Unstuffing tableware, part 1: Stemware

July 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’ve begun the herculean task of unstuffing the basement; that’s a long, long story for another day. But, in the course of peering at the boxes in our poorly lit basement, I realized that we’ve never unpacked all of the tableware that we packed up before our kitchen remodel… and people, we remodeled our kitchen in 2006.

Today, I carried four boxes labelled ‘KITCHEN’ up into the light of day. One box contained what’s left of my grandmother’s Fiestaware; the other three were full of carefully bubble-wrapped stemware. I unpacked the boxes, and set the stemware out on the counter, along with the few stems that were already in a cabinet.

Then I clambered up onto the kitchen counter and took a photo. As one does.

Looking at our collection of stemware (ignoring the dust, and not knowing that most of it had been packed away for 5 1/2 years), you might think that we drink a lot of wine/champagne/liqueur and/or throw big parties for our wine/champagne/liqueur-drinking friends. Neither of these is true.

These days, we don’t drink much, and when we do, we tend to drink wine from small stemless glasses that don’t require hand-washing — a habit acquired on a trip to Italy. And we’ve been known to sip port, brandy, etc. from Chinese teacups, which are the right size and shape (and not in a box in the basement).

So, if I were to get rid of everything that we don’t use regularly, every one of these stems would go… but I’m not that much of a minimalist (yet). At this point, I’m willing to give cabinet space to glasses that are beautiful and/or have sentimental value. And I’m hoping that, now that I can see them, we’ll use them more often.

Of the 61 stems we now have, we’re keeping 33:

  • 16 stems Rosenthal Chiara (4 each water goblets, white and red wine glasses, and champagne flutes, pattern selected to go with our wedding china… and, like our china, discontinued shortly after we got married.)
  • 2 Rosenthal Calice toasting glasses (tall flutes, wedding present from my parents)
  • 4 port glasses (gift from my sister)
  • 2 cordial glasses (also from my sister, brought back from Venice)
  • 3 Val St. Lambert cordial glasses (bought in Chicago 20+ years ago, while visiting a college roommate)
  • 6 champagne flutes (inexpensive glass, bought for a big Y2K New Year’s Day brunch; not beautiful/sentimental, but I can imagine we might someday use a dozen flutes)

And these 28 stems will be going to new homes (perhaps yours?):

Finally, because I’m really nosy curious: How much stemware do you have? Is it enough/too much/too little? Do you use it often, or aspire to do so?


014: Unstuffing the dining room

January 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Buried under all that stuff is a dining room, a room in which we have, in the past, shared some wonderful meals… but not recently. I’m ready for that to change, so today I took a first pass at clearing out the space.

Some of the stuff cluttering up this room was canning equipment and supplies that just needed to be moved to their proper places in the kitchen or the basement. However, much of the stuff was ripe for unstuffing.

On their way to someone else’s house (51):

  • 5 vases
  • 2 mugs
  • 2 coasters
  • 2 trivets
  • 5 Chinese soup spoons
  • 5 Chinese condiment dishes
  • 23 small toys and decorative objects
  • bathroom scales
  • picture frame
  • candleholder
  • small food processor
  • folding travel clock
  • bicycle seat
  • bicycle tire pump

Relocating to my office (26):

  • 25(!) red pencils of various lengths (like the butter paper, spoils of the office that closed)
  • large roll of drawings from my last project

Recycling (22):

  • 16 road maps (including the AAA Texas and Southwestern United States maps that Paul and I used to drive from Houston to the Bay Area when I moved there in 1996)
  • 2 boxes of business cards from a previous workplace
  • 1 grocery bag full of deflated plastic air cushion packing material
  • 3 large cardboard boxes, one filled with packing paper

Trash (16):

  • 15 dead pens
  • 1 piece of molded plastic that neither of us could identify

That’s 115 items leaving our dining room today. (And that’s really not all. I’m saving some for tomorrow.)

011: Coffee, tea… and cardboard

January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Work has been particularly busy this week, so the release of the unwanted is proceeding slowly. Today’s offerings to the world beyond our house: a formerly favorite coffeehead mug, and a cute single cup teapot, cup and plate that I’m not sure I’ve ever used.

Oh, and I flattened and recycled a dozen cardboard boxes from the December online shopping spree.

That is all.

002: Kitchen tools and gadgets

January 2, 2012 § 4 Comments

Where do all these kitchen tools and gadgets come from? Do they breed and multiply in our kitchen drawers?

Honestly, I know how (almost) everything in our kitchen got there, and no procreation was involved. Some duplicates are the result of combining two fully functional kitchens 16 years ago. Some triplicates were wedding presents, or gifts from relatives. Many of the small unitaskers were in swag bags from food blogging events I’ve attended.

I reorganized our kitchen tool/gadget and knife drawers yesterday, with the help of – I confess – three recently purchased bamboo drawer organizers. Fifty items removed from the drawers didn’t go back in, and are destined for someone else’s kitchen.

Here’s what’s going:

  1. Henkels 8″ chef knife (lost out to the Shun)
  2. Rada utility knife (gift from my grandmother 30 years ago)
  3. Rada slicer knife (ditto)
  4. Rada slicer knife (ditto)
  5. paring knife (least favorite of three)
  6. bread knife (who needs two?)
  7. measuring spoons (one of four sets)
  8. measuring cups (minus the 1/3 cup)
  9. garlic press (who needs two?)
  10. garlic press (who needs one?)
  11. ginger grater
  12. corkscrew
  13. corkscrew
  14. corkscrew (and we still have two)
  15. bottle opener (ditto)
  16. oyster knife
  17. meat thermometer (keeping two)
  18. candy thermometer (don’t need two)
  19. cherry pitter (don’t need three)
  20. apple slicer
  21. pasta server
  22. two unmatched table knives
  23. two unmatched table forks
  24. stainless serving spoon
  25. flatware organizer
  26. drawer organizer
  27. angel cookie mold
  28. heart cookie mold
  29. house cookie mold
  30. cheese knife
  31. tiny bench scraper
  32. cake tester
  33. wine bottle stopper
  34. bag clip (for chips, etc.)
  35. ice sphere (not cube) maker
  36. ice sphere (not cube) maker
  37. corn zipper (I can do better with a knife)
  38. corn peeler (different name, same idea)
  39. apple-shaped cutting board
  40. flexible cutting mat
  41. smiley face turner
  42. ricciolo (cores spiral shapes out of vegetables)
  43. citrus reamer
  44. citrus corer juicer
  45. salad chopper
  46. cupcake corer
  47. cake decorating squeeze bottle w/ basketweave tip
  48. strawberry stemmer
  49. pink vinyl dot table runner
  50. “steak station” digital meat thermometer for multiple steaks

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