A recent conversation about UUs and consumerism on Spirituality and Sunflowers made me think about some of the good things I’ve purchased, things that work, things that are good ideas, things that are aligned with and supportive of my values.
When we bought our condo last summer, there were no appliances in the unit. It was a foreclosure, and the previous owner took everything that wasn’t nailed down–and a few things that were. My favorite of the appliances we purchased is, by far, the Maytag Gemini gas range in the kitchen.
Sure, there are things about it that bug me–mostly that the black stove top shows every spill, every grease splatter. But even that challenge has a silver lining: because they’re so obvious, the spills and splatters get cleaned up before they have a chance to become a permanent part of the appliance.
Obviously, my favorite thing about the Gemini is the double oven, an elegant and efficient use of space. Instead of a storage bin underneath the main oven, the Gemini has a one-rack oven above the full-size oven. For a family of two, this smaller oven is perfect. I do much more cooking and baking, because I have an option that feels less wasteful. I use the top oven for pizza, for a small batch of cupcakes, for a single sheet of cookies, for a pan of roasted vegetables, etc.
For larger families, or for more elaborate cooking, having two ovens is a lifesaver. Not only does it give you more space, it also gives you the option to bake at two different temperatures. At Thanksgiving last year, the turkey went in the lower oven, leaving space in top oven for sweet potatoes and acorn squash. When I purchased the Gemini, I wondered about lifting heavy things–like a turkey–from the lower oven. I didn’t have any trouble with our turkey, but it wasn’t the biggest bird available.
Two of my core values are home cooking from scratch, and energy efficiency. The Gemini is supportive of both of these values, and purchasing it was an example of conscious consumption.