Monday, January 08, 2007

10 Things in My Kitchen I Can't Live WIthout

10. My Drain Strainer - A kitchen without a garbage disposal cannot function properly without a strainer for the drain. It keeps all the little foods from going down the drain and clogging it. It's dishwasher safe, so everyday when I run the diswasher, I throw this little guy in and it comes out sparkly clean. (I also bleach it and sterilize it often.)

9. Freezer Storage Bags: Quart and Gallon Sizes - I use these for everything. They're perfect for storing leftover chicken nuggets, pork chops, or burgers. The quarts are the perfect size for one pound of ground meat (like when you buy the large family size and then split it up into 1 lb bags for convenience). They're also great for those last few rolls from dinner that you'd like to keep (hey-one of the kids is bound to eat it tomorrow for snack). The gallow sizes work great for marinating meat in. (ALWAYS use SLIDER TOP gallon bags.) They are also great for storing toys with little pieces, small puzzles, etc.
(I have to say at this point that while Press n' Seal did not make the list - I don't use it on a daily basis, it is vital to a functional kitchen. It is perfect for sealing single serving filets of fish or chicken, hamburgers, cookie dough, etc. Once you have them sealed tightly, put them all into a slider top gallon freezer bag and label it with what's in there and the date. Press and seal also weorks great for leftover tomato paste. You know like when a recipe calls for a tablesoon--what do you do with the rest of the can? Put the tomato paste on the press n seal in tablesoon size drops, seal them in and freeze them for the next time you need just a tablespoon. That tip is compliments of Scott's mom!)

8. My Calendar - I put everything on there! For years it has had a place on the side of my fridge. Recently I have embraced the wonders of a small planner. Due to increasing business and activities, I needed to be able to always have my calendar with me, so while I no longer put all of our daily activities on there, I still use it daily. I am in the habit of referring to it often throughout the day as I plan my life.

7. My Drawer Full of Towels and Washcloths - Who can't live without these!! I mean really! No one can.

6. My Scrubber Thing - I know it looks a bit icky, but I took this picture right before I changed the pad. I have tried just about every hand scrubber that's available. I've tried the expensive Williams - Sonoma kind and the cheap Walmart brand. About 3 years ago I found this one and fell in love. I have had many of these over the past three years, but I never stray from this design. It's by Rubbermaid and the store always has the pads in stock when I need them. They are very reasonably priced! An absolute must in any kitchen!

5. Egg Timer - We received this exact egg timer for as part of a wedding present. I use it for all sorts of fun stuff: Natalie's time outs, cooking, baking, napping. I like it better than the timer on my stove or on my microwave, because it's portable. When I have something in the oven, that I don't want to forget about, but I'm also working on laundry or upstairs, I just take my little egg timer with me. It's starting to die now. It doesn't really ring anymore. It just kinda dings and stops ticking. I have been looking for a long time for a replacement, but I haven't connected with any other egg timer yet.

4. Clorox Wipes - Need I say more than that? They are in my kitchen, every bathroom, and even the basement.

3. My Dustbuster - Oh, how I love my dustbuster!!! Where do I even begin with this little miracle? I use this ALL the time! It's just your basic Dustbuster, but it is like gold to me! It helps with messy spills, bot dry AND wet! It sucks up my dirt pile after sweeping. (So much easier and cleaner than a dust pan!) It's a beautiful thing!

2. My Dishwasher - I was blessed to grow up always having a dishwasher. When I went away to college, I experienced for the first time, what it was like to live without a dishwasher. I didn't know what to do with myself. Since sollege, I have again been blessed to always have a dishwasher, but it wasn't until I had Natalie that I realized how very, VERY blessed I was to have a dishwasher! Washing a half dozen bottles, nipples, caps, and pacifiers a day can be very tedious. I found out once how much my dishwasher really meant to me. At the time I had this rickety old dishwasher that had been around since the mid 80's. It was horribly loud! I had to go to the opposite end of the house just to make a phone call. When it finally went out, I had a few days until the new one came and I washed bottles, nipples, and pacifiers till my hands ached. That's why my dishwasher is number 2 on my list!

1. My Daily Flip Calendar - My Number One! My greatest treasure. The whole calendar is based upon friendships and it has a place of honor in front of my sink. My very best friend in the whole world gave this to me for my birthday 12 years ago. We were juniors in high school and having what we thought was the time of our lives (we weren't far off). Everyday for the past 12 years, I have been reading the day's Scripture verse, thought, or inspirational quote. It's to the point now, that I know what is coming. I know what my birthday says, I know what Christmas says, and I know on what days my favorite quotes will come up. Each morning as I come to make breakfast, I flip the calendar and read the thought. It has begun to fall apart, but I just keep flipping. I never read it without thinking of Morlie'. I never read it without giving thanks for our Rock solid friendship 14 years strong. And I never read it without saying a prayer for my best friend. She's the cocoa to my vanilla, the Barb to my Barb, and the only one I will throw carrots with. I love her to pieces!

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