I often read or hear people asking quantitative questions with regard to minimalism. These generally revolve around how many of something you need. Examples include, “How many pairs of shoes do you have?” or “How many sets of clothes do I need for a 2 year old?”
Additionally, there are numerous blogs and articles out there which exhort you to get rid of appliances or say that one set of crockery per person is all you need.
Conversely, I maintain that minimalism should not be prescriptive and that each person has different circumstances and will make their own choices.
The thing that defines minimalism to me is that whatever you own is mindfully curated and limits are set.
In particular, I have been reminded recently of variations in kitchen requirements. We grow some of our own food and naturally we end up with a glut of certain produce from time to time. I do my best not to waste it. Processing a large quantity of produce is generally when appliances come into their own.
I can happily squeeze 2 or 3 oranges using this vintage glass juicer.
But when it comes to juicing the 160 grapefruit that we have picked in the last 2 weeks I have neither the time or energy to do them by hand. My trusty food processor with the citrus juicer attachment comes into its own.
This was one batch of about 60 grapefruit that I juiced last weekend. In the space of 30 minutes I had several bottles of juice for GMan plus containers of juice to freeze for future use.
Citrus are not the only produce that I deal with in bulk amounts.
Some time ago I bought a 20kg bag of onions. Once again, I routinely dice one or two onions using a sharp knife but the food processor with the cutting blade is invaluable for processing larger quantities of onions.
I chopped 3kg of onions and then used another appliance – my dehydrator – to dry them.
24 hours later – back to the food processor, but this time with the spice grinder attachment.
The end result was dried onion flakes and onion powder which cost me $3 and a little time as compared to nearly $13 to buy the same quantity from the supermarket. As an added bonus there is no packaging either.
I have used the deydrator to make garlic powder, tomato powder and vegetable stock powder using the same general method.
Then there is the Kitchen Aid mixer which I regularly use to make spreadable butter, pizza bases, combine various flours for my gluten-free flour mix, the occasional cake and GMan uses it when making sourdough bread. It also has a pasta attachment which I use occasionally.
The high-speed blender is also used regularly to make smoothies, mango sorbet and peanut paste to name but a few.
So, my minimalist kitchen is probably a joke in some people’s eyes but it works for me.
However, I do not have single-purpose appliances such as a waffle maker, ice-cream maker, hot dog maker and so on.
You see, minimalism really is what is right for the individual and their circumstances.