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Slattern in the city

There’s fun to be had in SOME kitchens, Sweetie. Courtesy

I don’t claim to have cornered the market on slattern-dom, and I certainly didn’t invent it. I have, however, done my level best to elevate the art form over the past twenty years or so, and as I look back on the cluttered landscape of middling meals, drunken dinner parties and neglected housekeeping that has been my life, it occurs to me that none of this could have been so easily accomplished outside the urban jungle. Let me explain.

First of all, the urban environment is easy on the domestic tippler. Let’s say it’s five o’clock and you and a couple of pals have been having a friendly chat over a bottle of vodka for the past few hours. You realize you were supposed to pick up your kids from soccer practice, but getting behind the wheel is no longer an option. No need to endanger the driving public, disturb your better half or give up your parking space — just call a livery service and send a car to pick them up. After three or four instances of this, most city teens will learn to take a twenty from your purse before leaving the house, store the car service number in their phones and call the ride themselves after waiting around for an hour or so. Kids these days!

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My other kitchen is a hotel

My other kitchen. Courtesy Flickr aeminphilly

As the six-month anniversary of my little experiment in self-expression draws near, I note that there seems to be a bit of confusion among my readers as to my feelings about the domestic arts in general and cooking in particular. Frankly, this surprises me since my opinion on the subject appears, at least to me, to have been made abundantly clear in this, my little corner of the web. But in the interest of enlightenment and with an eye toward full disclosure, let me be clear.

I would be completely happy if I never cooked another damned meal*,  set foot in a fully functional kitchen, or laid eyes on a vacuum cleaner again for the rest of my life. 

Oh yes, I would be perfectly content to order in or dine out every night for the remainder of my time in this earthly paradise, and if someone wanted to meet me for lunch most days, that would be fine too. In fact, I’d be willing to forego the midday meal altogether just to avoid having to provision, prepare and clear it. If you’d ever had a squint at me, you’d understand the enormity of that statement. Let’s just say you could count the number of meals I have missed in the past year on one hand without stressing the pinky or thumb unduly and leave it at that.

I would miss housekeeping even less than cooking, and so I am flummoxed when I hear my friends (to clarify, my older friends) talking about downsizing plans that involve offloading houses and acquiring condominiums. Yes, it’s less square footage, and not so much hassle, but you still own the damned thing. When the toilet backs up it’s you wielding the plunger. If the Baked Alaska suddenly becomes the Towering Inferno, you’d best know where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it (not to mention being able to convince the firefighters you were in full possession of your faculties when the “incident” occurred, but that’s a story for another day). And when the refrigerator gives up the ghost, you’ve got to source and buy another, only to start the whole ugly business of meal prep over again. Ditto the stove. And who in his right mind would want to do that, for pity’s sake?

Now I do have friends who have very cleverly repurposed their kitchen appliances as storage, and if I owned furs (I don’t, I just can’t), I would certainly keep them in the fridge. I used to keep my film there, but digital photography has eliminated the need. As it is, my nail polish collection is doing well on ice, but really, who has that much lacquer? So it’s either unplug the damned thing or fill it up. And once it’s filled, you’ve got to cook. Really it’s that simple. And that sad.

So, imagine how thrilled I was recently to hear a fresh solution to the downsizing question from none other than my brilliant cousin, Rebecca! Ready? Here it is: Skip the condo, bypass the rental apartment and go straight to a hotel.


Consider  — there’s no kitchen, save for a coffee maker and a minibar (what else do you really need?). You get room service, daily maid service (provided by someone other than yourself), laundry service, porters, and your bed turned down every night with a little mint on the pillow. And the bar is right downstairs!  It would be just like assisted living, but without  the colostomy bags, institutional food and restraints. In fact, come to think of it, it would be very like Betty Ford, sans Betty or any of the other killjoys who infest her establishment.

Why was this woman smiling? Because she still had cocktail hour to look forward to after a hard day at the ballpark. Many people don’t realize what a baseball fan Mrs Ford was or how critical her support for clearer stats and the Earned Run Average movement was. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Just thinking about the possibilities of permanent guest status nearly makes me drop to the floor and rock in a frenzy of overstimulated bliss. My path is clear, now if I could just get my head to follow.

* NOTE: Exceptions would of course be made for the odd dinner party, provided it was limited to no more than eight guests and someone else cleaned up.

I am NOT a foodie

Hi Everybody. My name is K. Nice to be here. Well, not really. See, I don’t have a food problem. It’s just that one of my blog buddies, The Byronic Man, recently referred to me as a foodie, and it got me thinking about how I’m perceived by others, so I decided to drop by, you know, just to check out a meeting.

In fact, high end cooking is not what I do. I’m more of a slap-it-on-the-table-so-I-can-get-back-to-cocktail-hour kind of cook. Food is just a blip on my screen. Really. I can stop anytime I want.

Secret Treasure Loaf* courtesy McGann's Big Game

And by the way I know what you’re doing with Ritz crackers and Cheez Wiz on the table there. I see the green bean casserole. What’s that meatloaf thing? Secret treasure loaf* — never heard of it. I could eat those. If I wanted to. And that Semi-Homemade video playing on an endless loop in the corner? That doesn’t bother me one stinking bit. See? I’m looking at it right…OH MY GOD tell me she didn’t just dredge those chicken cutlets in Knorr leek soup powder before she fried them!

I’m OK, I’m OK. I just need to sit down for a minute. Can I have a glass of water, please? Thank you. Is this from the tap? You don’t have sparkling by any chance?

What’s that you said? I’m not doing anything, just straightening the cocktail napkins and making sure the folds are all on the same side. No, that’s not OCD, it’s just good manners. If you don’t believe me, just ask M….Nothing, I didn’t say anything. I certainly was NOT going to invoke Martha. I hardly know who she is — if she hadn’t gone to jail, I bet I wouldn’t even have recognized the name.

See? Crafting only.

Hey! Get your mitts out of my bag. That’s not MY Martha Stewart Living. I’m just holding it for a friend. There were two copies at the gym this morning, you know how it is. No, that is not my name on the mailing label. That’s…my mom. Well I expect she’s trying to firm up a bit too, or maybe she was just looking for me in the spin room one day. Ever think of THAT? Oh alright, but I just read it for the crafts.

Blog? Yes, I write a blog, but it’s primarily a humor blog, you see, not a cooking one. My persona is just a foil, an avatar, you know an excuse to make a joke. I am in no way serious about food. Look it up on your iPad, there Mr. C, I urged people to use pie crust mix! No self respecting foodie would do that.

Pardon, Mr. C?  Béchamel? I may have mentioned it once or twice. In passing. Oh c’mon man. Recommending that people make béchamel instead of opening a can of cream of mushroom soup hardly rises to the level of obsession. That’s a healthy eating suggestion, like lowering your sodium or using free range chickens instead of Purdue, both of which recommendations I am proud to say I’ve made. What I’m really providing is a public service. Promoting health, you dig? Sure I know the difference between white and black truffles, and I have even been known to shop at Fairway. But I buy Cheerios and little mini quiches there just like everyone else.

I glove you. courtesy

You understand, it’s mostly that I just detest the term foodie. You know how Baby Jane felt about Blanche, or Varitek feels about A-Rod (or how I do for that matter)?  The term “foodie” is juvenile and implies a pretentious mania, and while I admit I do occasionally  dangle a toe into the mania pond (mostly at the dipso- end), I am in no way obsessed with food.

What’s that you say? Nadia G? You wouldn’t. Oh my God, no, not that. Please, I just can’t. I can’t bear it. I’ll do anything, just don’t start that video. I AM BEGGING YOU.

Thank you. Really, I couldn’t have stood it. What’s that Mr. B?  Oh I don’t know, maybe you’re right. I guess I should start again.

Hi Everybody. My name is K and I am a foodie.

Can’t we at least find another name for it?

* Secret Treasure Loaf: A loaf of ground Spam cubes with a Velveeta cheese center topped with a layer of hot Velveeta. Really.

Hey folks, As you’ve no doubt noticed, this post was Freshly Pressed. As this is my first go round with the process, please forgive me if I don’t answer each and every comment. I am most grateful for your presence and will try to visit you as soon as I get my thumb out of my mouth and dig out from under this mountain of attention. Many thanks again to The Byronic Man, for irking inspiring me to write this. At the risk of losing your custom to his far superior blog, let me urge you to take a peek at his oeuvre. As oeuvres go, it’s mighty impressive. 

We don’t need no stinking Superbowl

Not with a double VBA to keep me warm!

Apparently it’s awards season in the blogosphere. How else to explain the accolades that of late have come my way with nary a whiff of payola in the air. OK, I may have sent the odd gift basket or tin of fudge, but that’s really the extent of it, unless of course you count that one night in Biloxi….No, that definitely doesn’t count as bribery. Entrapment, perhaps, but not bribery.

In any case, two of my new blog amies, the lovely and talented Vickie from Jumping in Mud Puddles and youthful yet oh so clever ksnapped, have seen fit to send a flattering ray of pink spotlight my way by bestowing the Versatile Blogger Award upon me, and I am grateful and thrilled to be in such illustrious company. Thanks, Vickie and K!

As always, there are rules. Here they are:

  • In a post on your blog, nominate 10 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
  • In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
  • In the same post, share seven completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  • In the same post, include this set of rules.
  • Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Simple enough. Let’s begin. Seven completely random pieces of information about me:

I am proud to be a member of this gene pool I can tell you.

  1. Any food that involves wet bread repels me. Ugh, stuffing.
  2. I am distantly related to the most miserly woman in the world, Hetty Green, aka the Witch of Wall Street.
  3. I have never, ever worn a track suit/wind suit or whatever they are called, and you shouldn’t either. If anyone tells you these are acceptable as day wear, assume they are out to humiliate you.
  4. My first car was a bronze 1970 Ford Ltd. It was bigger than most countries.
  5. I am trying to learn to surf, but it’s not going as well as I’d like.
  6. When I was two and a half, I ate an entire bottle of orange-flavored baby aspirin and had to have my stomach pumped.
  7. I am no stranger to emergency rooms. See #6.

OK, so now my nominees. When the Taller than Average femme fatale sent the 7 x 7 Link Award my way, I passed it on to the bloggers whose writing I think is stellar. This time, I’d like to put the spotlight on bloggers whose sites are really well put together. Those of you who undertake this task know how difficult it can be to make things look nice, but presentation, though not everything, certainly does matter. Unlike the horrifying chaos of my own little corner of the blogosphere, these five have great looking sites, and of course, they also can write. I’m only including five instead of the mandated ten (which I admit is cheating) because quite honestly most of the blogs I read have already received this and many other awards. Also, by the time I stop in at all the blogs I want to visit, my day is shot, I’m still in my pajamas and it’s freaking dinner time already. Anyways, feast your eyes:

Baker Bettie
Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide
Damp Squid
The Dust Settles

Once again, thank you so much K and Vickie.

The short end of the stick

Not as comfortable as they look. Courtesy

Generally speaking (and I mean very generally) I confine my ramblings to food and drink or the mundane world of household chores, but I do have other interests and feel compelled from time to time to express an opinion or hazard a conjecture on that which falls outside the domestic realm. Such was the case last week when my virtual pal, the Freshly Pressed Cristy Carrington, penned a post entitled 5 Reasons Why God Loves Short People Best. As I am somewhat lacking in stature I begged to differ, and the good folks at More magazine have seen fit to include my little rant among their member blogs.

I hope you’ll have a look. Here’s the link just in case:

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