Look around your kitchen. Now, open your cabinets.
Are there plates collecting dust, appliances you use but once a year?
In an effort to make use of what I have, I pulled open all the cabinets in my kitchen and found tools that were long neglected. Take this food processor. It was only this year that I realized it could do much, much more than pesto. I have always been aware of its presence, but I continued to ignore it, due to my irrational fear of technology. I won't forget the time Mike bought me the first shiny iPhone-there were long queues and visions of a new world order. I made him return it, ranting something about frivolity and distraction.
I am still a fan of paper and pen, but time constraints are forcing me to change my ways. I now use the dishwasher to actually wash, not dry, dishes. I type notes to myself, instead of jotting them down by hand. Last night, I had a silent epiphany while using the Kitchenaid mixer to make a batch of cookie dough. I don't miss the old painstaking methods much. You could almost call me a technology convert. (Just don't tell Mike.)
Back to the food processor. I threw in two cups of cilantro, a couple cloves of garlic, the juice of a lime, some kosher salt, a scallion, and some olive oil. A few quick pulses, and I had cilantro scallion sauce. It tasted too acidic, so I drizzled in a tiny bit of sesame oil. Delicious, and ready to be eaten on toast, with chicken, in soup, tossed with pasta, or over salad.
Making the most of what you have is not always simple. It requires some thought as well as initial effort, the goal being to eventually fall into a rhythmic, almost thoughtless routine. One day, I will be pulling this processor out by blind habit, but until then, I am trying recipes one by one, hoping to make this machine my elbow friend.