14. KonMari Deep Dive: Kitchen & Thanksgiving Special

KonMari Deep Dive: Kitchen

In-Depth Analysis with Alexandria

Bringing Joy to Your Kitchen

Welcome to the first deep-dive episode. This is an opportunity to go all-in on a particular topic. I’ll highlight a specific aspect of the KonMari Method or something to do with style. And I’m open to suggestions. If there’s something you’d particularly like to learn more about, drop me a line.

Today, we’re focusing on the kitchen. With Thanksgiving just a couple days away and Christmas not so far behind, we are officially entering holiday season.

Benefits of a KonMari’d Kitchen

  • You know where everything is.
  • You make the most of the space you have.
  • Your surfaces are (comparatively) clear.
  • You have food & ingredients you enjoy eating & cooking with.
  • You no longer waste food.
  • And yes… your kitchen brings you joy.
KonMari Tidying - Category Three: Papers. Tidy White Metal Filing Boxes On Shelves, Labelled: Style, KonMari & Interiors.
This Is A KonMari'd Closet That Sparks All The Joy. Neatly Folded Tea Towels In Bamboo Baskets, Fabric Baskets & Jazzy Aprons

If you’re keen to get the most out of the KonMari Method, I would firmly recommend that you don’t start with the kitchen. If you KonMari your kitchen before you have a solid sense of what brings you joy, you’re in for a rough ride. The beauty of proceeding category by category in the recommended order is that you gradually hone your sensitivity to joy.

Alexandria Lawrence

Common Kitchen Struggles

  1. The spice drawer. Can you find the smoked paprika in less than 10 seconds? Sure, you might have a “spice drawer” but your spices are frankly out of control.
  2. Food waste. You don’t mean to waste food but that’s what happens. Food gets lost. Sometimes you can’t find ingredients (or leftovers) until they’ve gone off and are inedible.
  3. Unused gadgets. Do you have a surplus of kitchen tools you don’t want or need?
  4. Don’t know what ingredients you already have. You buy an ingredient and then discover you have another pack of it stuffed at the back of some cupboard.
  5. The junk drawer. You have a junk drawer full of all sorts of random stuff.
  6. Cluttered surfaces. Your kitchen surfaces are rarely clear. There doesn’t seem to be enough storage space for all your kitchen items.
  7. General chaos. You stuff things in drawers higgledy-piggledy because you don’t have proper homes for these items.
  8. No place for backstock. If you decant flour and other things into containers, you struggle to know what to do with that leftover flour and those leftover other things that don’t fit in your containers.

KonMari Your Food

Here are some things to keep in mind…
  1. Keep your food subcategorised. Store similar items in the same area so you always know where to find them. Small boxes or containers you find around the house make great temporary storage for food. Then, when you’ve fully KonMari’d your kitchen and are ready for more permanent solutions, consider something like clear containers. You can make fancy labels if you like. However you organise your kitchen cupboards, make sure you can see what you have in a glance.
  2. Keep backstock in a clearly designated area. Backstock is any extras or multiples you have of a particular item (rice, pasta, flour, etc). If you only have one place to store backstock, then you always know where to go when it comes time to refill containers or replenish your supply. Just between us… how many times have you thought you didn’t have something only to find it lurking at the back of another cupboard?
  3. It’s a team effort. Make sure everyone living with you understands why your food is organised the way it is. And make sure everyone has space for the food items they love. Unless you live alone, it’s a collaborative effort to keep the joy levels high in your kitchen and in your home.

Thanksgiving is for Everyone

That’s right… You don’t need to be American. Thanksgiving is a holiday for everyone. All you need to do is enjoy food and good company. You don’t even need to have turkey… In fact, I’d say, unless you’re very confident you won’t end up with a giant, dry, rather unappealing beast of a bird, I’d go so far as to say… please don’t have turkey.

Otherwise, there are no rules. Or maybe there’s just one rule: pumpkin pie is a must. I can’t really imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. And the beauty of pumpkin pie is that you can do it last-minute… especially if you live outside of the United States. As it’s not an official holiday anywhere else (except for Canadian Thanksgiving in October), you’re likely to get all the ingredients you need if you decide to make a last-minute pumpkin pie. Check out my recipe below and, if you try it, let me know what you think!

Alexandria's Pumpkin Pie

ALSO in PINK
Pumpkin pie is one of those very special things. It never fails to bring on the holiday spirit and is so tasty it really should be made more than once a year. This is a recipe I've developed through trial and error over many Thanksgivings. It's suitable for anyone with wheat & lactose intolerances too. Enjoy!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cooling Time 40 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 258 kcal

Equipment

  • 23 cm tart (or pie) tin

Ingredients
 
 

Pastry

  • 170 g flour white spelt (or white flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g cold butter
  • 2 tbsp fine sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Filling

  • 2 cups pumpkin (or butternut squash) purée (2.5kg raw squash, if roasting)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250 ml milk - lactofree milk also works well here

Topping

  • whipping cream - lactofree cream works nicely too
  • dash of vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the squash/pumpkin. Slice butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and place (skin-side down) on baking trays. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Bake pumpkin/squash at 180°C for about 60 minutes (or until soft and you can easily stick a knife through it). Then Preheat oven to 190°C.
  • Meanwhile, make your pastry. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, stir in the salt, then grate in the butter. Rub in using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then stir through the sugar. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbsp iced water, and sprinkle half over the mixture. Then stir together with a knife until it comes together in a paste – add a little more of the liquid if necessary.
  • Bring the mixture together with your fingertips, and then roll out on a floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use it to line a 23 cm tart tin. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Put in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the base is pale golden. Remove from the oven.
  • Turn the oven down to 180°C. Combine all filling ingredients and whizz! Just scoop out the pumpkin/squash flesh and it easily squidges into cup measures. Then pour the whizzed filling ingredients into your pastry case.
  • Bake for 70 minutes (or until the pie is fairly firm when you jiggle it)
  • Beat whipping cream into soft peaks with a dash of vanilla. Generously spoon onto your slice of pie. Yum!

Notes

Pumpkin pie isn't always made from pumpkins! I almost always use butternut squash. So, feel free to substitute whatever flavourful member of the squash/gourd family you can get locally.
You need approx. 1.5 butternut squashes for one pie (about 2.5kg)

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 193mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 3gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 9694IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 2mg
Keyword lactofree, pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving, wheat-free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Benefits of KonMari with Alexandria

  • The kitchen can pose all sorts of challenges… when left to your own devices, it’s easy to justify keeping almost anything. That’s where working with a KonMari consultant really helps. That outside perspective could be exactly what you need to break old habits and hone in on what truly brings you joy.
  • Book a Discovery Call with Alexandria to see how working with a KonMari consultant could benefit you.

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