The Rest of the Appliances – Day 23

1 New BeginningToday we wrap up the Right-Sizing your Kitchen video series by taking a look at the rest of the kitchen appliances.  We’ve already talked about the food processor, blender, mixer, toaster, and microwave… today we cover the rest of them.   What are your favorites that I haven’t mentioned?  I’m curious to know what other folks are using on a weekly basis that they’ll want to save space for in their tiny house.  We’re all different so our collections will be different.

In my experience, less is definitely better in a tiny house.  Ours was on the smaller side at 125 square feet, so we really kept a very minimal collection of things in our tiny house kitchen.  And there were still things we kept that we didn’t use, so we could have even gone tinier – so to speak.  And we’ve just bought a bus that is slightly smaller so we will go through the collection and weed out more things all over again.  I love cooking great food simply.  It brings me so much joy because the food is more crafted.  When I don’t need an appliance to make something it feels more like a work of my own hands, and that is very rewarding to me.  In the end the most important things in my kitchen have always been the knife and cutting board, the dutch oven, and a few favorite plates and glasses.  Having fresh fruit and vegetables close at hand – usually right on the kitchen counter – is always very satisfying.  We keep less around, so we eat fresher food, and that’s one of many reasons why tiny house living has been such a lovely adventure for us.

I’m Carmen Shenk, the Tiny House Foodie, reminding you that we can #LiveTiny, #EmbraceSimplicity and still #EatWell.  You may not think that you can go tiny, but I know you can.  Thanks so much for watching,  I really appreciate it! 29c45-1a2bcarmen

 

Herbs, Spices, and Essential Oils – Day 16

Today we tackle the spice cabinet.  Take everything out, clean the cabinet or spice rack thoroughly.  Then go through the herbs and spices and remove old products that you don’t use.  Compost the product and recycle the container for items you no longer need.  Anything that has MSG in it is an automatic toss – inspect the salt & spice blends and flavor packets especially.  A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you have not used in the past year.

Shrimp Rohini

Shrimp Rohini by Chef Carmen

This is an excellent time to transfer all the bottles over to uniform glass or take advantage of a new space saving spice storage system.  Store spices away from heat and sunlight which will damage the quality of the product.  Then put everything back as you like it and step back to admire the transformation.  Well done!

If you are intrigued by the idea of using essential oils for their remarkable fresh flavors, and aren’t sure where to begin – allow me to suggest Young Living as my brand of choice.  They are the best in the business and I have enjoyed using essential oils in my food very much.  See how I made layered mints here, and if you’d like to learn more about essential oils in general – I have a wealth of information over here and when you begin a wholesale membership and become a member of my “oily” family, you’ll quickly see why everyone is talking about essential oils these days.  Essential oils are one of the secrets to tiny house living to me, these little space saving potions are useful in so many ways.

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Shrimp Rohini

No matter what your favorite flavors, today is your day to get them out, clean them up, and put them in order.  This is another rewarding task and bravo to each of you who have continued through this process to simplify your kitchen and prepare for living tiny.

BTW, here is a recipe I created that features some of my favorite spices: Shrimp Rohini.  I recently heard from a reader who switched out the shrimp for chicken and she loved it – so there’s a variation you might also enjoy.

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 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

Taming Trash – Day 5

One thing we quickly learned living in our tiny house of 125 square feet was that TRASH is a BIG deal!  Even a little bit of trash can feel like a lot in a tiny space.  I picked up a book on Zero Waste living (Zero Waste Home) that helped me find strategies to A) keep trashing from entering our home to begin with and B) manage trash more efficiently once it did.

Zero Waste living is based on the usual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” ideas, but also adds “Rot” (compost) and “Refuse” to the list… meaning that we shop in a way that brings less trash in the house and refuse freebies, etc.  Using cloth bags instead of allowing more plastic shopping bags in the house is another example.  Avoiding products that are packaged in plastic, especially single use plastics, and instead choosing recycle-able packaging.  Glass is the best way to store food, so we collected canning jars instead of plastic storage containers.

What are ways you deal with trash effectively?29c45-1a2bcarmen