How many is too many? (Too much is usually just enough)


Terry was making some zucchini bread this morning.

We’ve been making a lot of it lately. As in, A LOT. We have a garden at our house this year, and it has been incredible. Just about everything we planted not only produced, just about everything thrived. And as the vast majority of gardeners will attest, when things like tomatoes and cucumbers and more thrive, they can deliver at overwhelming levels.

Terry has a recipe for banana bread. It’s a great recipe that works equally well if you swap the banana with zucchini. You might be able to jump ahead slightly at this point to arrive at what happens when you have a garden that is offering more than a lot of zucchinis and a great recipe for zucchini bread.

Each full recipe makes two loaves of bread, and since we had plenty, Terry would usually end up making two batches. Just so happens that works smoothly with our ktichen, as we have four metal loaf pans. Funny story though…

I told you… lots of zucchini. One day, Terry baked twelve loaves. (She has brought a lot of it to work. Still, our freezer is full.) I looked at her, laughed, and suggested we should pick up at least two more loaf pans. She didn’t laugh. In fact… I know the look she had in her eyes VERY well… and she was considering it.

(Strike that. Not “was” considering. She IS considering it. It’s still an option. I am one-hundred percent certain that if she thought I could get back to the house in under thirty minutes, I would have been off and buying at least two loaf pans (and probably four). Instead, she knew the baking time, knew my minimum get-back-home time, and figured that it was just as easy to use the ones she had. But I’m guessing that I’ll know the time for next year’s garden planning has arrived when I see her in a store with a few loaf pans in the cart.)

We actually do have some additional loaf-size pans. One is an air-bake style that we don’t like to use that often. Two others are glass baking dishes that are used most often for meatloaf and such. Experience tells me that having some alternatives on hand will stop her…

We own more than a few crockpots.

Go on… guess. How many do you think we have?

Give yourself credit if you knew it was a trick question. Right now, we have 12 that I can count easily. But it’s not simple. That count includes: 2 round crockpots, 6 oval, 2 mini, 1 specialized unit that features two mini oval sections, plus 1 round one in a box. And the reason it’s a trick isn’t because of the number I arrived at or that special-event-double-unit. It’s because between a strong assortment of chaffing dishes, warming trays and more, I can virtually guarantee you that I’m missing one or two on the storage shelves. I also didn’t include some of the really mini crockpots she has that usually get used for things like sauces and gravies and cheese.

So, another pair of metal loaf pans? Yeah… it’s probably happening.

The thing is… they get use. They all get use. Not kidding, more than a dozen crockpots, and I have seen her consider the needs she had and put all of them into service for different events. She is amazing.

On the other hand… me and my extra things…

We bought a new push mower this year. My lawn care needs usually involve beating them up. Years of use on an uneven, rocky with lots of dirt yard. Now, the lawn is great but there is a drainage ditch as just one fun part of the mowing experience. And the old one stills runs. Which meant the new one… for a few weeks… stayed in the box. I kept convincing myself just-once-more, putting in a bit of gas, and then heading outside with the older mower. Part of it was stupid… not wanting to scratch the new one when the old one was still running. Part of it was rationalizing… the old one had a handle that snapped and is held together by two metal rods and duct tape, it would have to fall apart for good eventually, so keep it out there until it did. And… yes… I knew before that initial no-more-returns period was up I needed to make sure the new one was running. Still, old one… duct tape and all… is off to the side (just in case).

We have central heating and air in the house now, and yet I brought along three air conditioners from the old house because you never know.

In my defense—in our defense—everything gets used. Well… maybe not the portable propane grills, but pretty much everything else. For us, it’s not a question of trying to measure how many would be too many. It’s usually experience telling us we could use one or two more.


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