The first thing I wrote about on this blog was how I am the progeny of packrats. My dad isn't around to dispute this, although I doubt he would -- he was the man who saved nearly everything either out of frugality (busted appliances he swore he would fix); superstition (a jar of dried wishbones); or the idea that he would someday use whatever it was in his art (leftover wood to fashion a little creature; plastic toys to turn into jewelry. This is no joke; my sister and I each own a necklace with a tiny Barbie hanger cast into silver. Hers has a silver Barbie shoe dangling from it, of which I was, and still am, fiercely jealous.)
My mom's a packrat, too. She can comment on that if she wants--she's still alive and kicking (and saving stuff), but I doubt she'll dispute it beyond saying she has a "system." Whatever. To each her own.
Me, I do not like to save things.
Weird, right? Based on this blog, you'd think I am a very nostalgic person, constantly looking back to my childhood, holding on to bits and scraps for posterity. There's a little truth in that. But, I don't care so much about things, unless someone made them for me. So chances are, if you've given me a birthday card, unless you drew it by hand, it stuck around for a few days, max. I give away books I'm done with, clothing I don't wear. And--this one is probably going to be a little controversial -- I don't save photos. I mean, I save some. But not many.
The husband is like me in this regard and we help each other in moments of weakness. When one of us pauses over a particular thing-- a holiday card featuring a friend's baby wearing reindeer ears--and murmurs uncertainly, "Should I save this?" the other immediately replies with a stony glare, "Forever?"
That's the thing. Are you going to keep everything you ever acquire forever? If not, why not get rid of it now, if you're done with it?
Frequently, the husband and I go through our place and purge. Lest you think we are total jerks, we make every effort to recycle or donate stuff and minimize our (immediate) impact on the landfill. Last weekend, I got around to a giant stack of Gourmets. My goal was save a few and recycle the rest.
In addition to streamlining (although, has anyone reading this who has been to our house wondered why it's not tidier, if we so resent clutter?), I also came across numerous recipes I wanted to make.
Here is the first one: nectarine golden cake.
This recipe was good but not a knockout. Just a basic cake really, and I think sprinkling the nutmeg over the top was a weird touch. So, what are you gonna do with a mediocre recipe?
In my house, recycle it.
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