Your kitchen is fine.

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Photo from Just Vintage Home

I do love a witchy kitchen.

You know, the kind of place you might see bundles of dry herbs, hanging upside down in the rafters. A place where the untrained eye wouldn’t know a bundle of catnip from a stick of sage, but the shelves are lined with amber colored bottles of tonics and extracts alongside jars of grains and seeds; the eating and growing side by side.

I’m speaking of a style, if nothing else. A dream of a kitchen from days gone by. Days before the electric mixers and packaged processed boxed foods. So, dreamy isn’t exactly what I see when I look around my own kitchen (the place where I spend at least an hour every day and the functioning heart of our home); I see a modern mix of gadgets and tools, hand-me-down dishes, food from all manner of farm market/CSA, mega-store, and backyard herb garden. But I go easy, because a kitchen with only what I need, nothing more, nothing less, that’s a thing of beauty in its own right.

We can have our fantasy kitchens, right now, with what we already have. Does your kitchen have produce hanging about in wooden or glass bowl? When is the last time you admired this simple luxury? The seasonal fruit, changing weekly and therefore evolving the look and feel of the kitchen using bananas, oranges, avocados, and sweet potatoes. We have to eat the plants anyway so some of it is bound to don your counter during the week. All I’m saying is make it noticeable, appreciate it.

Squeaky clean work surfaces have their own charm and you deserve to have space to work, even if your apartment has the counter space of a camper trailer. Pairing down the the essentials is making room for art to happen in the kitchen. Check out The Minimal Wellness kitchen as an example of the bare basics of kitchen needs.

The pantry and spice cabinet has such aesthetic appeal when the bags of seeds, nuts, grains, and beans are moved from their grocery store plastic to a glass jar. But, don’t do this if you don’t already have glass jars to reuse. A pantry with only the essentials is an equally beautiful thing. Toss out those expired foods, donate items that were purchased on a whim, and take good care of the ingredients you need and use regularly.

If we can agree that eating in is thriftier than eating out, our kitchens are then the necessary spaces to prepare daily meals, even if for only 30 min a day. Those with time crunches are already cooking most efficiently, perhaps even in large batches. You know what works best for your family, diet, and habits. I feel confident that paring down to a few trusty recipes and saying thank you and goodbye to tools no longer needed, we can enjoy our kitchens without the guilt that comes with comparing ourselves to photos in magazines and on Pinterest.

Speaking of viewing picture-perfect homes, have you seen Bea Johnson’s zero waste home ? This concept of creating little to no waste is fascinating.

Some kitchen inspiration to continue the conversation:

Check out the Nourishing Minimalism kitchen, a home of a family of 8, keeping only what they need, and clearly breaking down the kitchen to only the most useful tools.

Can our families try to produce less waste?

Have you seen this zero waste Austin grocery store ? Using your own containers, you can buy as little or as much as you need, example here. One store, In.gredients, shows some of the ins and outs I was dying to know. A German grocery store with a similar model shows their take on this shopping concept.

Kitchen renovation and you didn’t spend a dime.

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