My new favorite things

I used my gift card to Crate and Barrel, finally, the other weekend!  (see Cheese Shop of Beverly Hills post)  I had won in a chili cookoff the year prior, at Pandemic Studios, where my husband worked at the time.

My husband was sweet and planned a day for us to go up and let me pick out some things.  I had an idea in my head about what I wanted and was happy when I got there, as a couple of the items were on sale!

I am trying to be more and more practical in all aspects of my life, especially when it comes to buying things for our home.  I know one day (or one year) soon, we will be moving back to the NW, and have to pay for every pound of stuff we have collected.  Being a chef, I feel it is important (and fun) to have a complete kitchen.  But I try to minimize the uni-taskers (phrase coined by the great Alton Brown), and buy items that will last the years, maybe even handed down to my kiddos.  Forget the trendy things and gadgets, I go for the heavy time-honored classics, like the cast iron, enameled, stainless steel, and ceramic items.  No aluminum or non-stick in my kitchen! (except for that Italian espresso pot that I couldn’t imagine life without.  Wish they made it in something besides aluminum.)

In the end, I bought four enameled cast iron bakers, two oval and two rectangular, and a huge enameled stock pot.  And I still have some money left on the card!

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Oh, and I also bought myself (for the school garden) a kumquat tree.  I have wanted one for awhile now, but am torn, since I have no space where I live.  If I bought it, it would have to be for the school garden, and I would enjoy it while there.  That is better than nothing.  And I could pick some, to take home, whenever I wanted.  So I got it!  It is beautiful!  It’s so much fun to live in a place where citrus and other Mediterranean plants thrive, where the growing season extends through the whole year.

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