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Date: 7 November 2013. Silverware and Spatulas.

You've had a bit of time since the last article in the Becoming Clutter-Free series so let's delve right back into the chore of clearing out the land-base so you can come out here and enjoy life on the water. As a recap, the last article featured was entitled Dratted Dishes, and at least one of you made a huge difference in the amount of Stuff in his home. See photo:
 


My test subject has been a great sport in taking pictures and let me show you the amount that came out of one house. In the case of the dishes, ten bags full! Yes, he admitted some had been there so long he'd forgotten they existed. Apparently at one time he intended to go into the catering business (just kidding!) as there were boxes of plastic knives, forks and spoons along with huge stacks of foam plates.

Additionally, he found a few more bowls from a previous week that had been missed. Expect that and don't be discouraged. As you go thru your items you'll think you've completed a task and then later you'll find a bit more. It's always surprising to discover new treasures or what-have-you that appear from the backs of lockers that haven't been emptied since you moved in 20-odd years ago. Truly, the work you do now will make a huge difference when you're ready to move aboard your floating home. Just don't be shocked if you run into extras (like my fellow who found a stack of plastic bowls) -- it's a testament to your stashing skills! And now you do deserve kudos for working steadily at it.
 

Your reward will be good times afloat like Captain Dave,
here on the stern of his boat having a cookout with friends.


This week the clutter to sort includes all silverware, spatulas, hand mixers, knives and serving utensils -- basically your kitchen hand tools along with the silverware. I'm guessing if you're like many you've a collection of spoons and ladles, gravy spoons, teaspoons, iced teaspoons, a mixed lot of silverware (unmatched pieces from ages ago) and then the ugly: that horrible plastic spoon that is too weak to actually stir anything but came "free" with a set of bowls. Please, now is the time to get rid of it.

As  you're going thru your collection of spatulas and such, select out your very best, the ones you use regularly now and set those aside. You'll want to keep a large serving spoon, slotted spoon and a ladle for those fish chowders you'll make at anchor. Be selective however do keep your very best. Anything questionable, with rust or broken needs to go now. If you haven't fixed it in years your likelihood of suddenly becoming Mr. Fix-It is somewhere between a fat chance and a slim chance. None at all!


Don't ever save anything for a special occasion.
Every day you're alive is a special occasion. Ann Wells.
 

Your silverware, presuming you have a set, keep. This presumes you do not have a service for 12, in which case off course you need to cull first. Aboard Seaweed I can serve four that's my tableware count. It's lovely to have nice things, and this whole process of de-cluttering is not intended as a "get rid of everything" assault on your gathering skills. Instead, you are selecting the best for yourself and passing along the rest.

And speaking of rest, it's time for one of Seaweed's favorite fast foods. It's easy and all components are aboard so here's my ingredient list:
 

 

Fast Tuna ingredients

Scallions growing with basil.

Before mixing.
 

Fast Tuna aboard Seaweed

 

Ingredients as shown above:

  • One single serving foil package of tuna fish

  • About a half cup of lentil sprouts (quantity varies - I use what I've got on hand)

  • A few tops from scallion plants

  • Mayonnaise or salad dressing -- enough to moisten the salad

Stir and serve.  I added a few Pita Chips (Dollar General, Sea Salt variety) and a fresh tomato. A nice repast and a book on my Kindle... life is wonderful afloat!

 

 


This week your target is to clear out the drawers of all knives that are dull, all spoons that won't stir, the donut maker you've not used since 1975, and that garlic press with the broken hinge. Now there are a couple things you might not be using ashore that will be useful on the boat. You'll want to save your meat mallet as conch needs to be beaten into submission because it's tough. Conch is delicious too, and well worth the extra steps for preparation. Keep your mallet. Also stash aside a couple of knives for cleaning fish and tongs for turning those fish filets on the grill.

Side note on tongs, and other cook-out utensils. Ashore you may have that monster barbecue set-up but on the boat most likely you'll be using a much smaller grill. The super long handled forks and tongs simply are not required for the size barbecues boats have mounted on the stern rail. And they are a pain to stow.
 

Cruisers not only consider what we want to have, but where on the boat it will fit.
 

Often available space is the deciding factor when making decisions. I now own a solar oven and one of the deciding factors was that it disassembles and fits in a small area. A bulky unit would not be aboard Seaweed. I don't have room for it.

Be sure to sort thru all your hand utensils. The old fashioned hand crank stirrer might be useful aboard unless you're planning on bringing your electric mixer. That sort of decision boils down to the type of cooking you do. If you're a baker you will know what you need to create those wonderful pies and cookies, cakes, and brownies. However if you do not bake on dry land I doubt very seriously if suddenly you're going to take up the task. And remember even if you make a mistake and get rid of something you later need, I'm guessing you can easily replace same without undue financial hardship.
 

If you haven't used it in the past year, you don't need it.
 

I'd love to hear of your progress.
And, are you interested in the the series continuing?

COMMENTS:
 

Categories: Becoming Clutter-Free, Characters, Galley, Recipes, Recommendations

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