December 2017 – In My Kitchen

We are leaving my current Oakland kitchen; this is likely the last IMK post from here. We have been packing and will  move out before the 26th (that is right…the day after Christmas) because they will be installing new flooring prior to the house going on the market.

The cupboards are emptying

I will be sad to leave this home of 28 years, but it is time.

The blog will continue from our temporary furnished rental home in the heart of Old Town Oakland, then on to a new kitchen sometime in the early spring. We plan to spend more time at our home on the coast and find a smaller place in Oakland where we can lock the door and go adventuring on a whim. But downsizing is a difficult transition both physically and emotionally. And downsizing this time of year has put me completely out of the Christmas spirit, especially when it comes to gift giving. We are donating 30 years of acquired stuff, things we didn’t really need. It is eye opening.

Only a small portion of what is being donated

So far we have taken dozens of boxes of books to the library, several car loads to Goodwill, and have a growing pile of trash to haul away. It definitely puts one off consumerism and into a minimalist mode.

I am determined to only keep what I truly love, and use the things I have.

There are a few new things in my kitchen though.

Heath Ceramics Salad Bowl

This lovely Heath Ceramics Salad Bowl was a birthday gift and I adore it. My older salad bowl was chipped with the glaze starting to wear off. I use this bowl almost daily, it is large enough to toss a meal sized salad.

I have been transferring bulbs from the garden to their new home a bit further north.

Transplanted Dutch Bearded Iris tubers

In doing so I have dug up a large number of Jerusalem artichokes, so many that I donated a huge shopping bag to the food bank.

Jerusalem artichokes

I am not sure that I want to plant them as they have been very invasive. But they were delicious in a dish I found on line for Jerusalem artichokes with saffron, chicken, and lemons. I added a few regular artichoke hearts for good measure. It was a big hit.

Roast artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, and chicken with saffron and lemon.

They are also delicious simply roasted like a potato.

Roast Jerusalem artichokes

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving Trader Joe’s released this wonderful snacking trail mix. I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie flavored foods and these were quite good with lots of ginger to spice things up.

Trader Joe’s Harvest Spice Trail MixPlease bear with me through this transition. I will be back with more posts and more kitchens.

Please bear with me through this transition and keep viewing for glimpses of my new kitchens.

You can take a peak into other kitchens around the world by visiting Sherry at Sherry’s Pickings for more IMK posts. Add your own post by the 10th of this month.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday. May it be filled with joy, love, laughter, family and friends.


29 thoughts on “December 2017 – In My Kitchen

    • Thank you Wendy, it is certainly going to be an interesting year! We look forward to seeing more of you in our “new” kitchen.

  1. I can see why you’re not full on into Christmas spirit! Ugh. Like Monika said above, moving is never easy. However, even though we upsized, we moved into our present and last house 13 years ago and the purging was great. Good luck!

  2. You seem most unfortunate in the timing of your move. I sympathize with having to go through piles of possessions with an eye to getting rid of them. Good luck with all that!

    best … mae at

  3. I was really moved about the difficulty of the downsizing and the sorting of things you’ve acquired. And that chicken dish looks fabulous! I’m not sure I would recognize Jerusalem chokes if I saw them. Best of luck!!!

  4. Hi Liz, It must be so hard making those big decisions about what to keep and what to discard as you downsize. I can sense that you are feeling the loss a little, but just think, when you have a smaller place and can travel at whim, how great that will be. Keeping some treasure from the garden is a good move….Best wishes as you travel through the moves and onto your new life.

    • Thank you Francesca, you have been an inspiration. I’ve already vicariously traveled along with you through your blog and pinned the places I want to visit.

    • Yes this is not fun and I keep asking myself why we have so much stuff. It’s difficult to get rid of the things that have a sentimental attachment and I have kept a good many. The others I have tried to give away to a good home.

      Thank you for you kind message.

  5. Hi Liz
    Thanks for joining in IMK at such a busy time. I know what you mean about having stuff. We have been here 20 years and I know we have soooo much hidden in cupboards. Stuff we don’t need or use. Good luck with the move and have a fabulous Christmas 🎄 cheers Sherry

  6. Oh Liz, what a massive task it is. Sounds as though you are getting there, always better to have set deadlines so you ‘have’ to meet them. Think of all the wonderful sharing of your things going out to the wider community for another time around. Look forward to seeing all the pics of your new place. Cheers and a happy Christmas. Maree

  7. What a big transition! I thought you were going to say you were moving to the cabin!! I’m looking forward to hearing more, and don’t you dare go awol on us! I’d miss you too much!!

    • Thank you Mollie, we will be spending much more time at the cabin (which has transitioned into being a house). Unfortunately our health insurance demands a primary residence within 30 miles of the hospital. So, we need to keep a place in the bay area as well. There will probably be several new kitchens until we settle on a permanent place, stay tuned as I am not going away. But there is not a lot of cooking going on right now.

  8. This is such a huge transition and downsizing is not easy. But eventuually I am sure you will enjoy getting away on a whim!
    We are doing some construction in the house and life has become so stressful so I can relate. I have to get rid of some stuff too….i am so emotionally attached to some of it even though the practical side of me knows I should give it away.

    • Hello Sandhya, I have found it very emotionally draining as well as physically tiring. I sympathize. It has helped that I have found homes for the things I truly treasure and cannot keep any longer. It feels better to know that someone will use and treasure them, rather than mindlessly donating them to a large organization (where who knows where they will end up?). Also the hospice shop on the coast serves many of those who lost their homes and belongings in the N CA fires. So, that has also make it easier. But, I couldn’t part with my mothers collection of demitasse cups and saucers so we are not entirely divesting ourselves of history. I found homes for lots of very old photos with other members of my family who didn’t have them.

      • Liz,
        Giving the things to someone who will treasure them is so thoughtful and meaningful. Thanks for sharing. It will certainly make me feel better if I do that too. I did not know about the hospice shop either.
        Yes, some items I cannot part with either- they are of huge sentimental value to me, so I do understand how you feel about your mother’s collection of cups and saucers.
        I am sure your relatives must be so happy to get treasured photographs.
        You are really very sweet to do that.
        Take care. It indeed is an exhausting process both physically and emotionally.

      • Thank you for the sweet comment, we are almost at the end now as move out date in this Friday. Everything will go into storage and the repainting, new carpeting, new flooring will start.

      • Good luck with everything. I am sure you will enjoy the new phase in your life….we all have to, right?

  9. Hi, Liz! Sorry for my belated reply… I hope your move is going (went?) well. Can’t believe it’s the end of December already! Wishing you the very best in the New Year and hoping you kept everything that makes your heart sing. Downsizing is a chore, but “concentrated happiness” is a JOY with absolute favorites surrounding you. Settle in, take a breath, and begin again! xo

  10. Oh I do know what you have gone through. Two years ago we moved from our large New England farm house and downsized to a Florida home less than half the size. I left behind all my antique collections, art work as well as all our furniture except five pieces. Best of luck in the New Year.

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