We are deeply saddened by the death of our Black & Decker Handy Steamer earlier this evening. We learned of its passing just as dinner should have been done. When we realized it had only heated lukewarm it was taken off life support, and our sweet potatoes and peas were carefully transferred to a stockpot on the stove to finish cooking.
This steamer has been a close friend to us over the years. My husband first used an identical one (loaned from his dad) to cook me dinner very early in our relationship. This gesture was how my father-in-law knew his son would soon propose.
Four years ago, following our marriage, we moved back to our hometown. As we transitioned from a condo to a house, we greatly accepted hand-me-down items from family. At the same time, my grandma moved from a house to an apartment. This steamer was one of our gratefully received items from her move. It’s been a staple here. Used multiple times a week, if not daily. It is arguably a more important asset to our kitchen than the toaster, microwave, and, perhaps, even the oven.
This hand-me-down from my grandma was preceded in death by her retro Kenmore dryer (2009), and survived by her hand crank mixer.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we learn to cope with this loss. Memorials will be donated to the purchase of a new, larger steamer to accommodate the appetites of our growing girls.
When you’re living through a remodel, or endless mini remodels, the smallest corners of clutter can drive you up the wall. When there are messes, clutter, and undone projects out of my control, I fixate on the ones I can control. This week’s target: spice clutter. Solution? After scouring internet retailers and reading about different spice storage strategies across the blogosphere, I decided on $10/doz. jars from World Market and return address labels.
From messy cloves of garlic to beautiful Tumeric… I have a streamlined, clutter-free drawer of spices and seasonings. I opted for the drawer vs. decorative storage because I read spices keep better in a dark place. Don’t forget the expiration date!
Special Feature: Our Kitchen Remodel
Part 1 – No turning back
I made a joke a couple of weeks ago about busting out the sledgehammer to get a jump start on our next reno project while my husband was out of town. I guess he took that joke as his green light. For at least a couple of years now, Jeff’s been trying to talk me into this project. Our marriage has survived 4 years of on-going improvement projects from major landscaping and fence building to a basement family room gut job and tearing out a wall to expose brick in our bedroom. Last summer we even lived through a complete gut job of our upstairs bathroom while I was pregnant. Our only other bathroom is in the basement. That’s 2 flights of stairs in the middle of the night. But this is our first structural expedition as this is a load bearing wall.
How’d I get on board? After baby number two was born, the prospect of a 3-hour round trip to get Indian food seemed completely out of the question, so I started to become interested in cooking. But we also have two active kids to keep an eye on. Putting an archway in this kitchen wall would allow us to cook while keeping an eye on the girls when they’re in the living room.
BUT… we’re pretty addicted to This Old House and have been dreaming about our “some day” kitchen with a Wolf range, marble back splash, and Schoolhouse lights. Getting into this project, main concern is not the pipes we found in the wall, moving the heat vent, or making smooth curves in the archway. It’s my fear we won’t be able to stop.