Downsizing is hot these days. Just ask Marie Kondo, who is surely a millionaire a few times over. And I like sorting through the things I don’t need and creating more space in my closets, drawers, and just generally in my life. I’ve tried to do that over the past nine months, with some success.
But tidying up has its limitations. If I had downsized too aggressively at any point in the past thirty years, I would not still have the utterly awesome Mickey Mouse Cookbook I had as a child.
I loved it when I was young and I kept it for sentimental reasons lo these many decades. You know what? I’m darn glad I did, because this summer, my own children rediscovered it and were utterly fascinated.
And so we embarked on a summertime project. I decided to teach my boys a little bit more about how to cook, with the help of Mickey and the gang.
Over the summer, I’ve let the boys take turns picking recipes from the cookbook, and we’ve worked on making them together. I should add that we’re not exactly talking about Julia Child here; the recipes are remarkably easy, some of them more about dumping in a pan than actually cooking, but it doesn’t matter. The boys have loved the challenge, and whether it’s Big Bad Wolf’s Brownies or Cinderella’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, I’ve loved tasting their creations.
There was even one evening where I actually found myself sitting on the couch with a glass of Cabernet while someone else made dinner. That someone else was my nine-year-old, who was making Chip n’ Dale’s Triple Decker Sandwiches with great concentration and skill. I enjoyed the rare sensation of not being in the kitchen at 6 pm and thought: Wow, I sure am glad I kept that cookbook.
So the moral of the story is to never ever throw anything away because you never know when it might be useful. Just kidding, of course; I think the moral is to carefully weigh what you keep and what you give away. Just because you have had something for over thirty years doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever, but it also doesn’t mean you need to get rid of it, either.
Listen to your gut, and if the book makes you smile after all these years, consider that it might make your own kids smile, too.