My kitchen is pissing me off. It might look light and white and nice, but it’s a big con. It’s really a death trap. And not because of my poor hygiene standards … well, not just because of my poor hygiene standards. I know I shouldn’t be complaining. I know I should be grateful for my light, white, nice kitchen. I know people have to cook on dirt floors in Third World countries. I know. I know. I know. But I swear, it’s killing me. No, I’m not being melodramatic. OK, I am, but terrible things do happen there. Things that hurt me. Things that make me cry (that might have been the onions in my easy-peasy meat pies, but it sounds good). Things like …
1. The appliance cupboard is piled precariously high – like a found-object sculpture – with spice grinders, food processors, stick blenders, George Foreman grills, omelette makers, pie makers and other electrical crap. Invariably, the piece of eletrical crap I want is at the bottom of the pile. I am not a patient person, so my method of removing the piece of electrical crap at the bottom of the pile is not to carefully unpack the cupboard. I just tug and tug until it comes out. This usually means something big and heavy is dislodged and falls on my toe. And I dance around the kitchen swearing a lot.
2. My benchtop is 230cm long, but I never have more than 10cm of space to do my cooking prep. That’s because the rest of the bench is covered in the Sprogs’ homework, a worm farm, a giant pottery bowl full of bills, a kitchen drainer full of dishes, a recipe book holder, chook eggs, dirty plates and cups and the chopping board from breakfast. It doesn’t matter how often I remove the crap, it returns like herpes. I am not a patient person, so my way of clearing space on the benchtop is to push everything to one side. This usually means something big and heavy is dislodged and falls on my toe. And I dance around the kitchen swearing a lot.
3. My fridge is jammed with leftovers, half-empty jars of pickles, olives, spice pastes, jam, all my flour – due to an insect plague in the pantry – cheese, apples etc. I can NEVER find anything in it. Not even an extra-large container of butterscotch pudding to placate Husband when Sprog 2 eats half his meat pie when he’s not looking. I am not a patient person, so I search for it by frantically shuffling everything around. This usually means something big and heavy is dislodged and falls on my toe. And I dance around the kitchen swearing a lot. Or a large tub of feta in oil falls on the floor and smashes open, and I stare in horror as a large puddle of oil spreads across the floor. Oil is not easy to mop up from floors. So I dance around the kitchen swearing a lot, which adds lots of oily footprints to the disaster area.
4. My pantry is jammed with spaghetti and rice and rice crackers and tinned tomatoes and spice jars and baked beans and 10 different types of breakfast cereal and 2 litre bottles of grape juice and sparkling mineral water and assorted Sprog snack items. I can NEVER find anything in it. I am not a patient person, so I search for things by frantically shuffling everything around. This usually means something big and heavy is dislodged and falls on my toe. And I dance around the kitchen swearing a lot. Or a packet of hundreds and thousands I haven’t tiger-tailed falls on the floor and they scatter to the four winds. Either way, I dance around the kitchen swearing a lot. Then I bend down to clean it up and forget I’ve left the waist-high pantry door open, stand up, smash my head on the corner and do heaps more swearing and dancing.
5. My Tupperware cupboard is piled high with, obviously, Tupperware. Plus every takeaway container we’ve ever had delivered to the Household, and various other plastic items I’ve been magnetically drawn to buy at Woolies on sale. Every time I open the Tupperware cupboard, the entire contents fall out on my feet. Fortunately, they are not heavy. But I still dance around the kitchen swearing a lot. Then I throw them all back in, higgledy-piddledy, and quicky shut the door to prevent them cascading out again. Until I next need a Tupperware container, open the door and have the entire contents fall on my feet.
6. Husband has man flu at the moment (to be fair, he’s calling it a bad head cold), so he’s not been fulfilling his manly duty of scrubbing all the pots and pans and casserole dishes that won’t fit in the dishwasher. I’ve been having to do it. And it’s been filling me with deeeeeeep resentment. (Does something biological occur in a long-term relationship that supresses sympathy for a sick partner?) I’m not a patient person, so I never bother putting on rubber gloves. Which means I’m getting little cracks and eczema patches on and between my fingers. I forget all about them until I start cutting chillies or juicing lemons. Then I dance around the kitchen swearing a lot.
Now I know most of the above problems aren’t entirely the kitchen’s fault. They could easily be solved by putting things away (properly) in the first place. And – like my diet – I keep promising myself I’ll try harder next time. But – like my diet – I always fail. Because I’m just not that sort of person. I’m great with the big picture, hopeless on smaller details. I think I had minions in a past life. Minions who did all the small stuff for me. I would LOVE minions in this life. Minions would be cool.
What do you hate about your kitchen? I have a friend who wants to rip his kitchen out so his boyfriend can’t leave his dirty cereal plate in it every morning. Seeing that dirty cereal plate in the sink every morning drives him absolutely MENTAL. My kitchen would give him a seizure. So, for the sake of his health, we always meet in restaurants in the eastern suburbs.