The Kitchn Cure Day 10: A Quiet Day of Reflection, Renewal, and Reward

The Kitchn Cure Day 10: A Quiet Day of Reflection, Renewal, and Reward

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Dana Velden
Sep 18, 2015
(Image credit: Henry Chen)

The Kitchn Cure Day 10: Quietly reflect on the last nine days.
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Did you notice we're almost halfway though the Cure already? How did that happen? Time can pass quickly when we're engaged and steadfast in our efforts. Especially these first two weeks, which were full of some very heavy-duty projects. Today, though, we're going to head back into the kitchen for a more quiet, reflective endeavor.

Remember way back on Day 1 when we sat quietly in our kitchens for a few moments? What was that like? Did you feel restless, self-conscious, or odd? Or maybe you found sitting silently in your kitchen to be relaxing, soothing, or interesting. Today we're going to sit quietly in our kitchens again, but this time, we're going to look around and reflect on what our kitchen needs.

Last year this was the day we encouraged you to go out and buy a new appliance. It felt like a much-needed reward for all the work done so far. Hurray! I'm a big fan of rewards, and I'm a big fan of treating my kitchen right.

But at the same time, we've just cleared out a lot of stuff, and we have more clearing out ahead of us. Before we plunge into the heady excitement of a new purchase, it's time to take a close look around and consider what we really need, what will truly add to our experience. What can you bring into your kitchen that's helpful, beautiful, and inspiring?

Yes, the answer can certainly be a shiny new appliance, but it can also be something as simple as a bouquet of flowers. In fact, you might not want to spend any money at all and just pick something from the garden, or arrange some leaves. It also could be a favorite ingredient, one you don't buy often because it's too expensive; or a piece of art; or a new pad for your chair (since you seem to be doing so much sitting around here). Maybe it's a few of those handmade plates you've been eyeing from your local potter.

And of course, it could be nothing. Maybe your kitchen is fine just as it is for now. In our current society, consumerism is frequently reflexive rather than considered. There's an autopilot quality to our purchases that can get us into trouble sometimes (how big was that away pile?) So it's OK not to buy or bring anything into your kitchen at this time. It's OK to appreciate and enjoy it just as it is, with nothing extra added.

What does your kitchen — what do you — really need? Figure it out and make it happen!

Note: From this post, you may draw the conclusion that I am advocating for a reward more soulful than consumer-driven, something that's made by hand and not clad in polished stainless steel. Truth is, normally you'd be right — small and simple is much more my style— but as luck and circumstance would have it, the day I wrote this piece is the day the UPS man delivered a bright, brand-new, super-shiny, deluxe toaster oven to my front door. Yep — that totally happened.

In my defense, I could point to the semi-broken model I've been limping along with for years, with its window so coated in baked-on grease you can't see through it anymore, and its tendency to catch fire if I'm not paying close attention.

But I'm telling you this story because I want to emphasize that there is no judgement here. That small and soulful is not necessarily better than (or somehow more pure than) a much-needed, carefully chosen, shinier, fancier, bigger, brighter object. The point is to be thoughtful, to be considered, when bringing something new into your kitchen. It doesn't matter if it's a hand-thrown fermentation crock or a new toaster oven or a single flower placed in a drinking glass on your kitchen window ledge — if it's what is needed, if it is useful and perhaps even beautiful, then bring it right on in.

(Image credit: Henry Chen)

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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

Find Dana’s Book:

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Kitchen Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook by Dana Velden

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