Sticks for stirring bread dough that my dad whittled from honeysuckle wood he found lying on the street outside
I just visited my parents, who are currently staying in Salt Lake City, on a mission for their church (they normally live in Calgary, in Canada). Even though my Dad was staying in a small apartment right now, I just loved seeing the simple way he lives, as he brought his ways with him.
A great container for his gas camping stove, fashioned from a tin can, with a piece of honeysuckle wood for a handle
My dad is constantly reusing everything, in a creative way. He used a good canopener which doesn't leave jagged edges, and uses lids of large tin cans as spoon rests while he is cooking. He reuses tunafish cans for everything. His water in the fridge is in a reused juice bottle. He stores grains in reused large tins, and makes handles for them. Other people will give a rusted tool - and he will restore it and use it - it will become a good tool, always kept in great condition. Even when there is the smallest scrap of flour brushed from the counter from breadmaking, with a swish of his hand, he will sweep it into a little reused plastic container to use again, perhaps for making gravy, later.
"It's because I'm a cheapskate" he jokes with me. But I know it isn't that. He just respects things.
When he was a little boy, his dad gave him a hacksaw he was too young to use. When he left it out in the rain, he got into big trouble. His father was teaching him to respect his tools.
My father has been fixing an old school backpack my little brother had for 10 years. The zipper just broke, but he still doesn't want to give it up. "It just kills me to throw it away when the rest of it is still good."
There is such a beautiful feeling, when we set food out in this way, and eat dinner with my parents - with cold, good water in a juice bottle on the table, some fresh cut onions in a clean margarine container - the food is of the highest quality, artisan fresh bread, home-made jam - presented in this purely functional way. It feels blessed; as I am sure my non-wasteful father will always continue to be - with an abundance of resources.
"No. 10" cans reused for storing grains, flour, beans. Once opened, my dad gets plastic lids for them.
The grandchildren having fun grinding wheat into flour.
A very good canopener that cuts along the side of the can and doesn't leave jagged edges - leaving lids and cans that can be reused for many purposes.
Margarine containers holding artisan bread dough - dough which only requires mixing, not kneading, as the yeast slowly brews in the fridge.
Dinner at Grandma's and Grandpa's house; prayers are being said before we eat.