When money and storage space are tight, buying a new kitchen gadget like a food mill or a pressure cooker is never an easy decision. Will it take up too much space? Will you use it enough to justify the price? What if you want to try it out first? A neighborhood in Portland is working on a smart solution to this problem: a community kitchen tool library. Portland is already home to the Southeast Portland Tool Library, where members can borrow home and garden tools, and North Portland Preserve and Serve, a preservation library that loans out canning equipment to residents, so a kitchen gadget library isn't much of a stretch. The Southeast Community Kitchen Tool Library is still in the planning stages, but community members envision a place where residents will be able to borrow grain mills, pressure cookers, food dehydrators and other kitchen tools, providing "a wide variety of handy items that are infrequently needed and often prohibitively expensive."
What a great idea! We are often inspired to try out new projects in the kitchen, but if we don't own the right equipment, it's often difficult to decide if it is worth the investment. Having the opportunity to test out a gadget we are thinking about buying would be so helpful in making the final decision. And simply borrowing the equipment needed for projects we only undertake once or twice a year is economical and eco-friendly, too.
Anjali is a former private chef who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in Los Angeles. You can read more of her health-focused writing at Eat Your Greens.
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