Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Minimalism Phase 2 - Milk, Meat, And Playmobil

Goodbye to 7 Barbie-type dolls
This past year I played the Minimalist Game and also gave myself a personal 1000 Clutters Challenge (which included all the items from the Minimalist Game). I held back at 999 items so there could be a celebratory post featuring the 1000th clutter. Then two things happened.

1. We saw on the local fb Buy,Sell,Swap group that one of DD's friends was selling all her Playmobil. DD decided that, actually she doesn't play with hers anymore either. Within half an hour we'd arranged to pass on the Playmobil and seven Barbie-type dolls. (Easily 100 items)

Goodbye to a load of Playmobil
Then DD announced that she doesn't need the Fisher Price dolls' house and all the furniture either. So I packed that up to go back to the friend who lent it to us almost 10 years ago. We also found a load more small plastic toys from Kinder Eggs and cereal boxes, etc... which will go to the next school fair.

2. Although DD won't eat meat (apart from the occasional chicken schnitzel) she does like the chicken soup with lockshen (noodles) that we get on the kibbutz. When she asked if I could make some, it appealed to my sense of tradition.

Now, religious Jews have different sets of utensils, pots, plates, etc... in the kitchen for meals cooked and/or eaten with meat. It's "Thou shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk," blown crazy out of proportion. I don't like it, I disapprove of it in fact, and this is one of the main reasons we don't have any meat in our kitchen. Even though we are not so religious anymore, I need to be able to invite various friends and family over to eat. And, I did have a set of meaty kitchenware packed away, left over from when we did do meat, just in case I ever wanted to go back to it.

Goodbye summer and some more Playmobil
I bought a chicken, I unpacked my meat kitchenware, and I made chicken soup. DD took one look at the chicken carcass in the pot and declared, "that's disgusting! I'm not having any of that!" Then there was the whole business of washing up. I had a washing up bowl for the meat things but the sink is for milk things so how do you throw out the meaty water from the meaty washing up bowl? The answer is of course, to have a milk washing up bowl and the actual sink is only for draining the water. It was all too much bother and too many extra things cluttering up the kitchen.

Little bags of plastic toys waiting for the next school fair.
I have to say that I grew up with this meat-milk divide and it was no problem at all. We didn't even think about it. We had two bowls for the sink, we had full sets of kitchenware for both meat and milk. Even separate bowls for the magimix. Whilst most people who keep meat and milk separate today, and there are thousands who do, have two sinks in the kitchen, most people my age grew up with only one sink and we managed fine.

It's a bit like regular exercise. If you don't do it for a few years you lose the momentum and it becomes a big effort. Obviously you can get back into it if you want to but we decided that we just don't want to. All this to explain why there are a set of cutlery and a soup pot in the photo. I'm not even going to keep my meat kitchenware.

goodbye meat kitchenware and Fisher-Price dolls' house, etc...
While I was sorting I found four medicine spoons/syringes and a set of chopsticks that can also go. (Easily another 100 items including the dolls' house furniture and Kinder toys.)

1,200 items? Probably, but it's time to stop counting. Still to go are collections of dvds and cds that I can't bring myself to part with yet. Two box files of photocopied teaching materials that I know I will never use (but reduced from five box files at the beginning of the year). And my vast wardrobe of clothes I will never wear again. I'm not done yet but I'm almost there. My living room looks like a holiday apartment. I may need to get more plants.


  1. Amazing! And isn't it wonderful that DD has also bought into it now!
    I remember as a child being fascinated by the kitchens of a couple of friends who kept kosher - both had separate fridges - with cabinets on each side to store the different items - and one even had two ovens. I guess it's like everything else - you get used to it if you do it every day.
    I knew that you didn't eat much meat - what about some posts detailing what you do eat and what the options are for vegetarians (or flexitarians)?

  2. Funny you should say that as I was thinking about doing a meal planning blog post. Obviously it has to be on a Monday for the alliteration. LOL. About the two fridges - that must have been a wealthy family. My friends usually use different shelves in one fridge. Two ovens is becoming common as ovens aren't so expensive in the grand scheme of things.

  3. You're doing such a sterling job on the clear out and I have every admiration for you having tok use two lots of utensils etc for the meat/ milk. As you say, my friends here have 2 sinks, how much easier things are nowadays if you have the money! Mich x

    1. Yes, money makes all the difference. People can design their kitchen so that each side is like a separate kitchen with its own dishwasher, sink and oven. If you're not rich I think it's easier to keep the kitchen dairy friendly and eat meat on special occasions when you eat out.