Monday, May 16, 2016

Those Things We Think We Need

Those Things We Think We Need
             At last, I have a working sink in the house. No more carting all food preparation items plus dishes before and after meals out to the outdoor sink on the patio. Josue has finished my kitchen cabinets.

            I’m no stranger to roughing it. Back in the early Sixties, when I was newly married and it seemed romantic, I had no sink. Running water meant I carried buckets from the well out by the stock tank and poured it into the water bucket on the wash stand (cold) and the copper boiler on the wood stove (hot).

            With no romance in my life these days, I fully appreciate my new cabinets with a sink hooked up to hot and cold running water. Thank you, Josue. Glory and Amen.

            Somehow I lodged into my brain that I needed a dish drainer, you know, to stack my plate and cup and knife and fork to dry after I washed them in my newly functional sink. I’ll tell you more about my sink later. Meanwhile, I wanted a dish drainer and went on the search.

            Lani and I drove into town to a tienda that stocks a lot of plastic kitchen items, sort of a mini-Mexican Target, kitchen aisle. They had drainers all right. The plastic kind. I don’t like the plastic kind. I wanted a wire drainer—wire coated with plastic. The wide plastic drainers get dirty quickly and are hard to clean, in my opinion. I live in dusty farm country. You know what that is like. And I wanted what I wanted. You may know what that is like!

            “Miercoles.” The clerk said they would have them in Wednesday. No problem. I’m patient.

            Thursday Ariel stopped by to see if I needed anything in town. He said he’d check to see if my dish drainer had arrived. No such luck.

            Friday Leo took me to town to buy a new stove. On the way we passed a different tienda which I knew had a small array of kitchen plastics, Voila! On the top shelf, there sat a wire dish drainer, a two tiered affair, like an ocean liner, coated in red plastic. I like color. The price was displayed. (Often there are no prices displayed in the tiendas. Then one gets to haggle. Sometimes I haggle even when the price is marked. Sometimes it works.) The all-plastic drainers were 60 pesos. The red yacht of dish drainers was nearly 400 pesos.

            I stood three or four minutes in contemplation, enough minutes to have an “ah-ha” moment. I visualized my sink, a lovely large stainless sink with attached drain board on one side.

Sondra, what are you thinking? You have a built-in drainer. Sure enough, you can’t stack your plates upright to dry. But if you add a dish drainer to the drain board, an admittedly nice touch, you can’t swing your kitchen window open. Is this Gucci drainer a necessity?

            “I’m not paying 400 pesos for a dish drainer I don’t need. Let’s go look at stoves.”

            Now, I liked my old stove. I didn’t want a new stove. The burners worked great. But, sadly, I “needed” a new stove unless I wanted to never bake anything other than pottery.

            At the furniture/appliance store, I carefully examined each stove, all six models. One style had an electronic starter and oven light. And the price was right. $3,071.00. That is about $170 USD. The store delivered it, Leo hooked it up, I baked bread. I’m a happy woman.

            What I want to know is why I so easily confused my “wants” with my “needs”? When I pared down my life to be in Mexico, I gave up every electric kitchen appliance known to cooks. Except for a food processer, a nicety, which I seldom bother to use; after all, I’m generally cooking for one. Oh, let me not forget the coffee grinder, a necessity, which I use every day.

            If my food processer broke down, I wouldn’t bother to replace it. But my coffee grinder is a different matter. Maybe I should start the search for a hand grinder, like our grandparents used in the olden romantic days. I might need one.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door 

April 28, 2016  

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