Monday, May 16, 2011

everyday aesthetics

if you visit me over at domestic sensualists, you've heard me going on and on about bread of late. i've rather successfully made a sourdough starter and have even perfected a very good danish rye bread. husband says i've officially been assimilated. so as i wandered the flea market on saturday, i had my eye out for a new container for my sourdough starter - one that looks a bit more fetching on the countertop than the tupperware it was residing in. as you can see, i found a lovely bit of crockery from the 70s with a lid. it's perfect for my sourdough starter.

in looking for this, i got to thinking about everyday aesthetics. and how important they are. maybe they've become more important to me after living for more than a decade in denmark, where everything is over-designed down to its essentials, from chairs to lamps to vases and even those mobiles you hang over a baby. we've even got a bodum cheese cutter that is ergonomically designed. hmmm, perhaps i have been assimilated.

maybe it's more important to me these days because the house is otherwise such a pit of despair (that's visible in several details in the photo above - wallpaper, countertop, grey list around the edge of the counter top that's shoddily cut). i've felt much better in the horrible pink kitchen (why haven't i painted that again?) since husband built me a new gas stovetop (thank you, ikea), but it's at least partially because i always use the good bowls when i'm cooking. if the food going in is good and the bowls and utensils you use make you happy when you see them, it's overall a more satisfying experience. and where did we get the notion that we have to save certain things for "best" or at least for a special occasion? why not enjoy them everyday?

anyway, this is why i wanted to have a better container for my sourdough starter. i just didn't like looking at that plastic tupperware on the counter next to my kitchen-aid on a daily basis.

why don't you get out the good dishes and silverware tonight? it will lift your mood while you're cooking and i'll bet your family will thank you.


celkalee said...

Good morning from the swampy eastern US. Will we ever see the sun again? is the prevailing question of the day.

What a wonderful crock. My motto requires that if it is going to be seen it has to look good. I collect pottery and crockery and use it. I am fortunate to have a potter nearby who makes beautiful things for sale and makes unique special order pieces.

I am a bread maker too, but now I cheat and use a bread machine. Works great and is friendly to the arthritis.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Love the new crock. I'm feeling the push to make simpler, lovelier choices for my utilitarian pieces too though having the rough and tumble children that I do limits me a bit. We have no good china but rather a mish-mosh of 3 sets of dishes, the only survivors of dishware sets past. 3 sets in 7 years of marriage... oy. It's my hope though that someday we will eat on matching or at least intentionally non-matching dishes and drink out of something besides jelly jars.

psst...and I'm finally painting my kitchen too.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Julie

Will you please share with us how you make your starter? I also, love your crock.

Have a great day!

Tracy :)

poet said...

I absolutely agree! Having aesthetics in everyday life is so, so important... I don't want to put down the US but I think Western Europe in general may place more value on this.

Delena said...

I too, use the best dishes I have. Even out here in this wilderness pioneer setting I am very civilized when it comes to pretty dishes and such!

Anonymous said...

I use our crystal glasses all the time, but I never use the fancy plates unless there is company. I have no idea why I do things this way, but I do. I'm a goof.

Nimble said...

I'm working on a wild yeast sourdough starter too. And thinking about making my own sauerkraut. So I'm in the market for crocks as well. I hope I can find things half as nice!

k said...

i love your jar for the sourdough starter. i love to make bread but haven't tried making a starter yet - perhaps this weekend i will finally do it! (i suspect mine will be in tupperware though!)

Bee said...

That is the perfect sourdough crock! It has such a pleasingly earthy look to it . . . makes me nostalgic for the 70s. I may have to dust off my mother's wholewheat bread recipe from that era.