Kitchen tools you'd take to a desert island
Hi, I've been going through my kitchen cabinets and related storage areas and trying to clear out things I don't use. I have a small kitchen (9x9) and storage is at a premium. The jelly cupboard in the livingroom holds extra sets of dishes and serving pieces. The shelving at the top of basement steps off the diningroom is home to lesser used mixing bowls, baking dishes, crockpot, and bar stuff. We recently went wireless and borrowed two of these shelves for the computer router, charger, and printer, as well as charging equipment for camera and dust buster. One shelf will serve as a mini desk with shredder, stapler, stamps, pens and pencils.
In 2003 when we remodeled our kitchen, I threw out a boatload of stuff, but here it is four years later and I'm finding that my shelves and cabinets are still a bit crowded and not as easy to access as I'd like. And there are times when it seems I just don't have the right size casserole dish or implements for particular meals. It's hard to part with certain things that have been with me a long time or belonged to my husband's or my family. If I could find the perfect tools, appliances, serving dishes, etc. I might change my tune. Here's a good example: I have my mother's late 1940s Sunbeam mixer with the original bowls and a newer cheapo hand-held mixer. The cord on the Sunbeam has finally given out, and I'm thinking of parting with both mixers and getting a decent quality hand-held mixer to replace them. I'm not a breadmaker, so I don't need a powerful mixer. This would clear out a whole cabinet, but it would be tough to part with mom's mixer. My normal reaction is to replace the cord because they don't make things like they used to, and because I know I would never buy another upright mixer.
I remember hearing that Alton Brown (host of TV show "Good Eats") had written a book about tools for the kitchen that were necessary, those that did double duty, and things you can toss. Anyway, I was just looking at this book on Amazon, "Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen" and I'm thinking about borrowing it from the library. Has anyone here used this book to help clear out their kitchen tools and stuff? Here's part of the editorial review on Amazon:
"Brown's opening challenge is a 60-day, four phase process of ridding your kitchen of all things unused and insignificant--easy on the surface, but tough in the doing. That leaves room for essential gear. And to help make those choices, Brown looks at pots and pans, sharp things (not just knives, but graters, mandolins, and cheese slicers, too), small things with plugs (as in small appliances--from food processors to coffee makers to deep fat fryers), kitchen tools unplugged (those items that fill drawers), storage and containment, and safety and sanitation."
Any other sources or ideas to help in my search?