Kitchen Confidential

It is no secret that I am a stranger to anything that happens in the kitchen. I have grown accustomed to checking the date on every single item I pull out of the fridge after learning the hard way (many times). I call having cereal for dinner “cooking.” I don’t know the difference between broiling and baking. My friend Ben even made fun of me one morning when I read the instructions on the back of a package of bacon before frying it. This isn’t to say I can’t cook – I’ve made a few dishes on various occasions, and when I put my mind to it, they turn out pretty good. The thing is, I don’t really enjoy it enough to put in the effort. My standards for food are so low (I am perfectly happy with sandwiches and cereal for most meals) that I don’t feel inclined to do much above and beyond the easiest thing.

When Brian and I went through the kitchen the other day and divided our belongings, these are the things we decided I owned:

– microwave (1)
This was given to us as an apartment-warming gift from friends who somehow ended up with two microwaves.
– toaster (1)
We actually don’t know who bought this, but Brian let me have it, which was nice of him.
– pint glasses (13)
Most of these were pilfered from pubs in Ireland during the summer of 2003, when I was “studying” abroad.
– cereal bowls (4)
I’ve had these since college. They’re the best bowls for cereal I’ve ever used.
– small plates (3)
My mom gave me four of these as a gift when I moved into my first apartment. A couple years ago, we found out one didn’t bounce.
– ice cream scoops (3)
I bought one plain one for myself, then my mom gave me one with a cow on it, and Talia gave me an awesome green polka-dot one.
– apple slicer/corers (2)
I have absolutely no idea why I have two of these.
– cheese slicer (1)
Can’t live without it.
– bottle opener shaped like a frog (1)
Best birthday present ever – thanks, Amanda!
– cupcake/muffin tins (2)
One regular-sized, one for minis
– cookie sheet (1)
I do love to bake.

I thought this was pretty telling, not to mention funny. I was talking to my mom on the phone about the move, telling her about splitting things up, and she asked me what I needed to buy for my new place. I said, “Well, most of the kitchen stuff. It was funny, Mom. We split all of our kitchen things up the other day and guess what was in my pile?”

“Let me guess.” She said, “an ice cream scoop, a bottle opener…”

Silence.

“How am I doing so far?”

“I’ll talk to you later, Mom.”

So I decided to take matters into my own hands today. I needed to buy dishes and silverware. I also needed a cutting board, a cutlery tray, dish towels, and tons of other things, but I decided to focus on dishes and silverware today. Baby steps. After about an hour of shopping around at Target and Ikea, I ended up in front of the discount silverware section at Ross, hyperventilating. How does a person choose silverware? And how do they expect you to decide when you can’t actually see all of the sets, since some boxes are hidden behind others that aren’t the same? And if any of you happened to see someone standing in front of the silverware section for over ten minutes, would you think they were a total nut job?

Just reliving this experience is making my heartbeat and breathing quicker. I left the store with a set made by a company that promises “superior craftsmanship and design” and called it good. There are a few too many swoopy-curlicues on the handles for my liking, but I made it out alive. And with not only silverware, but dishes, dish towels and mixing bowls, too!

Baby steps.

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2 Comments

Filed under I am not making this up.

2 responses to “Kitchen Confidential

  1. My mom is so freaking smart about these sorts of things. That’s what moms are for.

    Here are her silverware tips:

    Find ones that are a nice weight in your hand. Not like bricks, but not about to fly away either.

    If the ends are too pointy, they stab into your hand when you are cutting. Clever.

    Some silverware just will.not.stay on the side of the plate. Annoying. Too curvy can sometimes lead to this issue.

    I’m a fan of 4 tines instead of 3 on forks. 3 tines make me feel kind of cave man, plus they don’t really work.

    Nice work on the baby steps. Though not an excellent cook by any means, I love shopping for kitchen stuff. I will hold your hand, in person or via phone, any day.

    Hell, I have popover pans and a Calvin Klein creamer pitcher (Ross, clearance)!

  2. I know you can’t feel it and play with it, but there’s lots of really good stuff online. Amazon and Overstock are good places.
    Also, this guy has lots of good advice:
    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/07/01/the-minimalist-kitchen-what-you-need-and-dont-need-to-set-up-your-first-workable-home-kitchen/

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