I have to admit that almost all the rooms in my house are the opposite of minimalist – generous souls might say ‘positively baroque’ – mean ones might murmur ‘downright untidy’. But although my kitchen is old-fashioned I aspire, at least, to a ‘less is more’ approach (this doesn’t, of course, include cookery books).
However, I have recently bought a herb-keeper. My justification for this is that it’s a brilliant piece of design, which perfectly fulfils a need.
Over the winter I find I have to buy herbs. They come in plastic bags – I don’t always use the whole bag. The remaining herb gets shoved back in the bag and pushed to the back of a drawer. I can’t find it…I can’t see it easily…I forget I have it. The result is a fridge full of plastic bags full of squashed and rotting, dried out, herbs.
In the summer, and I’m in Italy, I may be lucky enough to buy a large bunch of flat-leaved parsley. I fill a jug with water, and put the parsley on the window sill. It is soon surrounded by a haze of tiny fly, and a couple of days later it’s a soggy, rotting mess.
The herb-keeper solves this. It fits into my fridge door (or a shelf). It keeps all the herbs together, and protects them from damage. You put a little water in the bottom, and it keeps them hydrated (the secure lid keeps the dampness in), while the interior basket allows air to circulate – producing a sort of microclimate.
All in all – a boon!