Wildflowers @Club Daisy

Straight from Aaji - Tools of sustainable living

by Tanvi Pinjarkar

My grandmother's tips on wicker baskets and sustainable living

One of my favourite things to do with wicker baskets, is a lot of DIYs. They multitask in organizing cosmetics at my mostly messy dressing table, or be a sieve to vegetables (especially these days when vegetables need to be washed till their colors fade away! #hateyoucorona), or simply to keep flowers at the center table. These really get the creativity out of you.

A few days back, I was just wondering if I can keep my half-opened tea and coffee packets inside this nice big round basket with a lid.

Sorry, I just cannot have the same roast of coffee or same flavor of tea leaves everyday. I prefer a switch every now and then. It was a chaotic table right from CCD's medium roast to KC Roasters'  dark roast to Starbucks' Blonde to raw Darjeeling tea leaves, to Kenyan and Colombian coffee that dad fondly got for me (when he was allowed to travel in December 2019, sigh), to freshly ground coffee from a nearby Kerala coffee store!

While I was lost in those thoughts and loving the sight of all these kept on the table, here comes Aaji.

My grandmother's tips on wicker baskets and sustainable living

Granny is a staunch book reader, and loves sharing excerpts from her recent reads... how Arjuna played his part in the Mahabharata, Ravana is not as bad, or poetic phrases about love, irony of life, or similar deep thoughts. She also loves to learn a lot of English vocabulary along with her staple Marathi and Hindi literature and wearing sarees with ditsy floral prints in pastels and calling them 'English colors'!

You can say she's quite the modern grandmother, who also keeps me grounded with her good old wisdom! So passing by in the midst of my organizing mode, she asked-

"What are you doing with so many packets?"

"Just some Marie Kondo" I said, with an intention to have a playful conversation with her.

"What? I only heard of Marie biscuits."

"Nothing granny, just organizing! Btw Marie Kondo is an influencial personality, who helps people with decluttering and organizing their spaces with this whole new approach of sparking joy"

"Really? There is a profession for that?"

"Yes, it's really effective, I'll show you her videos some day, I think you will enjoy them."

"Okay, but why are you keeping these pouches in a roti basket?"

"Ummm, these are half opened, so need a lid to store them. The basket has a lot of space to keep them together."

"Do you know these baskets exist since I was as old as you, or even before that? We used to store rotis and bhakaris in it. Happy to see that these are again available in the market."

"Yes I am aware this is a roti basket, but we already have a hotcase, so I thought it will feel nice and rustic to store coffee and tea in it instead."

"Good idea, but try storing the roti in it too, you'd like it better than the hotpot. Back then we would make the rotis quite early in the morning and store it through the day. Even bread stayed fresh in these. You noticed how these are well ventilated?

The other day, you avoided the last roti in your hotpot. It was moist and stuck to the tissue at the bottom. Mostly because there's no air going in-and-out of that steel box. In the basket if you just put a muslin cloth, you are good to go! Wicker baskets keep it warm yet avoids making it soggy."

'Wow granny, you're in the mood to share scientific reasoning instead of Ramayana for a change! Haha, nice!'

"Just a little add on to your 'Marie Kondo decluttering', you can call it 'Aaji's  wisdom of good homes' "

We shared a little laugh and she went on to see her favorite TV series with some Tulsi Chai (because immunity is everything right now isn't it?)

As she was sipping her chai, I finished transferring those half cut packets into small glass bottles, and emptying the roti basket to actually use for hot rotis. Umm, hotpot just went into one of the unreachable cabinets.

I thought, let's listen to my modern old school granny.. I'm calling it 'Granny's tools of sustainable living"


Wicker sure is a multitasker. Read here to know various uses of these wicker baskets in our everyday modern living, and how these beautiful baskets have proved to be timeless products!

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