why you’re going to all the trouble to downsize or right-size your kitchen.  Today take a moment to remember the goals you had when you began this process and remember what you stand to gain.  The more we focus on the simplicity and order we gain from this process, as opposed to the losses of downsizing, the more we’ll be able to enjoy the transition.

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VINNIE 3 – our new short bus

Recently I scrolled through social media looking at photos taken by folks who have only recently gone tiny and over and over again I’m reading the joy they have in this journey.  I saw again the sense of accomplishment and enjoyment these folks have their small cozy spaces.  I have been at this for a number of years so it’s easy to forget how exciting and joyful it was at the beginning.  The feeling hasn’t changed, just the sense of newness has left me.  This new Skoolie project will bring back the sense of newness without giving up the perks of living tiny, in fact, this bus is more road worthy than any of our other homes (lol!) and I look forward to traveling the country in it.

Keep on working toward your goal.  You can do it!  I know you can!

I’m Carmen Shenk, the Tiny House Foodie, reminding you that we can #LiveTiny #EmbraceSimplicity and still #EatWell.  Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it!29c45-1a2bcarmen

Tackle The Pantry – Day 15

Congratulations, you are well past the half way mark in this series!  Well done!  Are you loving your kitchen’s new lean look?  Yes, me too!

20 HomesteadingToday we focus on the pantry where you store food.  For folks who live in tiny houses, this isn’t a big deal – the collection is very small.  But if you asked me to do this 10 years ago when I lived in the big house on the golf course – cleaning out my pantry would have taken more than a day because my pantry was huge.  No matter where you are or how much stuff is in your food collection, taking the time to clean it out is an excellent idea and a very rewarding task.  Let’s tackle it together.

Remember to donate and recycle.  Plus, everything you put in the donate box today is fair game to be used this weekend.  But if you don’t use these foods this weekend then away they go.  There is no point in laboring the point.  Donate, and in some cases you may choose to compost the contents and recycle the container.  A clean organized pantry awaits.  You can do it, I know you can.

I’m Carmen Shenk, the Tiny House Foodie, reminding you that we can #LiveTiny #EmbraceSimplicity and still #EatWell.  Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it!29c45-1a2bcarmen

Food Storage Containers – Day 14

13 mixing bowls lidsToday is the day we tackle food storage options!  Go ahead and pull out all your food storage containers and clean out the cabinet where they were stored.  Then let’s talk about these containers.  The best and safest way to store food is in glass.  There are also excellent stainless steel options.  The worst food storage is plastic which has some serious health risks, and causes a lot of environmental damage.  Plastic food storage items may go directly to recycling.

It’s taken me some time to make this transition in my own home and I would encourage you to keep in mind that all of this is a process and wherever you are in the process is fine.  None of these changes need to happen overnight.  Do what is right for you and your family and often that means making small steps over the course of time to your goal – rather than incurring the expense of making a big change all at one time.  Embrace your creativity and your adaptability to store leftovers, and work to keep those foods for a very short time so that you are consistently eating fresh food.

Have you been following along with this series?  If so – Well Done!  You’ve passed the half-way mark and are well into the home stretch.  How are you doing?  Is this a good time to revisit your “Why?” to remind yourself why you are doing this?  Perspective is a valuable thing.  If and when you start to feel overwhelmed – take a break and revisit your “Why” and look again at your favorite things.  Remember that it is not a sacrifice to have all your favorite things around you.  You gain so much by going through this process.  You can do it, I know you can!

I love the transformation of cleaning out the old things and making way for new memories and adventures.  I find it exciting and invigorating.  Small kitchens are efficient because everything is right there at hand and that’s part of the fun of this process.

Does your kitchen look different than it did?  Share a photograph with me by using the #KitchenSimplicity hashtag, I can’t wait to see your photos.  Thanks so much for watching, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Mixing Bowls – Day 12

4 PurposeWelcome back to day #12, it’s time to tackle the mixing bowls and lids in your collection and downsize to your favorites that fit your purpose in this season of your life.  I show you my favorites plus my favorite way to roast potatoes.

BTW, I recently read that people who keep a bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables on the kitchen counter eat more fruit and vegetables, and less processed food.  I’m good with that.  And they are beautiful – that’s a bonus!

Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

Potatoes cut into even cubes (I love using various potatoes including sweet potatoes)

3 tablespoons good quality EVOO

2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Toss to coat and roast on a baking sheet for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve hot.

Tackle those mixing bowls and lids today and use #KitchenSimplicity to show me your before and after photographs.  I can’t wait to see your progress!  And thanks so much for watching, I really appreciate it!29c45-1a2bcarmen

 

Right-Sizing Pots & Pans – Day 10

11 SaucepansThis is one of the most rewarding parts of the kitchen to tackle because you can make a big difference pretty quickly.  Take out all of your pots and pans, and go over them with these principles in mind.  Then clean out the cabinet, and add items to your donation boxes.  You’re getting quite a collection of things to donate, aren’t you?!  Post a photo with #KitchenSimplicity and/or tag me so I get to see your progress.

As for storing these items, I’ve found that the best way for storing bulky weirdly shaped items like this is to hang them on the wall.  They take up a lot of space in a kitchen cabinet and this is a trick I learned from the Pros.  In the Tiny House Foodie kitchen the pans are hanging from a bathroom towel rack, and the lids are hanging on a curtain rod.  Of course there are options that were actually intended for pots and pans as well but use your creativity to personalize your tiny house kitchen.  Take a look around and see what you have handy and consider hanging your Right-Sized collection of pots and pans.  Items like a cast iron skillet may be a little too heavy to hang, and I keep my dutch oven on the range most of the time.

It’s time to come out of the woodwork and let me know you are following along with this video series.  Use the #KitchenSimplicity hashtag, or tweet to me @tinyhousefoodie.  I am looking forward to meeting you and hearing how this process is for you.   Thanks for watching and following along, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Cutting Boards & Knives – Day 9

10 knivesToday we tackle your collection of knives and cutting boards to choose our favorites and downsize the rest.  I’m a retired chef and restaurant owner, so you know I appreciate a fine knife… however… my recommendations on this may surprise you.

Take out all your knives, clean and sharpen them all, and put back only the ones you will use on a regular basis.  Package the rest carefully and add them to the donation box, marking them carefully so the volunteers unpacking the box don’t hurt themselves.

Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Flatware – Day 8

9 flatwareGood morning, it’s time to take a look at your flatware and choose your favorites, then add the rest to the donation box, and clean out the drawer or containers.  Again, don’t allow marketing to lock you into ideas of formal and casual, or make you feel that you have to keep sets or pieces you don’t use just for the sake of some notion about “value”.  If you have grandmother’s silver, take that out and access the situation.  Choose the pieces you appreciate and enjoy, choose the pieces that feel somehow special and allow the rest to go to the donation box or give to family or friends.  You’ll end up setting a table where each element has meaning and function, and that will be a delight for the senses.

I choose miss-matched silver pieces, some from my family, and some I happened upon at a lovely antique mall where Xaver and I had a great time exploring all the different patterns and choosing the individual items we liked the best.  Using these beautiful knives, forks, and spoons is so special because they are each beautiful, and because of the memories we have of picking them out and enjoying them together in our tiny house.  These beautiful details remind us that living in a tiny house is a purposeful choice, and not a sacrifice.  We are very blessed.

How are you doing on these challenges so far?  Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite parts of the series so far.  And as always, thanks for watching, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Glassware – Day 7

9 bowlGone are the days of having a special glass for every kind of drink served in your home.  Wow, the marketers really got us on that one, didn’t they?  lol!  In tiny house living we are much more creative and flexible.  Never mind the “right” glass… what’s your favorite glass?  Automatically donate any plastic drink ware and recycle any cracked or chipped glasses and choose your favorite travel mug instead of keeping a cabinet full of them.  Watch the video and then make your selections, moving the rest to the donate box.  Then clean out the kitchen cabinet and return only the ones you intend to keep.  And as always, thanks so much for watching, I really appreciate it.29c45-1a2bcarmen

Right-Sizing Plates and Bowls – Day 6

8 how many platesWelcome back to the Right-Sizing your Kitchen video series.  Today we’ll be talking about how many plates and bowls to keep in your tiny house and honestly it depends on whether or not you have a dishwasher in your tiny house, and it also depends on how much you intend to invite people into your home to share a meal with you.  Practically speaking, we can invite a max of three other folks into our home at one time.  Since we live in 125 square feet with no loft, it is quickly overwhelming to have folks standing around in the limited floor space.  So having a total of 5 folks at our table is do-able in principle, but not entirely practical.  We’ve had four at our table and that is cozy and marvelous.  We’ve found that the intimate space of our home lends itself to deeper and warmer connections between folks around our table, and for that reason we really love having folks in our home.  I talk about hospitality at length in my book, so maybe I’ll leave that there at the moment.  Check out the video and give some thought to the plates and bowls in your home.  How many is right for you?  Which ones are your favorite?  If you plan to go tiny temporarily, then where will you store the items you aren’t using for now?  Move the unwanted items to your boxes for your favorite charity, clean out the kitchen cabinets where those items used to be,  and congratulate yourself for having completed another day in the “Right-Sizing Your Kitchen” video series.  Thanks for watching, I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

Donating & Selling – Day 4

Good morning everyone and welcome to day 4 of the Right-Sizing your Kitchen Video Series.  Today we talk about selling, donating, and giving away the things in your home that no longer serve a purpose.  What is the charity in your area that supports a cause that matters to you?  What kinds of donations do they accept?  What other options do you have that are unique to your area and your values?  How can you use your extra stuff to support these missions in your community?  Prepare a few boxes for the things you no longer need and make a plan now to deliver those items to the charity of your choice.  I’d love to hear how it’s going with you, please leave a comment.  29c45-1a2bcarmen