Processing Clutter

Food Processor like a CuisinartThe decision whether to keep or chuck something can be wrenching and far out of proportion to the size and value of the item. And sometimes it takes a village to settle the matter.

Case in point: My friend Debora couldn’t decide whether to keep or banish her Cuisinart. So yesterday she sent a mass email to her most intimate friends, taking a poll about whether they have and use a food processor.

In a follow-up email, she said, “It all began this morning when, while putting something away in a large and very conveniently located drawer in my kitchen, I noticed that the Cuisinart (and all its accoutrements) took up at least half the drawer. I realized that I haven’t used that machine in, well . . . I don’t know how long. Why, I asked myself, is this heavy, complicated, hard-to-clean piece of equipment taking up so much valuable room? I wondered if I should, perhaps, move it to someplace less accessible.”

She continued: That made me think: do other people still use their Cuisinarts? When I first got it, about 30 years ago, I used it to grate cheese for quiche. (I made delicious quiche.) But now there are many stores that sell wonderful, homemade quiches, and I haven’t made one in years.

Of course, I had to know what the status of the food processors in my friends’ kitchens was. Hence the survey.

And the Survey Says . . .

Here are the results from the 60 of you (yes—you read that correctly—I really have very indulgent friends and family) that responded:

  • Most of you who do have a food processor have had it for many years—anywhere between 10 and 30
  • 10 of you do not have any form of food processor
  • 9 of you use your processors “frequently”
  • 6 of you use them “occasionally”
  • 8 use them “rarely” (in one case that means once every couple of years)
  • 27 “never”

Of the “nevers,” here are some of their reasons for not using them:

  • One of you can never find all the parts when she needs them.
  • Several of you find it too much trouble to set up and clean.
  • One of you can’t find it.
  • Two of you have never taken yours out of the box.

And one of those who answered “no” to having a food processor actually does have one. According to her husband, who does all the cooking, they purchased it about 20 years ago, but have never, ever used it.

Jamie, one of the survey respondents, went on to detail the flotilla of small appliances and accessories in her kitchen, which sounds ripe for its own clutter intervention:

“If it had anything to do with the fantasy foodie life fueled by cool small appliances and equipment as opposed to the sad reality of never actually using them, I am the poster child. In my fantasy life I make fresh pasta (with my very real pasta machine), ice cream (ice cream maker), bread (bread machine), fried chicken (fry daddy), pizza (pizza stone and wooden paddle), sushi (sushi rolling kit), which I also display on a boat that comes with little soy sauce dishes. I make slow cooked meals in one of two crockpots, one large enough to feed a small country, and I make fondue in a small, medium, or large fondue pot. Obviously I have about 2000 skewers. And of course there are the aforementioned food processors, and the KitchenAid mixer, which is the industrial version, so that it’s always ‘too heavy to take in and out of the cabinet.’ Don’t even start me on the smoker and the grill . . .”

Sound like your house? Maybe it’s time for an inventory and purge.

As far as Debora is concerned, she concluded in true Scarlett O’Hara fashion, “Tomorrow I shall move the Cuisinart and free up that drawer!”

I hope she really did.

What do you think?  Speak your mind in Comments! Or, ask your friends by clicking the button below to tweet!

Small Appliance Poll





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