For years, I have coveted a Dutch oven.  They’re big and heavy, and I figured they would be great for making soup and stew.  (As some of you know, I cook one thing on Sunday and eat it all week, so in the winter I live on alternating weeks of chicken noodle and beef barley soup.  Thus, a big pot is especially appealing).

But I always held back because they’re expensive.  Until this Black Friday.

There she was—eight quarts of beautiful rusty red cast iron so heavy I could barely lift her.

The Dutch oven wasn’t on my list, and I didn’t really need it, but at fifty percent off, it was now or never.

I took her home, and the next morning I made the best beef and barely soup of my life

I was giddy. 

I needed a big space for her, so I immediately emptied out the bottom shelf of the pantry and enshrined her there.

Fast forward to mid-December.  I was at Wal-Mart, and came across the aisle of Instapots.

Instapots are multipurpose pressure cookers.  They’re all the rage online, and I have a coworker who absolutely loves hers.  She told me you can make yogurt, short ribs, spaghetti, and even cheesecake by dumping all the ingredients into the pot, clamping it shut and forgetting about it.  Instead of slow cooking a beef stew in my gorgeous Dutch oven for eight hours, I could whip it up in an Instapot in forty-five minutes.

On impulse, I bought it.  My Dutch oven had worked out so well, so why not?

It was late, so when I brought the Instapot home I temporarily stored it on the floor just outside my kitchen.

The next day at work, I told my coworker about my purchase.  She was thrilled.  It was so fast!  So easy!  So versatile!  So fun!

I came home and saw the Instapot on the floor.  I waited for the euphoria I had felt when I bought the Dutch oven, but nothing.

I told myself this was because I didn’t know how to use the Instapot yet.  I’d do some research on the internet, find some recipes.  Also, I didn’t have room for it.  The Dutch oven had taken up all available pantry space.  Finding space for the Instapot was going to require a full-scale kitchen decluttering.

It would be great.  I’d Marie Kondo the kitchen and find both joy and a place for my Instapot.  And then I’d spend my Sundays making fast! easy! fun! stew and yogurt.

Except I didn’t. 

Between Christmas and New Year’s, I had two four day weekends and nothing but time on my hands.  Every time I thought about decluttering my kitchen, I went to the movies instead.  And every time I thought about researching new recipes online, I read a novel.

I went back to work in January with the Instapot still unopened on the floor.

Suddenly, I had problems.  I had a cluttered kitchen.  I constantly tripped over the Instapot.  I had a boring to-do list:  read instructions, research recipes, make yogurt from scratch.

The Instapot had become a major pain.  Until the solution hit me.

Reader, I returned the Instapot.  My problems went poof!

My kitchen was no longer cluttered, now that I didn’t need to find room for another huge gadget.    With no directions or new recipes to decipher, I had plenty of time for movies and novels. And as for the yogurt, I bought a six pack of Dannon with Fruit on the Bottom and called it a day.

My lovely Dutch oven and I are perfectly content to simmer for eight hours on Sundays.

Now that’s what I call an InstaFix.