Stranger Things Season 3 starts next week! It is the highlight of the summer. I know that my Thursday posts are usually random pictures of my desk and motivation to get you through the rest of the week, but I have no random pictures of messy desks this week.
I’m going to be honest with you, summer break always reminds me of why I’m still a teacher. As a high school
babysitter senior level math teacher, I have my doubts that I am making any kind of a difference in anyone’s lives. I feel like elementary and middle school teachers are the ones who make the most difference. Honestly, the kids see them all day every ay, and they still like grown-ups at that point. By the time they get to me, they are already tainted. They have already decided they don’t like math. They only take my math class because they still need one more math credit to graduate. I try to teach them things they are going to actually use, like how to fill out a tax return, and how to get set up with a 401k, but who knows if they actually listen.
I say that to point out the fact that I am not really convinced that I am making a huge impact on anyone. It makes teaching fell way less noble, but my consolation prize is that I have summers off. It makes never-ending battle of trying to get them to put their phones away almost worth it. To numb the pain of knowing that summer is just about halfway over (we go back early this year), I am taking solace in the fact that next week, Stranger Things Season 3 will be out.
I have so much still to do to get ready. I need to restock my snacking supplies. I don’t think I have much popcorn. I will need to add that to my grocery list. I bought coffee yesterday, so I am okay with my coffee supply. I even bought myself a cool new mug.
So, sometimes you discover new places that you have been driving past for as long as you can remember but never checked out. Last weekend I was in Galveston (surprise surprise), but I had my mom along. My mom is addicted to kitchen gadgets- like addicted in a way that would make Marie Kondo cringe. She has every kitchen tool known to man, to the point where she has no place to put them all. I hate cooking at her house, because you have to dig through layers and layers of pots and pans to ever find the one you want.
In my own kitchen, I have been taking a more moderate approach to tools. I have the pots and pans I use all of the time, and I don’t buy anymore. I have the tools I use all of the time, and rarely buy anything new. Everything I need, I basically have, and on the rare occasion that I find something mentioned in a recipe that I don’t have, I just improvise with what I do have. It works.
So, there is this store in Galveston called The Kitchen Chick. I have been avoiding it because I don’t need anything. My kitchen is not big enough to store anything new without throwing out something I actually use. But… my mom has been wanting to go there forever. Last Sunday, I finally gave in and took her there. Oh. My. God.
It’s not a giant store. What it is though, is a well-stocked store with high quality kitchen gear. They have cool coastal things, like beach themed kitchen towels, and nautical cookie cutters (I bought one shaped like a sea turtle for when my niece comes over). What they also have is a nice selection of higher quality cookware, bake ware and knives. They have a very nice range of Le Creuset, which if you have ever seen the enamel coated cast iron Dutch ovens, then you are probably familiar with Le Creuset. It’s not cheap at all, but it is high enough quality that it will last a lifetime. I have had lower quality enamel coated cast iron cookware. I have a Dutch oven that I use in the winter for soups, stews, clam chowder and chili. I love it, but it’s cheap. I have to be very careful so that I don’t chip the enamel. I have a smaller enamel coated pot that was even cheaper. The enamel came off of the bottom of the pot and stuck to my burner. I can’t get it off. Le Creuset doesn’t do any of that.
It got me to thinking. I have what I need, but not all of my kitchen gear is high quality. It definitely doesn’t spark joy when I use it, but I use it all the time. So… then I had another thought. If you use something all the time, wouldn’t it be better to buy high quality in the first place so that it is more fun to do the things you need to do anyway?
I came home and looked at my kitchen. My utensil holder next to my stove is just a basic stainless steel container. It works. I’ve had it for years, but it isn’t particularly pretty. It’s filled with the utensils I use, but it also has several that are very specific and don’t get used as often. There was a Le Creuset utensil holder at The Kitchen Chick that I couldn’t stop thinking about. It went perfectly with the dark blue I have on the walls and matches the sea horse spoon rest I keep on the stove.
I went back to Galveston yesterday (again, big surprise). I stopped by Tom’s Thumb– my favorite nursery- to see if they had the small pots of hibiscus yet. Every year, near the end of summer, they get the smaller hibiscus plants and they put them on sale. At my last house, I bought several of the plants in 4 inch pots, and within a year or two, the plants were already tall enough to touch the underside of the roof. I am planning on putting some in front of my house, but they aren’t in yet. I got this plumeria from there last year. It was literally just a stick. Now it is almost up to my shoulder.
After leaving Tom’s Thumb, and after stopping by for more coffee, I went back to The Kitchen Chick and bought the utensil holder for my kitchen. Was it expensive? Yes. Was it more than I probably should have spent? Possibly. Do I feel guilty for spending money on a utensil holder? Absolutely not. It is perfect. It makes my utensils pretty enough to be decoration. I bought myself a rainbow bamboo spoon on Sunday, and it is striking in the utensil holder. I have already used the bamboo spoon. It is my new favorite cooking spoon. My kitchen feels more like a kitchen worth cooking in now. Sometimes the little things are the things that you should splurge on. They are the things that make the ordinary fun again.
I also bought myself a new mug. I think it’s my new favorite. I think I may write a separate post on the mug. I got it at one of the Galveston Historical Foundation gift shops, and I think they deserve a post. Stay tuned for that.
So, now that I have a really cool spoon and an even cooler utensil holder, I better get to cooking!
I will let you know what I decide to make with my new spoon and utensils. Do you have a favorite utensil? Leave it in the comments!