The Grapes and Wrath

The grapes lay in a puddle on the kitchen counter. Connie put her hands on her hips and shook her head. She cocked her head and yelled over her shoulder. “Carl, what have I told you about using a dishtowel?” She tapped her foot on the floor as she waited for a response.Carl steeped around the corner. “Um, to use one?” His eyebrows were raised in honest confusion. Connie gestured toward the grapes. “Oh, that.” Carl grinned sheepishly at her.

“No sir, that boyish charm is not gonna get you out of this one,” she sternly replied. “Clean up this dang mess before I have to give you what for.”She couldn’t hold back any longer, and burst into laughter.

“See, I knew that charm would do the trick. Works every time!” Carl snagged a clean dishtowel from the cabinet beneath the sink and set the dripping colander of grapes in the sink before drying off the counter. He leaned in and kissed Connie on the cheek. “Sorry I forgot, babe.”

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Sadness in the Kitchen with Scandal

img_3935Jennifer wheeled around at a sudden noise, but it was only her cat, Scandal, rubbing his body against the vase of flowers that she’d brought home from work yesterday. The odd texture of the vase made a new and interesting sound against the softness of Scandal’s winter-white coat. She let the sponge fall from her hand into the basin of the kitchen sink and turned to pet her best friend.

He purred and arched his back into her hand, enjoying the caress. Jennifer thought to herself how she needed to spend more time at home and with this magnificent creature, but even thinking that brought a frown to her face and caused her hand to droop mid-stroke. Scandal spun round and ducked his head beneath her hand, but it was too late. Her mood had darkened, and now she only glumly slid her hand down his back from nose to tail a couple of times before sinking to the floor.

Jennifer’s depression was not news to Scandal, so he hopped down from the counter and curled up beside her leg, purring softly and steadily. The sound comforted Jennifer, and it wasn’t long before she found the energy to rise and pick Scandal up from the floor to replace him on the counter top next to her cleaning chores. He continued to purr, leaning over every now and then to bump her elbow with his furry side. She smiled at the comfort he was able to provide her.


Dinnertime

The kitchen is a wreck. Cutting boards, knives, bowls, measuring cups, vegetable trimmings, all scattered about with reckless abandon. 

She leans forward, elbows on the floured counter, hands cradling her face as the tears roll down without pause. The cat weaves his way between her feet, back and forth, rubbing and purring but offering scant comfort. 

A key rattles in the doorknob; it turns, and the front door admits her husband. He drops his keys in the dish on the table by the door and heads straight for the bathroom. 

She straightens up, wiping her eyes and nose with the back of her hand. 

He calls from the bathroom, “Dinner ready yet?”

“Not yet,” she answers. 

Wed Stories at TBP


Ghosts of Appliances Past

Our microwave died last week. I’m starting to think we should get a trailer to haul off scrap appliances. We got another, half the size and half the power–quite a change.You will be missed. If you’re keeping track, that’s January–dryer, February–refrigerator, and March–microwave. We’re on a roll here!

My parents gave us our old microwave for our first Christmas here in 2005. My mom’s always been big on gifting me small kitchen appliances. I lived on my own for probably three years before I first had a microwave (she bought it). And since I’m not a big coffee drinker, I didn’t have a coffee maker either, until she stayed the night at my apartment when she came up to interview someone (she bought one of those, too). I also mixed my bread dough by hand until I was 24-ish and received a stand mixer for Christmas (thanks, Mom). She also got us our Keurig, what, four years ago? Another Christmas gift.

Let’s see, she got me a pressure cooker about twelve years ago. It’s in their garage or kitchen now; I never got into pressure cooking. You can’t see what’s going on in there. She gave me a microwave rice cooker that I used the heck out of until she gave me an electric one. She gave me a lovely fluted Bundt pan, which I only got to make one cake in before my roommate stole it when she skipped out on our lease. That is a whole ‘nother story, my friends, and I should share it sometime. Do remind me.

It was marvelous visiting while they downsized their kitchenware. One of the benches at our dining room table is packed with cookie pans, cookie cutters, shaped cake pans. When the boys were little, they used to host cookie parties, where my stepdad would bake and all the kids would sit around the dining room table and decorate. Even after loading my and my sister down with cookie odds and ends, they still have a ton.

What else? Knives. I’ve received two full sets of kitchen knives, nothing fancy, but one had a cleaver that Ian and his brother enjoyed slicing Taco Bell sauce packets with one day. The other included the steak knives that we still use. And I got the old silverware when they bought a huge new matching set to replace the hodgepodge of forks, butterknives, and spoons that formed when they combined households.

It hasn’t just been my mother stocking my kitchen over the years. She rubbed off on my youngest brother. He gave me a Christmas-themed set of dinnerware when he was six or seven. All the mugs and bowls have broken and been tossed, but I still have one salad plate and three dinner plates, which I cherish and use year-round.

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Oh, I almost forgot about the crepe maker. One of those as well. It hasn’t seen the light of day in quite some time, but I saw a beautiful crepe cake on Create last night that’s begging to be made. The best crepe story I have is about her crepe maker, however. Keep in mind that my mom has a Kirby vacuum older than I am and a Bernina sewing machine nearly as old. Her crepe maker was quite ancient as well, and it sparked and caught fire while in my hand. I think that was the last time I made crepes, actually. Who can blame me? I finished the batch in a pan on the stovetop while Ian and my stepdad attempted to Frankenrepair the poor thing. No malfunctioning electrical device can be properly laid to rest until one of that pair has a go at it, and the repair is usually followed by a loudly vehement ‘I’m not using that thing!

I could have sworn I wrote a post about about my Sunbeam stand mixer. But alas! It seems I have not. I’m glad I checked the post I was going to link to, because the only thing about the mixer it contained was you should ask him about the Frankenmixer sometime. I must have tweeted. Nope, didn’t tweet, just wasted ten minutes searching there as well. Hm. Anyway, my stand mixer, the one my mom got me all those years ago, kicked the bucket the week of Thanksgiving in 2011. Ian decided he was going to fix it. And yes, technically, I guess he did? I mean, it ran after he got done–but only on one speed. Lightspeed. I’m not one for meringues or whipping cream, so I had to tell him that simply wouldn’t do. Or I might have loudly, vehemently proclaimed that ‘I’m not using that thing!‘ Sorry, babe. That Christmas I got a KitchenAid hand mixer. I love it, y’all. Never had a hand mixer before, always a stand, but I do love this little guy.

I think I may perhaps have had more Christmases involving appliance gifts than not. It’s cool, though. I like kitchen stuff.

But I am amused that the photo I chose is of a plate.