Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cabinet Zucchini

For at least another month or so, I have a number of projects around the house to keep me occupied. I have unpacked all but a couple of the boxes from storage, and finally found two of my favorite cookbooks: The New York Cookbook and Bert Greene's Greene on Greens.

Altogether, I am amazed at the sheer amount of stuff that we have accumulated. The other day I carted out and donated four boxes of books from our respective college days--mostly works of great literature since both of us were English majors. I have a lot of books coming from India, too, and need to get our collection here down to fit the number of shelves we have. We live only two blocks away from a good library, and I have resolved not to buy another book that I can borrow. (Right now, I'm reading two---Ha Jin's A Free Life and Susan Choi's An American Woman. It seems like an embarrassment of riches to have free time to read novels.)

But to the title of this post: Cabinet Zucchini. And what is that, you may ask? Well, it's all the china and stemware we seem to have accumulated from our parents and grandparents and keep schlepping around from place to place (and more is coming from India). Altogether, I have counted eight full sets of china and five sets of stemware and barware. If you have ever had a garden, you know that zucchini (courgette for my British readers), once planted, takes over--like Forrest Gump's friend Bubba and his shrimp, you will be forced to catalog the myriad ways that zucchini can be sliced, diced, sauteed, fried, baked and preserved--and yes, given away-- as you struggle to figure out what to do with it. So it is with the china. The picture shows a beautiful tea set of my grandmother's---displayed prominently but never used that I recall because she was afraid to break it. I've resolved not to move this stuff again. Most of the china can't be made kosher (at least not to Orthodox standards), and the stemware is outdated--wine glasses that flare out instead of in, and can't be washed in the dishwasher since the glass is so thin and delicate. Except for the monogramed stuff from Marty's parents and a set of dishes we use for Rosh Hashanah, we're cataloging it and will sell it or give it away either to one of the replacement houses that engages in this business, or to a charity that helps poor newlyweds.

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