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Crevolyn Wiley: This year, try decluttering your kitchen
Plus, recipes for slow cooker cork and coconut pound cake
Crevolyn Wiley columnist

Happy 2019! January traditionally seems like the time to organize and purge our homes of all the unnecessary items that have cluttered our lives for the past year.

Have you watched the new Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo?” This show is based on her book about her particular method of radically decluttering the home. Her system suggests organizing the home by category and identifying what “sparks joy.”

If something doesn’t spark joy, apparently it needs to go out the door. On the show, she comes in as a consultant to lead the families through the decluttering process of their entire homes. She’s the calm wind in the storm of household chaos. I’m mildly obsessed with this show at the moment.

Not to the point, however, that I’ve taken over the whole house decluttering project but in small doses, her methods are spot on.

The hardest-working room in the home is the kitchen. This is where Marie Kondo’s method works great. Category organization in the kitchen makes perfect sense. Experts say that there should be four zones in the kitchen: preparation, cooking, storage and cleaning.

In a nutshell, wherever the task is performed is where the storage of like items should be located. Clearly identifying these zones will allow your food preparation and clean up to be more efficient. According to Marie, an organized room brings joy to your life. And only things that bring you joy should have a place in your home.

With all of this whirl going around about the joy of decluttering I saw this quote on social media and had to share: “I tried the Japanese method of decluttering where you hold every object that you own and if it does not bring you joy, you throw it away. So far I have thrown out all the vegetables, the electric bill, the scale, the mirror and the treadmill.” So true, right?

I’ll leave you with a couple of recipes that are sure to spark joy. This pork tenderloin in the slow cooker is the thing dreams are made of. Easy prep, easy clean-up and delicious.

Coconut lovers unite, this coconut cream cheese pound cake is the best. Just a quick tip: dusting the tube pan with sugar instead of flour after greasing results in the best crunchy pound cake crust ever.

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at

Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker


  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup red wine (tested with Cupcake Merlot)
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste


Place pork tenderloin in the slow cooker. Be sure and use a liner for easy clean up. Sprinkle the dry onion mix and minced garlic over the meat, turning the pork to coat. Pour water and wine around the meat and sprinkle with pepper. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Coconut Cream Cheese Pound Cake


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and sprinkle with sugar a 10-inch tube pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then stir in the coconut extract. Mix in the flour and baking powder until just moistened; then stir in coconut. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife (or wooden skewer) inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

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