Spaciousness in the Kitchen

Lately I’ve been thinking about the concept of “spaciousness”, which means there is lots of empty space between things. After all, this is the way the entire universe organizes itself on the macro and micro levels. Think of all the empty space that exists between the galaxies and the stars within them. And then consider all the empty space between the electrons and protons in atoms.

But wait! They say nature abhors a vacuum. And apparently nature also abhors kitchen cupboards, drawers, and counter tops. The idea of empty space is not very popular in our society – jam packed is the American way. Most people’s kitchen cupboards and drawers are so full that there isn’t even enough room to squeeze in a packet of yeast. Empty space is like a big, deep breath of fresh air. Empty space makes it easy to move things around and get to them. Have you ever noticed how cumbersome it is to move something out of the way to get to something else? That’s annoying! Empty space gives you ample room to move.

You can free up space in your kitchen by dispersing items you don’t use often. One of the ways you can do this is to eliminate “single purpose, occasional use” items. Those are the gadgets and machines that do only one thing and although they do that well, they don’t get used often. Examples of these are bread and ice cream machines, waffle irons, and popcorn makers. If you use the item often then they are not “SPOU’s”.

For example, last week my salad spinner broke. This was inconvenient because we were harvesting lettuce from the garden every day. What is the workaround? Hmmmm . . . I washed the lettuce then after giving each leaf a quick flick of the wrist, I put it in a large colander and shook it. Then, I put the leaves in a cotton pillowcase and fluffed them up. The lettuce was not as dry as it would have been had I used a salad spinner but it was good enough. If I want the lettuce to be completely dry, I put it on a dishtowel and let it air dry for an hour or so. And last summer, I accidently figured out how to make ice cream without using an ice cream machine, and it was utterly delicious. Are so many gadgets really necessary?

The place where my salad spinner once sat is now empty. Paradoxically, that emptiness creates space and there’s fullness in that. Wow! That makes my head spin, just like that salad spinner. Well, maybe not that fast! But tell ya’ what, I’m not likely to fill up that empty space anytime soon.