29 August 2013

Green Acres/Redux: Kitchen Edition

Green Acres/Redux: In the kitchen with Nancie

Don't panic. I'm not actually cooking anything.

It just cracks me up that I voluntarily left a perfectly functioning kitchen to come to Colorado and fix two to three meals a day in this:

Bunny playing Vanna White in the cabin kitchen.
(And let me say, for the record, my kitchen at home could use some updating, too.)

To be perfectly honest, I love this kitchen. I love the hokey cabinets. It has some nicer features than the kitchen at the real house: turntables, knife drawer, narrow cookie sheet cabinet, slide out drawers inside cabinets for the pots and pans. Many things were scrimped on when this house was built but I get the feeling the wife put her foot down when it came to the kitchen. The kitchen works. 


We are on a septic system and we have no disposal. 

This is our disposal:

Carlos is very efficient.
And don't call the FDA.
All dishes get a bleach soak and lots of hot water.

Instead of an ice maker, we have ice trays.  I had to explain to my kids how they work.

At least we have graduated from the metal ice trays of my youth.
Those always stuck to your fingers and then threw the ice everywhere. 

This is my dishwasher:

Those purple gloves have already sprung a leak.
A new pair is on the grocery list.
Much cheaper than a whole new dishwasher.

And the thing that is most time consuming: 
Trash disposal. 
We have to pay to dispose of our trash and we have to drive our trash to the dump.  Now I know we all pay to dispose of our trash but it really hits home when you actually hand over a ten dollar bill along with your two bags of trash rather than pay that utility bill that has trash removal included. 
Here is where the trash goes:
The dump!
The bright spot of going to the dump? Cell service.
Why can the dump get cell service but my cabin can not?

Conveniently located about 10 miles away and conveniently open from 9am to 4pm on Saturdays                                                     ONLY!

In order to keep the amount of trash down we recycle everything.  

Carlos supervising the sorting.

It is a bit like a treasure hunt at the recycling center.  You have to find the correct bin for each item. Plastic in one, cardboard in another, corrugated cardboard in yet another. Brown glass, clear glass, aluminum.  At least the recycling center is open 24/7.  Although I have heard if you go too late at night, you might run into snoopy bears. 

Everything gets sorted by hand. 
Personally. By yours truly.

And truthfully, this is all pretty much the norm here. No dishwashers, no ice makers. If you live in town  maybe your trash is picked up.  But the recycling center is always busy. And it is probably not that unusual in many parts of the United States. But it is certainly unusual for where I come from.  

And here's the thing. This is really good for us. The girls know where to throw their recyclables. While I'm still working with them on the actual washing of dishes, they are good at rinsing. They know not to bring extra trash home. You go through the drive through? Dump that trash in town at the first trash can you see. Don't leave it in the car and don't bring it home. And recycle that plastic cup.
It's good to see how much we throw away. And how much we recycle. It definitely brings home the amount of waste one family can produce.  And if you are hand washing dishes then paper goods sound like a fine idea until you hand over an extra $5.00 that week. 

And the best part? It takes me back to when I was 18 and went to school in Mexico. I rented different apartments with different people and I have such wonderful memories of time spent in those apartments with those -ahem- kitchens.  
I remember the day Cathy and I blew the door completely off the oven when we didn't get the gas pilot lit like we thought we had.
There were ovens with no numbers on the dials. High - maybe 450 degrees- was all the way to the left and 350 degrees was in the middle. We still baked. 
No ice makers. In one apartment there was no freezer at all. Or oven.
There was tons of spaghetti made, not unlike here, for many happy meals.
When we were going through brown outs and had no electricity, we cooked by candle light. Thank goodness for gas stoves.
Scrambled queso con huevos. Kilos of those eggs in plastic bags. Bolsas for our groceries.
And in those kitchens I made some of my best friends.
People who have changed my life.
People who have made my life.

So here's to going back to the basics. 

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