Stems and All

My journey to buy less, consume smart, use what's there.

Alternative use for that double boiler

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I have a little secret… I’m a hoarder when it comes to pots, pans, and other kitchen items and cookware. It’s my achilles heel. And I’m especially prone to holding onto items made of high quality metal or items that I paid a lot for. I’m working on it, but definitely not yet perfected.

For example, I’ve been holding onto a copper double boiler, convincing myself that I will find a use for it – other than the occasional need for an actual double boiler. It hangs under the butcher block – just dangles there, periodically giving me a little wink when I walk by, subtly reminding me of its presence.

Finding a use for copper double boiler

Finding a use for copper double boiler

I attempted to find a use for it as a place to store onions and garlic, laying gently on its side. But this proved impractical and a poor use of overall space. I then tried to find a purpose for it in the basement, hanging it on the wall and storing loose nails and other items inside. But as we organized the downstairs area, we no longer needed an ‘extra place’ for loose stuff.

Then, one evening, as I made my way to the back yard to harvest some of the lettuce from our slowly emerging crop, I reached for the copper double boiler instead of the usual red colander.

And it turned out to be the perfect vessel for collecting lettuce for our salad. Back in the kitchen, I added a few inches of cold water, soaked the lettuce, and then easily rinsed and cleaned it.

Perfect vessel for harvesting lettuce for daily green salad.

Perfect vessel for harvesting lettuce for daily green salad.

I took the water and silt that was left in the copper boiler, and watered a recently planted pomegranate tree in front of the house, which otherwise doesn’t get much hydration.

Adding cold water to lettuce in copper double boiler to soak and rinse.

Adding cold water to lettuce in copper double boiler to soak and rinse.

While I’m not thrilled with myself for holding onto items needlessly, I do consider finding a use for the seldom used double boiler a win because:
– I recognize that I tend to hoard items in the kitchen, and awareness is a good thing
– I was able to find a genuine use for something that I found beautiful though originally only mildly useful
– And it makes for another good blog post…

It’s all a work in progress…

Author: Jane Newcomb

“Stems and All” is my personal journey to become a more environmentally responsible human, live a more sustainable life, and practice sustainable consuming habits.

One Comment

  1. For me, the beauty and value of copper is only a step or two below that of gold or silver. When viewed on the Periodic Table, you will see that that the three metals are ‘kissing cousins’. Mama and I often find and buy a great copper item.

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