8/20/09

La propriété, c'est le vol!

There is no time that I am more fervently anti-property than when its time to move. (Reading all the Proudhon lately probably doesn't help, either.) Not only do I get irritated by all the stupid useless shit I've acquired, but I grow disgusted with the concept of property altogether. We are not equipped as a society to deal with the bountiful and often unrecyclable clutter, not to mention thousands upon thousands of wire hangers, that results from our materialism. Well, I am not equipped as a society. I'm about ready to throw it all in the dumpster.

Yet, while I would think nothing at the moment of giving away my favorite books, clothes, jewelry to anyone who will take them, I have to admit that the materialistic side of me finally flares up when it comes to parting with kitchen supplies. I have tablecloths and home-made aprons from college, pastry-cutters and rolling pins, mismatched measuring tools of all kind, and at least two french presses. So now, the question becomes: what essentials from all of this excess shall I bring to Brussels?

I'm also agonizing over which of my 10,000 cookbooks to bring (and the fact that I can't buy Vegan Brunch or Vegan Lunch Box: Around the World is killing me.) I'm getting to the point where its going to be more spices, gadgets and books than clothes. And we can't be having that in fashionable Bxl. I'd love some advice, internet pals!

Tell me: If you were moving to a foreign country, unsure of what kitchen scenario you would be living in for the next year, what essential kitchen accessories would you pack? Keep in mind I'm limited to 100 lbs over too bags, so my food processor is out. :(

In the meantime, amidst the chaos, I've been making whatever I can throw together to empty my cupboards. A huge curry to get rid of coconut milk, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and every veg in the crisper. Muffins to get rid of the bananas and flour. Wraps to get rid of frozen corn and the rest of the veg. Etc, etc, etc. Of course, the chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter, and pistachios from the cupboard were all finished off at once, with a spoon. :)

And despite being a big bag of nerves over moving and trying to get last minute visa stuff together, I'm incredibly excited to explore Brussels more. I can't wait to discover the vegan cooking scene beyond pommes frites, and try all the belgian ales I can... while of course staying on track with the development of my career. (Of course.) If I can really get everything done on time it will be such a miracle...

Song of the Day: Grizzly Bear- Two Weeks

17 comments:

Sara said...

Hmm, what kind of set up will you have in Brussels? Kitchen? Hotplate? Will you be starting from scratch, or will it be slightly furnished? If you have knives, or one particular knife you like, that's what I would bring!

T said...

I think it will be slightly furnished, but I'm not so sure about the oven/ hot-plate distinction. I think that will come down to whether or not I live with roomates.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Just discovered your blog and I LOVE IT!

Good luck on your move to Brussels, it is a country I have explored many times and I am sure you will enjoy yourself.

Hmmm....whenever I travel/move to yet another damn country I always take a pack of essentials, like can opener, vegetable peeler, grater/zester, my favorite knives, cutting board, my favorite frying pans, baking sheets, and also lots of tupperware, as much as I can get away with.

Although, when I move it is usually to an underdeveloped/developing country and I'm not sure of the availability of above items. You are traveling to Brussels and will easily be able to find anything you need!

Have fun, can't wait to hear how your move goes.

And seriously, I am LOVING your blog! You have such creativity and gorgeous photos!

Bianca said...

Oh wow! I can't even imagine paring down my stuff to move to another country! Every time I move to a new place in Memphis, my parents (who always help me move) complain about my pack-rattiness. I've still got clothes from high school (that was over 10 years ago!) that I don't wear, but refuse to throw away...and boxes and boxes of old magazines that I might want to read again (not really, but that's what I tell myself).

As for kitchen stuff, barring any large appliances, I'd say one set of measuring cups and spoons, silverware, a set of plates, bowls, and cups, a few good knives, and a wooden spoon.

Bianca said...

Oh, and a can opener. Don't forget the can opener.

J. said...

My first inclination would be to bring my cast iron pan because I use it every day, however, with weighyt restrictions that might be a terrible idea!

My second impulse is wooden spoons, microplane grater, can opener, and good knives.

Oh so exciting! But moving is a pain. Good luck!

shellyfish said...

I wouldn't bring anything at all, frankly. But first the question is are you moving there or just going to stay for a year or something like that?
You're going to find that just your clothes will take up so much of your weight, especially shoes & stuff, that you may regret having brought kitchen stuff with you, especially because you can score so much cheaply at resale/op-shops.
That being said, I've only ever moved to France and to Arizona, and I've never been to Bruxelles, but I know it's the business capital of Europe and so there will be tons of stores, etc. so you'll be able to score the necessities. Most apartments in Europe don't come with an oven or even hotplates.
Also, the current here is so much higher, even with a converter you risk frying any electrical appliances you bring over from the US.

Shannon said...

When we moved to Japan, I packed my most essential items that I figured wouldn't be easily found there. Spices, powdered sugar and my fave wooden spoons and pan. The rest I just picked up there as I needed them. The oven was super small and I'm lucky I didn't bring my bakeware because it wouldn't have fit.

Bliss Doubt said...

I succumb to the temptation to answer your question about what to take for your kitchen. I've always been appliance free--no cuisinart no blender no crockpot no blow dryer, so until you get set up, especially if things will be stored or in transit for a while, I think the things to have handy are a box of your appliance free recipes, a big wooden spoon (mine is strong enough to mix whole wheat cake batter), a strong wisk, big deep pots and pans (so you can cook a lot or a little with what you have), and your best knives. Belgian Import Association ceramic cookware and dishes go in the oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher, and you can cook and eat out of the same dishes. I hope that helps. I spent my junior year of college in France, so I'm a little envious of your upcoming adventure, but I hope it will be wonderful for you. I've enjoyed your blog.

miss v said...

mercy! food processor was one of the first things i thought of. what about a magic bullet? they are really light and small - like a food processor and blender all in one.

i know you can get some stuff - i lived in maastricht for a while and picked up cheap can opener and cutting boards. good luck picking the right things!

jessy said...

Brussels is going to be so awesome, T! i hear ya on it be'n tough trying to decide what to bring. all of your "empty the cabinets eatz" look mighty fine! mmmmmmmmmmm!

i say pack light on the kitchen stuff since you're only there for a year - and bring lots of clothes because they can be kinda expensive to purchase 'n such. spices are kinda light if you put them in baggies 'n such - take whatever knife you love - but you can get stuff like cutting boards, pots, pans, grinders, graters, spoons, etc. in thrift stores 'n such - then when you move you can donate them back and someone else can use them. if you don't want to pack spices i wonder if they would hold up in someone's freezer for a bit? let us know what you decide to take. :)

T said...

These are all good ideas...I didn't realize there was a voltage issues, so that cuts down on some things! Think I will definitely bring a big wooden spoon and a few bowls, as well as some hard to find spices (nooch and arrowroot, anyone?) Other than that, sounds like I should just travel light and stock up when I get there.

Thanks for the ideas folks!

Liz² said...

I so sympathize, I've thought about this before, and how painful it will be to have to give up some kitchen tools that I've amassed over the years. With any luck I can leave them in my dad's garage, which would definitely start housing all my vintage dishes, my lesser used grinders/processors, my glass jars, maybe even the spice jars (transfer *everything* to plastic bags). I agree that one knife might be okay, or one basic one and then a serrated one. Utensils and things could go...

ooh, what a dilemna! I like your choice of music to go with the problem, too. ;)

Vegan Deluxe said...

A magic bullet is a great idea; it's basically a mini food processor/chopper.

Also, I'm concerned about your cookbook situation. How about asking for a Kindle for your birthday/early Christmas/I'm leaving for Brussels and you'll miss me gift? Then you can upload tons of cookbooks!

caribbeanvegan said...

I would not bring too much because chance are the electrical stuff will not work there and it is a mess with that.I would bring all of my cookbooks a mistake i made last year. I would bring things I know I would not be able to find all over the place like a liquid smoke or something.I moved last year and I only bought a rolling pin and those hand mashers in my suitcase.I suspect that Brussels may not be very vegan friendly so u may have to cook more so that kitchen needs to be more than a hot plate. It is very exciting moving to another country.I wish you a great flight and a smooth transition. Funny story about this can opener. I found the french style can opener to be easier to use than the ones u get in the states. I got it for 1 euro and i was like where were u all of my life?

Mihl said...

When I moved to Norway I brought my hand held blender. But you could probably buy one for only a little money. Bringing measuring cups is probably a really great idea. Until you get use to grams and litres. measuring cups are not easy to find.

Natastrophe said...

Go minimalist - this is a great opportunity to start fresh and throw yourself into an appliance-free adventure of cooking! Personally, I'd find that an exciting challenge. Pack your favourite knife/knives and away you go!