I’m not a hoarder. In my house, trails don’t meander through stacks of used newspapers, and closets don’t bulge with clothes from thirty years and thirty pounds ago. But for some reason I form strong attachments to kitchen utensils. I don’t mean to, but you know how it goes: One day you’re peeling potatoes, and the orange plastic handle on the peeler crumbles in your hand, and you think, “Wow, I got that peeler for a wedding shower gift thirty-nine years ago.” Then you think, “The same time I got the avocado green hand mixer and the harvest gold colander and funnel I’m still using.” You decide maybe it’s time to update, but, heck, by now your old stuff practically qualifies as “collectibles.” If you throw it out or donate it to the thrift store, the next thing you know, you’ll see a reproduction of it selling at Cracker Barrel for big bucks. Or you’ll see an original version of it selling at an antique mall for even bigger bucks.
Of course, I may have gone to the extreme in saving a couple of items. If you look closely at the picture, you’ll notice that my set of measuring spoons—ca. 1974, the year I got married—is missing the bowl off the tablespoon. And my yellow plastic measuring cup set is missing the one-third and one-quarter cups. And if you look really close, you’ll see the one cup is missing the handle. But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. I need it to guesstimate one-third and one-quarter cups. Besides, it has seen me through four kitchens and two remodels. You can’t just toss out loyalty like that.
I’ll admit a few years ago I received a nice set of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons for Christmas. I didn’t throw out my old ones, though. I figured they’d come in handy if I needed to measure something and the new ones were in the dishwasher. I figured right. But today in TJ Maxx I made a tough decision. In a moment of stoic practicality, I purchased brand new sets of cups and spoons. The old ones are now retired from service, but I have yet to throw them out. I’ll have to ease into it, comforting myself with the knowledge that the colander, the funnel, and the mixer are still on active duty.
Have useless gimcrack you can’t part with? Share with a comment on my blog. Or I'll even welcome it with a picture on Facebook!