In yesterday’s installment of “adventures in remodeling,” we packed up our kitchen. For the next few weeks, we’ll be camping out in the living room, cooking with a single burner and a microwave. In other words, the same way we’ve been cooking for the past 20 years, but in the living room.
This process required us to pack up everything except a small collection of kitchen equipment that we’ll use in our living-room camp-out. I thought it was telling that our first two must-have choices were a martini glass (Tim) and a colander for pasta (me). What we’d want on a desert island.
As I packed up the various drawers of random kitchen equipment, I came across a couple of interesting items that I think I tossed in the boxes coming from my Dad’s house in 1997. I find them funny for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is: my father essentially didn’t cook. He knew how to make his own standard breakfast (two fried eggs over easy; burned* & buttered toast); a couple of standard dinners (hamburgers;** steak; roast chicken****); and vacation food (lobster*****). I don’t think he was unable to cook; he just liked those things and didn’t see any reason to expand his food horizons. When he and I traveled to China in 1981, he survived largely on packaged peanuts.
Anyway, here are some of the tools I inherited from Dad. First, a snicker for your inner 11-year-old:
If the meat baller weren’t enough, he also had a melon-baller, though from Spain or Mexico, so we miss the English-language snicker. I love “¡¡si!!” on the packaging. Whatever problem this tool is solving, we are clearly intended to be very happy that it has solved it.
I loved the idea of a culture so into eating sardines that it would develop a single tool for opening the sardine can and eating the contents.
What is this and why did Dad have one?
What is this and why did Dad have two of them?
Prehistoric food processor:
And finally, just a couple of cool, old, weathered kitchen tools:
In conclusion, show of hands, how many people think I should (1) learn how to use the white balance****** features of my camera and software; and (2) get some real lighting equipment:
* Intentionally. And when he ordered bacon in a restaurant, he would go to great pains to insist that it be burned as well.
** Classic divorced dad moment: he wanted to make hamburgers for us; little shits that we were, we*** wanted McDonalds. Dad: “OK, then, if you want a McDonalds hamburger, I’d be happy to step on your burger before I serve it to you.”
*** And by “we” I mean “Bruce.”
**** IIRC, Dad’s recipe called for dowsing the chicken in butter every five minutes while it roasted. No question, that was an excellent roast chicken.
***** Steamed; dipped in butter.
****** This has to do with the temperature of light, not some weird-ass reverse affirmative action.