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The secret to doing something well is to do only just one task.  If I were really smart, I’d narrow my interests down to doing just one thing: I should really choose from among cooking, gardening, and my other hobby and focus on just one aspect of that.  I could become a master rosemary gardener, for example, or I could learn how to make truly exquisite lasagna.  I am, however, content to be less than the greatest at something--and, actually, that sort of brilliance tends to lead to recognition which I shun, shun, shun--and my trio of vocations have a synergy to them, so I remain a multi-tasker.

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Take, for example, Scott.  He’s thirty and he works in tech support.  He has a phone that connects him to the Internet, a laptop, a desktop computer at home, a desktop computer at work, a hands-free set for his hybrid car, a Facebook account, a frenzied fondness for simple flash games, an X-Box, a Wii, a freezer full of frozen dinners, and a tab at Rondo’s Pizza. Scott has never seen the sky.  I’m making his list now.

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Being a minimalist is all about editing your environment.  It’s very much about efficiency, about exerting control over the design of your life.  I cook, I garden, and I have my hobby. I limit my costs, I keep my environment clean, and I focus. I have no iPod, no cell phone, no computer, no checkbook, no bank account, no car, and no job.  I don’t even have a library card.  What I do have is the night sky at the community, and, occasionally, sinfully good dinners.   I think that too many people are breathtakingly unfocused.

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I have a plot of land in the community garden.  One weird quirk of mine is that I often garden at night. I love growing rosemary. Members of the community garden often use the fire pits to burn their green waste to ashes for their compost.  There’s something inspiring about sitting next to a flickering fire on a cool night, watching sparks fly off into the darkness. When I took the intermediate level cooking class, I brought sprigs of rosemary to class and shared them with the other students.

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Here’s the list I made for Mr. Kelly- You will need: 1 pickup truck 1 woodchipper (large) 1 shovel 1 pitchfork 40 lbs. steer manure 10 bales of hay (small) 200 lbs. garden soil 3 started rosemary plants A fire pit Access to a hose Spray nozzle for hose Bleach Access to a shower Clean clothes

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The first thing I learned in cooking class was to set out all of my ingredients and equipment ahead of time, and to read through the recipe twice--just to make sure that I thoroughly understood it before I started whisking and frying.  It avoids emergencies later on in the cooking process; you know you won’t have to hop out to the grocery store for milk half-way through.  This boils down to my wicked little hobby’s first maxim: Be prepared.  That reminds me of Mr. Kelly.

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My  name is Miranda and I am a minimalist.  I live in an abandoned office building on the twenty second floor.  I cook elsewhere, as my hobby permits.  The first meal that I remember actually savoring is the plate of macaroni that I ate outside on the sidewalk.  I was five.  It was summer. What was the first meal that you actually appreciated?