Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Regifting My Kitchen

by Judith Evans Thomas

Two years ago, my husband and I decided (read I decided) that we wouldn't downsize. Yes our children are grown and gone and yes our home is WAY too big for the two of us and our lab, but I love the house, I love the land and I love not having nebby neighbors. Besides, at that time our daughter was about to get married and she wanted to have the reception at home. Not realizing that the cateror would bring in his own kitchen, we started redesigning ours. Stupid timing and halfway through the design process we threw in the proverbial kitchen towel. Couldn't be done in the time frame we had.

Fast forward to October of 2006 when I finally had the energy to think about having men sporting tool belts invade my space. I started humming the tune of the 1978 Village People hit song YMCA . Maybe this would be fun! Construction guys are hot. I let my fantasy carry me through finishing the plans and hiring the crew. Some of them are cute but what's with the wad of chewing tobacco they all have stuck between their lip and gum? And worse yet, why do they all have beer bellies? Oh well. We scheduled work to begin sometime in February.

And then our daughter and son in law got pregnant. With the baby due in June (in Philadelphia) our construction schedule had to ratchet up ....which means we are starting demo the day after I have 16 people for Christmas dinner! And that brings me to regifting my kitchen.

Does anyone really know what is in your kitchen cabinets? It's a gold mine. In cleaning out mine, I found doubles... even triples of perfectly good and usually unused wisks, cooking spoons, bundt pans, christmas cookie molds, waffle irons, George Forman grills, coffee makers... the list goes on and on. I also found five years of yellow pages, multiple menus from the local chinese take out restaurant, dozens of pencils with broken points, even more pens that had dried up, keys for cars we no longer owned, and in the upper cabinets, my Y2K supplies I had forgotten about. Do you know that toilet paper gets moldy over a few years? Yuck.

So this Christmas, my tree is bare, no presents are wrapped but my kitchen is pared to essentials. One roasting pan, two bowls, three pots and a partridge in the pear tree.

I sure hope the relatives like the used appliances.

What's in your kitchen?


Joyce said...

My kitchen is small, but I like it anyway. I could use a few more cabinets and a larger refrigerator, but that would require knocking down walls.

The items I could never live without would by my Pampered Chef stoneware. Most of the stuff I have now is from PC. Well worth the extra dollars!

Kristine said...

Great idea, Judith!

I have a brand new fondue set I received as a wedding gift. I never even took it out of the box because I have no idea how to make fondue. (It didn't come with a recipe book, unfortunately.) Anyone know any fondue recipes??

Tory said...

Kristine: In High School French, we didn't learn the language but did throw the best parties. We had a great recipe for cheese fondue (heavy on the cream cheese, if I remember.) I'm afraid it didn't make it with me in my transition from Michigan to Pennsylvania.

Judith: I have a set of hand-made ceramic bowls that are GORGEOUS to look at but I never eat off of. Why? When I put food into them it always ends up tasting gritty. Talk about UGH!

Too late for this year, but not a bad idea for next Christmas. Who wouldn't want a beautiful bowl for decoration if not for dessert?

P.S. I do actually drink out of the beautiful glasses I bought at the Art Fair.

mike said...

Judith--As a subscriber to Archeology magazine, I think you should query them for an article about your kitchen experience as an example of a pre-emptive archeological dig. At least the "relics" you uncovered are still usable (except for the dried up pens and old car keys, of course).

Kristine--Fondue set as a wedding gift? I always thought that was an urban legend...I didn't realize people actually give that as a wedding gift. Sorry, no recipes, tho a search of FoodTV online will turn up something interesting. Happy fonduing.

Nancy said...

Oh, Judith, I hear you on the yellow pages (last count: 6) and the car keys. (No counting needed. It's a bunch!)

Kristine, get out that fondue pot immediately. Drain a can of peaches and puree them in a food processor or blender (I bet Judith has a couple.) Melt a bag of white chocolate chips in a saucepan and add the peaches. Cook down until it's not too runny. Add some Godiva white chocolate liquer and pour into fondue pot. You can use anything to dip---strawberries or biscotti or angel food cake. It's FABULOUS.

Judith Evans Thomas said...

I did find my fondue set from the seventies. It had a few chips in the enamel so I didn't regift that, but ohhh the memories. Cheese fondue and chocolate fondue and a good joint. Ahhh the good ole days. Gotta dance again. :)