Everybody else is doing it...

This began as a way to assuage Vickie's curiosity, and because everyone else out there seemed to be jumping on the bandwagon after the hilarious kitchen post by Belly-Timber, but
now I've been tagged by Ilva at Lucullian Delights for 'The Kitchen meme,' so no more procrastinating! I started this post a while ago, but it took me some time to clean my kitchen (far too messy to let others see!) and since the parents were here this weekend (lots of good food to post soon) it was the perfect excuse. So, this is where I do all of my creating...er...recipe following.

Meme Question #1: Show us your kitchen, and tell us what it is about it that ref
lects your personality.

When Loving Boyfriend and I decided to move in together, this house (we're renters) happened to be one that had just popped up in the ads. Loving boyfriend loves to tell the story of how when we walked in the door, he had to pick my tongue up off the floor and cap a hand over my mouth so that the landlords wouldn't charge us an arm and two legs for it because they could tell I was taking it, no matter what. Well, I knew it was the one as soon as I saw this kitchen.

Living in many rentals over the years as an almost-poverty stricken student, I've had some especially crappy kitchens. Ones where you could turn around from the stove and band every extending body part on some counter or another. The list of reasons I've hated every other kitchen is long: No storage space, no counter space, no chopping space, no dishwasher, sharing it with 5 other people, etc. etc. etc.

So this is like having a newly remodeled rental dream kitchen...sort of. It's delightfully spacious, has lots of storage (though, one could always have more!) space, room for my chopping block, and best, our roommate is never home so I just take up as much space as I want and pretend that his one cabinet doesn't really exist :) It fits my personality as much as it can for a rental kitchen for all these reasons, but mostly because it's stuffed full of things I love. I can't complain, really, about anything…though I haven’t yet figured out where my newest purchase – my Kitchenaid mixer – my dream kitchen appliance that I haven’t even had long enough to use yet – should go. Right now it’s just sitting in the middle of the counter so I can look at it and drool and imagine all the goodies I will make…once I pick out all the little Styrofoam pieces still stuck to it and figure out where it’s going to live permanently.The kitchen does have it's little idiosyncrasies - don't we all? It took us almost all of a year to buy an oven thermometer to discover why cakes didn't rise and we burned almost everything...the oven is about 110 degrees too hot (no kidding). But we've worked around that. The only other complaint I've had is that the mice used to get into one of the cupboards last year (we nixed that pretty quick - EW...but they're not as bad as the rats we've had in other rooms - though thank goodness not in kitchen...but that's another story). Oh, and we have burn marks on the counter...and the floor....

This is quite a story...we let one of our graduate school friends (he has his PhD now, believe it or not) asked us if he could live with us for a month (it's a four bedroom house) - he ended up staying for almost 6 months. Just about 2 weeks after he moved in with us, W. (fitting, no?), came home a bit toasty one very late evening – or perhaps, very early morning - and decided he was going to make some pasta. W., PhD that he is, fell asleep on the couch after he stuck the pasta in the pan on the stove. Now, unfortunately, this was before we’d bought the oven thermometer and had just that evening taken the bat
teries out of the smoke detector – it was so hot that just having the oven on was enough to set them off – and forgotten to put them back. (I know, I know, this is why we bought the thermometer!) W. woke up to the house filled with smoke (we were sleeping soundly in our room, completely unaware), ran into the kitchen to see the pot on the stove bright red, and what did he do? Grabs it, and pulls it off the stove! Dripping molten aluminum all over the counter, the stove, and the floor! He didn’t wake us up, either. Just left a note on the counter for us saying – “I was cooking pasta…and…I’ll pay for it.” The house smelled AWFUL.

We banned W. from cooking past 9pm, or if he’d had a single beer, for the rest of the time he was living with us…not even toast, not even using the microwave. The best part of the story? When W. was explaining what happened to us…

“Well, usually when this happens, the smoke alarm goes off and wakes me up before the pan melts!”

I almost killed him. USUALLY???? I still want to kill him sometimes. I guess a PhD doesn’t mean “piled higher and deeper” with common sense!

Anyway, that’s my kitchen, short story long.

Here's the rest of the meme:

2) Open a cupboard, take a picture, and tell us what's inside.

This was hard. These are my three favorite drawers:

Spice drawer: this is right by the stove and a great way to store spices!

Goodie drawer: for all my fun food 'finds' - dried morrels, candied violets, neat spices like smoked paprika, truffles, and lavender.

Tea and chocolate drawer: A perfect combination!

3) Your favorite kitchen appliance: The kitchenaid mixer - I haven't used it, but I know it will be!

4) Take out your favorite ingredients, the one you always have stored. This is hard. A very short list would include: Tellicherry peppercorns, heirloom tomatoes (when in season), garlic, shallots, steel-cut oats, olive oil, basalmic vinegar, canned tomatoes (when tomatoes aren't in season), coffee and dark chocolate.

and finally,

5) Your favorite cooking/baking recipient

This would have to be the Kitchenaid again...I don't have any nice casserole dishes or great pans (yet! someday!)!

Now I have tag four people...do I know four people who haven't done this? Whose kitchen am I dying to see? How about...

Brownie Points
la dolce vita
Zen Foodism
Gluten Free Girl

Tag! You're it!

11 comments from you:

ilva said...

You are just too funny and make me laugh at bedtime as usual but you also give me an inferiority complex-where I write three words you make great descriptions! AND you seem to keep such order in your drawers....sigh...

vlb5757 said...

I have to say, I almost E mailed you to find out if you had fallen off the edge of the West coast out there. It's been since forever since you posted. After reading that your parents came to visit, I understand. I think your kitchen is huge!! I understand about the renting blues. Until we bought this house we rented forever. I am so glad to own my very own matchbox kitchen. LOL! You will love the Kitchen Aid after you pick all the junk off. I use mine often. It's 7 years old and still looks brand new. They are great!

michelle said...

Hi Ilva!
Nah, I just had already written my whole story about my roommate, so it was a perfect excuse to use it! And I'll post something special for you to see tomorrow so you know I just 'pretend' to be organized!

Hi Vickie - I know! Things have been soooo busy at work, I've barely had time to look at everyone else's blogs, much less write my own! I have lots of food pics from this weekend to post soon, so I'll try to post more often! I think I might just break in my kitchenaid tonight too...

Anonymous said...

Love that periwinkle color! ANd I am totally jealous over the quantity of lighting. My kitchen has three crappy lights and none of them do a good job of lighting the sink or chopping block.

btw, i finally posted the recipe for the blueberry habanero chutney

Angie said...

This is so weird...but I'm certain I've been in your kitchen before...years ago when I was a student at UO! I had some friends who lived pretty far out from campus in a 4 bedroom house. They hosted an 80's party and I have a picture of a group of us standing right in front of the sink. That shelf above the window is filled with empty beer bottles and the cupboard to the right had a door on it...I'd be surprised if it wasn't the same house!

michelle said...

Hi Kitchenmage - Yes, it's nice that our landlords didn't stick with white walls, and I actually like the color quite a bit, though if I had my way it would be something different, I think. The lighting is good for doing stuff, but casts shadows because the lights are behind the big space for prepwork! And it definitely doesn't work well for pictures!

Hi Angie - thanks for visiting! I've actually had another woman tell me she's been to parties at my house too, but what a small world! The landlords lived here for four years before we rented from them (they took the cabinet doors off), but I think it was definitely a rental before...and yep, it has 4 bedrooms, is on the south end of town near PC, and an enormous back yard...perfect for parties!

McAuliflower said...

Well, sure enough you do have a purple kitchen!

My kitchen is a silly hopeless part of our house. I'm kind of amazed that we have counters (rental and all, the kitchen does really feel just slapped together)!

Thanks for the tag. Warning though, it may take me a bit to get around to it!

mrs d said...

Molten aluminum???? YIKES!

I love your space. I covet your space. Ah... for a real counter!

michelle said...

Hi Mrs D! Yep, it was pretty scary - I'm glad I slept through the whole thing (sort of!). I do love the kitchen, even if it's not my own. you'll get yours some day...I'm sure that your parents love having you so close to them.

michelle said...

Hi McAuliflower! Sorry I missed your comment the first time! Yes, our kitchen is very purple! Well, we'll just have to do some cooking together I think - even if your kitchen is 'slapped together' as you say, I've seen some of the beautiful things you create there!

Shauna said...

This is great. I'm working on my photographs for this right now. (It's a gorgeous autumn day in Seattle. I have to take advantage of the sunlight!) Thanks for tagging me.