It would be an understatement to say that the world looks a lot different than it did a decade ago. Running into people on the sidewalk who are glued to their smartphones is proof, as is a quick glance around folks’ homes. Those smartphones mean that we just don’t need the same items we once did to get through our day-to-day lives.
Rather than take this as evidence that we’re getting older, we’re thinking of it as a chance to de-clutter. Some household items are still used, even though they’ve been replaced by more efficient systems. Some of them are held onto out of pure habit. And some have collected so much dust it’s ridiculous.
These 21 household items that are either obsolete, or well on their way. Feel free to do away with any of these things that are needlessly cluttering your home — you won’t even notice they’re gone, we promise.
21. Book Shelves
Not totally unnecessary yet, but the Kindle has put a serious dent in home libraries across the country.
20. Drip Coffee Machines
And coffee filters. And coffee grinders. Snobbish coffee culture is at an all-time high — drip coffee makers are verboten — and so too are K-Cups. Those two opposing forces combined will destroy the drip coffee maker (and the possibility to ever channel our inner Bill Murray).
19. Desktop Computers
There’s no need to be chained to a desk.
18. Cable TV
Now that HBO is available to everyone, cable TV doesn’t stand a chance.
Paper is so 2000.
16. Incandescent Light Bulbs
Are you still using those? Do you care about the planet or your bank account at all??
15. Takeout Menus
Congratulations! You’ve reclaimed one drawer in your house to hold other useless items.
14. Printed Phone Books
And good riddance.
13. DVD Players
Some people have held on to their DVD player because they can’t accept that it’s as useless as a VCR. Give it up already and just stream it, folks.
Gone are the days of spelling out words on its tiny screen with upside down numbers. We’re kind of going to miss that.
11. Entertainment Consoles
Those who still have TVs hang them on the wall. And with the disappearance of DVD players, there’s just no point.
10. Answering Machines
Gone. And with them the dread of coming home to zero messages on the machine. Phew.
9. Home Phones
As dated as “Full House.”
8. Filing Cabinets
See No. 17.
7. CD Racks
Let’s be honest, they were an eyesore.
6. CD Burners
Mixed CDs will be missed for sure, but not the error alerts that pop up nearly every time a CD is burned.
5. Paper Shredders
Getting one to work without jamming was cause for celebration.
4. China Cabinets
No one has got time — or space — for plates you can’t use. Nor a whole piece of furniture devoted to storing them.
3. Fax Machines
Trying to make one to work was unnecessary torture.
1. Alarm Clocks
- 7 2 ½- by- 4 ½-inch or 8 3-by-4-inch leaves gelatin
- 16 small or 14 medium limes
- 1 4-ounce package strawberry gelatin
- 1 ¾ cup hot water
- sugar (optional)
- 1 large or 2 small passion fruit (optional)
Put the kettle on to boil. Then put the gelatin leaves into a small wide bowl, cover them with cold water, and set aside to soften.
Cut the limes in half lengthwise, rather than around their middles, and, using a spoon, scoop out the juicy flesh. It takes a bit of wiggling and getting squirted by the juice, but you will get there! The trick is to not break through the lime skin. (You don’t need the flesh for this recipe, but afterward I like to squeeze the juice out and freeze it in an ice cube tray for handy lime juice needs at other times.)
Set each half, cut-side up, on a large tray, or put each one in the cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. They fit perfectly and don’t move around too much that way. You will need two or three 12-cup muffin pans, but if you don’t have enough, you can nestle the excess lime shells on top in between the others and they should sit still.
Next, break up the strawberry gelatin a bit and put it into a heatproof measuring cup, then pour over enough hot water to reach 1 ¾ cups.
Pick up the gelatin leaves — they will feel all soft. Gently squeeze out as much liquid as you can from them, discard the bowl of water, and then put the soft gelatin leaves into the gelatin and hot water. Leave to stand for a few minutes until everything begins to melt, then stir a little until everything is completely dissolved. Next, stir in the sugar, if using, until dissolved also.
Use the gelatin to fill each lime shell right up to the very top so it is almost overflowing. Let the shells cool down for about 5 minutes and then put them in the freezer for about 25 minutes to firm up (but not much longer or they will freeze!). They will set in the fridge also, but allow double the time.
Meanwhile, prepare the passion fruit by cutting it (or them) in half and scooping out the seeds onto paper towels. Dab the seeds dry with the towels and set them aside.
Halfway through the setting time (once the gelatins are just beginning to firm up), remove them and carefully arrange the passion fruit seeds on top. Arrange about six seeds on each one, keeping them away from the middle as you will be cutting them in half later, and lightly press each one down a little so it will set into the gelatin. Then return to the freezer until completely firm.
Once they are firm, remove them from the freezer. Then, using a sharp, nonserrated knife, cut them in half, straight down (again, lengthwise), and there you have it!
From Everyday Easy by Lorraine Pascale. Text copyright 2012 by Lorraine Pascale. Photographs copyright 2012 by Myles New. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Equipment: Kettle, small wide bowl, large tray or 2–3 12-cup muffin pans, heatproof measuring cup
On Wednesday morning, GoDaddy announced it won’t return to Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing car as the primary sponsor in 2016.
Later in the day, the Sprint Cup Series’ only female driver sent out a tweet expressing her optimism about the future and pledging her commitment to finishing out the 2015 season on a strong note.
Patrick was back on Twitter on Thursday evening, but her latest post had nothing to do with racing.
Check it out for yourself.