Welcome Spring to Your Kitchen

While the seasons have not quite changed, most people I know are itching for it to happen. Even in California, where it does sometimes get cold, we are looking forward to an end to the rainy, rainy season, and the return of spring and  summer local produce to be in proliferation.

Despite their best efforts at growing greenhouse tomatoes, my local farmers have had some trouble with the amount of wet we’ve been experiencing this year. Very measly tomatoes did I buy at farmer’s market this week.

As Spring approaches, think about how you can welcome it to your kitchen with open arms.

Do a quick clean and dejunk

Chances are you may have unused gadgets, condiments, and canned goods lurking in your cupboards. Don’t be bogged down by them. If you don’t use it, lose it.

Spend an afternoon rifling through the drawers and cupboards with a cardboard box handy. Cull the gadgets and utensils you no longer use as well as the Christmas cookie cutters you won’t need until next December. Stash some things in long storage and give the rest away.

Consider a few new dishes

Now is the time that stores are stocking their Spring line of housewares. Set a modest budget and allow yourself a splurge. Perhaps it is a few new placemats or a new set of dishes.

Our family, full of little people, still uses plastic dishes for regular use. Our current set is about 10 years old and ready to be relegated to beachware. So, I’ve got my eye out for unbreakables that are cute, usable, and dare I dream, microwave-safe?

Welcome fresh produce

Soon spring and summer vegetables will be hitting the markets. Be ready to welcome them. Ask your farmer’s market sales people about new and different ingredients and how to prepare them. Try some new flavors.

Plant a kitchen garden

Even if you have minimal space, you can still enjoy fresh herbs, greens and onions in a large planter. Place it as close to your kitchen as possible so that you can easily add a few snips and leaves to freshen up the flavors on your plate.

Put Your House in Order

I’m participating in a series, called “Put Your House in Order,” with a bunch of great bloggers. Each of us is tackling a different area of home management and sharing suggestions for organizing in the new year.

Check out how the others are welcoming Spring:

What are YOU doing to welcome Spring?

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Comments

  1. Instead of plastic you might consider an inexpensive set like Correlle that you won’t be heartbroken over breaking, but may hold up a bit better (and you can microwave to your hearts content). We found a whole box at goodwill or you can find them at flea markets. Even new, they aren’t that expensive.

  2. Jessica says:

    I too was going to suggest a corelle set of dishes. That is what we have and they are “real” dishes, fully microwavable but also very hard to break or even crack!! Perfect if you ask me for families with small children! They have such lovely designs too! I have a pink flowery set that is so springy and cute but not so overwhelming that my hubby feels funny using them! :). (he is the only male in our family of five, not even including our girl dog!). :)

  3. susan t says:

    I have Corelle that I bought about 15 years ago. My son is turning 16 this week and they finally have a few grey marks on them that I can’t get off so time for a new set. Corelle heats great in the microwave and you get the look of real plates and they are hard to break. I think at the end of their life they are a little easier to break but they have served us well. I like the plain white set with the swirled or ruflled edge. It looks in style still this many years later.

  4. I absolutely love Corelle. I loved them for my family as they were young and I had my older parents buy a set as well. In their 80’s, they found the plates much lighter to pick up and use.

  5. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the nudge on Corelle. I had visions of those avocado daisies from my childhood. But, look what I found! http://www.corelle.com/index.asp?pageId=61&cId=2&pId=303

    • @Jessica,

      Very cute set you found!! They have tons of choices I feel like! My parents got us this square set for Christmas a year and a half ago and we just LOVE them… totally “kid proof” too! :) http://www.corelle.com/index.asp?pageId=61&pId=332

      I think Corelle may definitely be the answer to your problem, AND they seem pretty affordable as well, especially considering how long they last! My mom still has her set from when I was little!! :)

  6. I agree with the Corelle suggestion. You can also find serving bowls and platters to redo more than just the plates.

    The grey marks someone mentioned earlier – I’ve heard that you can remove them by using a product meant to clean stainless steel pots and pans, because usually those marks are from stainless steel utensils. I haven’t tried it yet myself, so I can’t swear to it. Pampered Chef makes a cleaning product like that, but I’m sure you can find it elsewhere.

  7. Crystal says:

    i agree with the recommendation for corelle. we LOVE them! they’re our go-to everyday plates, and have been for almost 12 years now! we’ve dropped them several times (and not even a chip!), they’ve been in the microwave and the dishwasher, and they still look awesome. when they do eventually need to be replaced, we’ll be replacing them with more corelle!

  8. I grew up with Corelle too! I bet we all did. ;o)

    Recently, we switched all our dishes to FiestaWare. It’s made in USA, dishwasher and micro safe, and is made without heavy metals that might leach who-knows-what into your food.

    They are heavier than Corelle and probably a little more expensive, but they’ve survived our house full of guys without a mishap!

  9. Love Corelle! I wrote about it here: http://www.tammysrecipes.com/corelle_dinnerware_review

    It’s made in the USA (except some mugs), the kids carry/use/help with it all time time and it’s easy to use, and it takes up so much less space in the cupboard than other “china” types of plates do. As far as I know, it’s completely safe (glass).

    My parents have used it for many years (a family of 8) and my grandparents have too (a family of 15). For us (a family of 6) we have broken 1 or 2 pieces in the 9 years we’ve had Corelle. :)

  10. I vote for Corelle too. I’ve had my set over 20 years (though a few of those they were packed in an attic). They’ve survived my clumsiness as well as my kids dropping them from time to time. For me, next time I think I’ll get a plain white set. I found with this set that a few years after I bought it, when one plate broke, I couldn’t find more with the same pattern, so I had to supplement with plain ones. If I’d bought the plain ones to begin with , it wouldn’t have mattered. Oh, a second advantage to Corelle … if you buy the right pattern you can buy single piece replacements at WalMart!

  11. Love the Corelle dishes. We bought two sets of the “carnival” pattern several years ago to mix in with the odds and ends pieces of fiesta ware I picked up. Its festive, fairly inexpensive, and lasts well. Unless… your toddler tosses pieces over the rail and onto the stone patio.

    Another thing we have done is give up on glass drinking glasses and bought all plastic. With a house full of guys/kids, it just doesn’t work. We found some excellent bargains online at restaurant supply stores. Those are also great places to shop for pans, food storage containers, utensils, etc. If you are looking for durable bake ware that is easy to clean, that is the place. We bought a couple dozen of the big red plastic cups (like we always saw at pizza places as kids) for about $0.50 each. Those babies last forever.

  12. Although it’s a wee bit cold yet in Connecticut, I LOVE to remove the window covering in the back of the house as soon as it warms up so that I an see our amazing view. We have all woods and mountains in the back ,so I don’ t have to worry about people peeking in. I love all the natural light streaming in!

  13. Just wanted to de-lurk and say hello :) I love your blog! I’ve tried many of the recipes on here and have loved them. We are trying to eat healthier, but still maintain our budget. So, thank you!

  14. mom of 3 says:

    Correll can also go in the oven.

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