Entrepreneurial spirit, too little too late & spilled beer

I just returned from the village store. I took a few cold beers from their fridge, the coldest beers around. I like that. It’s summer. Three beers. Having a store in the village rocks. It is convenient for me, only a … Continue reading

Feast Days and the Holidays, no not the Vacation kind

Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, you  know, celebratory days like those. Observed or not by those who do or don’t are still times during the year when you hang out with friends & family. Those are also the typical feast days when tri-annual big dish productions are assembled and served up on stylish purpose set tables. The enjoyment is immense, even the little green veggie balls from Brussels (I love’m).

Image iStockphoto

Typical holiday turkey treatment - iStophoto image

Sometimes it is a total blast, other times not so much, depending on how the familial relationships are holding up or not at the time of whatever particular feast day is being feted; also dependent on how loose ones tongue gets.

I’m divorced. I’m in a wonderful but long distance relationship and cooking a big bird for myself would be silly and  just does not have the same ‘feel’ you get when you’re putting your entire kitchen and all of your cooking tricks to mouth-watering good use. It’s more of an envious feeling, not a lonely feeling, no. It’s not even a hungry feeling. And perhaps it just rises to the surface when I find that I still crave the taste of carved bird.

Not me - image curtesy of http://www.menshealth.co.uk

It is almost embarrassing to admit but I’ve nearly forgotten what a big brown juicy turkey actually tastes like. Really. It has been nearly a decade now and I still have a tough ‘food‘ time around the feast day celebrations because I don’t have someone close by whom I can cook for. It’s been that long since I’ve built my special turkey stuffing and then lovingly pushed the trussed bird into the hot oven, that long since I’ve whipped up tasty potatoes dishes and experimented with various vegetable dishes and gravies to die for.

Point is, these meals are simply more enjoyable when shared with others. Being single is a drawback that way; after years of traditional feast days, belt loosening meals and all that make the days table time memorable.

wild turkeys

three wild birds - image curtesy of http://www.outdoorlife.com

I’m not complaining nor crying in my soup. I just want me some succulent and crispy skinned turkey, mashed potatoes, delectable gravy, home made cranberry sauce, creamy brussel sprouts, honey thyme carrots, a wonderful salad and perhaps some desert.

Oh wait, this weekend it’s slabs of ham, legs of lamb or rabbit bits …

bon appetite

The Kitchen – The Work Shop

The Kitchen – It is either a place to throw together some good old KD, nuke something in the microwave or an inspired cook’s workshop where sumptuous meals are created and always the place where mouthwatering aromas emanate, kicking endorphins into overdrive.

The kitchen ‘is’ the households’ central nerve centre. Its importance ranks before any other room in the house, be it the living room, the adjoining dinning room, master bedroom or the bathrooms.

Well, ok, even though I religiously avoided it for the first 20 or so years of my life, I’ve come to love working in the kitchen. Pretty much any kitchen too.

I love what the kitchen stands for. It means good food, great company and a wee bit too much wine with dinner. If you’re not broke, like to try new things, don’t eat out or order in a lot, your kitchen represents the ultimate horn of plenty. In this temple to things that taste good I must meet at least two daily deadlines; sometimes at the drop of a hat.

At it’s stations, countless delectable culinary creations are cobbled together, new recipes are born and mistakes quietly or humiliatingly and in-front of suddenly mean looking dinner guests slipped into the rubbish bin before reaching for a nearby phone.

While I admit that I don’t prepare cookbook recipes the same way twice and promulgate improvisation to be very alive and kicking in this kitchen, the same daring and at time cunning manipulation of ingredients inevitably gets the better of me when I try my ham-fisted mitts at baking.

Disaster always lurks when I attempt this science like discipline, something I had little interest for in school. Lucky for me my ‘better half’ handles that oven trick with the greatest of ease, much to my bellies delight.

Consider that the kitchen as we know it got its start as bit of fire in a hole in the ground. As long as there is fire i.e. gas range, barbeque or fire pit, a creative or suddenly challenged cook is capable of producing roughly the same result as a chef styling away in a grandiosely appointed kitchen.

And who doesn’t dream of that magazine cover version of the home kitchen? Not being one able to boast about any skill or much experience in the renovation field, the kitchen is very likely the only room of a house that I would even consider remodeling or sinking some serious coin into but…

The Work Shop – When you compare kitchens to wood workshops and avid cooks to equally avid woodworkers, it is not at all surprising that the obsessive natures of these enthusiasts are pretty much identical. If I had a well-appointed woodwork shop I’d probably argue long and hard to have it situated right next to the kitchen. These creative spaces share much in common. For one, they share the same humble beginnings in the mists of time.

Let me illustrate. We already know what the modern kitchen evolved from and thus it’s no great leap to consider that the modern woodwork shop started millions of years ago as a pointy chunk of rock.

Depending on your skill levels and the quality of your chosen tools, the cook or a woodworker can conjure up some heavenly and amazing feasts or blunder along to another obviously rough and borderline useful bird housing project, whacked together with so many too big nails.

Consider for a moment the matter of aromas of cooking foods and the fragrances of raw woods. Spices and cooking aromas drift from the kitchen through the house while the pungent scents of exotic woods fills the workshop during various processes that shape the end result.

From custom cutting boards or work tables, rolling pins using rare woods to hand carved wooden spoons’, is it any surprise that these objects fashioned in the workshop end up in the kitchen?

Then there is the little matter of tools’n things; read gadgets.
Something that will probably go on for as long as man survives on this blue marble is trying to satisfy his unending need for tools. You can never have too many tools in these arenas of production. And the suppliers of fine utensils and tools are all to keenly aware of this.

Offer up a new tool or utensil and rabid cooks and crafts persons alike snap it up, before its real purpose is even revealed. It looks neat and you don’t yet own one of them.

Just think about it. How many tools, utensils or gadgets claim storage space in your kitchen/workshop? The ones you ‘never ever’ use, the ones that you will never ever use. Ever. A handful at least. A rack or wall full in the extreme cases of ‘need-one-of-eachitis’.

I could go on, escalating the simple function of these spaces, spiraling out of control as I try to keep up with the latest offerings of the innumerable glossy magazines that cater to glassy eyed people like me. But I’m getting off right here.

Got to go stir the soup with that certain wooden spoon (sorry, I didn’t make that one), however I did build that soup in that food related work shop.

Disdainfully yours … dishes

sundry extraneous fascinations

•take time to clean up
•dirty dishes are easy to create
•are handy to use in the kitchen
©myronunrau iphoneographythis©

dirty pot

•accumulate non stop in a kitchen where food is prepared regularly, not so much in kitchens of those who order out or go out to find their daily fare
•take up valuable kitchen counter space, more slowly if you have lots of space, more rapidly if you have a mini kitchen
•begin to smell if left too long on their own, the may contain things but don’t do much else
•don’t wash themselves, you must do that for them and yourself and your guests
•are useless on their own
•are best hidden inside dishwashers, if you have one
©myron unrau iphoneographythis©

Dirty Soup Ladle

•must be washed or thrown out if you have paper plates and such
•can be dried, but unlike laundry can not be hung out to dry
•can be left to dry in dish rack, dish rack can double as dish cupboard
•glassware breaks more frequently than plates
•bowls tend to chip more often than plates
•cheap dishes don’t last
•plates don’t always break or shatter when dropped onto kitchen floor, depending on hardness factor of your floor
•sometime the piece you wish would break doesn’t break, even if you introduce it to the floor
•dishes sometimes find their way under the couch or under your bed
•your coffee cup does not have to be washed every time you’ve used it, unless you like using milk or creamer in every cup

©myron unrau iphoneographythis©

Danger Knife in Water

•cutlery will cut or stab you while hiding beneath the suds in your water filled sink
•will scald you if you use hot water but forgot how hot is is
•can put you in a sour mood
•just thinking about doing dishes causes procrastination
•make you want a clean kitchen, someone elses clean kitchen
•make you envy magazine kitchen images
•cause you to avoid your kitchen
•drink liquids out of inappropriate containers
•are not entertaining
©myronunrau iphoneogrpahythis©

Cutlery

•do not make you hungry
•are invisible when cleaned and put away
•don’t always match, bachelors don’t often care about that, girlfriends of bachelors often do
•stack well if one is organized and avoiding doing them for the time being
•can take an inordinate amount of time, if procrastination has been involved and you’ve run out of things to use
•can shrivel up your hands
•cause you to use rubber gloves
•make you feel oddly happy, if you have a chip free whole matching set
•keep your recently cooked meal warm if you heated the plates beforehand
•keep you coming back to the sink, cupboard, kitchen to use them

©myronunrau iphoneographythis©

Kitchen Sink

•knives are frikiin’ dangerous, either the dull ones or the really sharp ones
•forks can put holes in your hand if grabbed improperly
•spoons stir, measure and spoon things
•pasta bowl sets rock
•soup bowls should be large
•pots and pans are required
•baking tins and pans are good for baking things and blackening
•pizza pans can be holy

©myronunrau iphoneographythis©

The Making of a Dirty Pot

•plastic does not have the same feel as porcelain or glass
•if you love food, you have way too many dishes in your kitchen
•if you like entertaining, you most likely have even more dishes than the average human
•you know you are a bachelor if your camping dishes sneak into your kitchen cupboards
•expensive dishes do the same things as cheap dishes
•cheap dishes don’t last as long as expensive dishes
•sometimes you can get expensive dishes cheaply
•every dish must be washed

… I better get in there and do my dishes, again.