Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Excuses! Excuses!

Mark Bittman got me thinking about excuses. See, Brian and I had planned on re-doing our kitchen and turning it into a start of the art culinary Eden. Then I read this blog post about Mark Bittman's bad kitchen--they don't call him The Minimalist for nothing. Basically, readers were shocked to learn that Mr. Bittman would deign to cook in such a small kitchen. His response? Yeah, he doesn't like his kitchen but...

You use your crummy kitchen as an excuse not to cook. Maybe it's like
saying, "I can't exercise in the winter because I don't have an elliptical

And that's what got me thinking about excuses. Oh, for an elliptical trainer, the things I could do.

How often do we "say" we want to do something but we just don't have the (fill in the blank)?

Most of the time the blank is time. Have you noticed how busy everyone is these days? And yet, some people get more done in 24 hours than others. Why is that?

It's cool to be busy or so it seems. Busy is the new black. What's everyone doing that so important? Sometimes I wish I were busier. It's not that I don't have things I could do, it's that I don't want to do them.

In my quest to eat greener this year, I've thought a lot about time. It takes time to find non-processed foods and to prepare them. Making my own bread requires planning--will I be home long enough to bake it? And, through these little choices, I've realized how much "busywork" I tend to do. Did you know that your kitchen floor will not corrode if you don't mop it every day?

The other point Mark Bittman makes is that we don't need fancy equipment to accomplish our goals. Sure, sometimes the right tool makes the job easier but we can make do with what we have. Of course not having the right tool is the perfect excuse not to do something. The question then becomes what is it you really want to do?

I have no answers except that Brian and I will continue to cook in the non-culinary utopia that has always been our kitchen. But cook we will and without state-of-the-art technology. Yet, I can't help thinking, if only I had an elliptical trainer....

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