Funny isn’t it, how we get so wrapped up in preparations for Christmas that we overlook so many of the other everyday things that keep our lives smooth and on track. I used to always have quite a household over for Christmas holidays – all generations would swoop on our house, being the larger of the selection available. We didn’t have dogs, so it was fairly easy to keep it bright and tidy. The kitchen was my bugbear. I absolutely had to get that oven as sparkling and brand new looking as possible. Couldn’t bear for anyone to see me cooking their meals in a grubby space! I also used to get out all my kitchen appliances and give them a really good clean up and polish. In fact, I’ve been known to rearrange my kitchen so it’s now designed with ease of use in mind. I just need to keep it up now that christmas has been . . . .
Oh my goodness how much mess can two pet dogs make?! I have been looking after them for a relative who’s been away on a well deserved cruise somewhere hot. I love going for walkies, playing fling and fetch with various balls in the garden. But the amount of dog hair and mess each day is almost offputting. I have discovered the only way to keep the kitchen clean is to usher the hounds into their play room, pull the door firmly behind. Put the kitchen chairs up on the table (like at school) take all loose mats outside and shake vigorously. Then with a good sized dishcloth soaked in sopay suds, wipe the top surfaces down – and then cupboard fronts. Sweeping the floor with a rubber broom with a special rubber blade behind the bristles seems to be the most efficient way to collect dust, mud and dog hair!
There has been panic in this paritcular household for two weeks. My much trusted and loved soup making jug, used daily for the last four winters, had a major breakdown when the zuzzing feature packed up, meaning I could only have flavoured hot water with chunks of veg in – I need mine liquidised a little. So I slung the unit to the back of the cupboard and sulked. A couple of weeks later my daughter handed over their old one which they’d replaced with another all singing, all dancing variety, she was sure though that something wasn’t working 100%. Fine thinks me, two makers, neither in tip top condition. After batching up a good mix of veg, by trial and error, I found the power on one suited the jug element of the other – one complete working soup maker again. The instant joy and relief at the restoration of my soup heaven is to be reckoned with. Whooppee!
I was whizzing about on domestic errands the other week, one being to buy two matching exterior carriage lamps to replace the sadly unloved pair currently adorning either side of my garage. The exercise was fascinating – the lighting sections in the three stores I chose are right by the fitted kitchens and bathrooms. Gosh what funI had looking at a fabulous selection of modern very simplistic kitchen settings. All had lovely flush cabinet doors and drawers. Simple but stylish handles all matching, and no crevices that catch dust or dirt. A very smoothly installed hob, all lovel shiny black glass. It has set my resolve to have something done with my own seriously dated millennial kitchen. It was much envied by friends and family when I moved in here years ago but it’s so yesterday and looks as dated as it is. Time for browse those tasty kitchen sites!
Ah the hilarity when I was looking through the cleaning cupboard in my chum’s enssuite the other day. She lives abroad in a lovely sunny spot in the med. I go over regularly to have a gloriously sun soaked rest and to keep her company now that her dearest hubbie has departed this mortal coil. We do have a great deal of fun, always reminiscing about our days of working together. We sit in her funny home built kitchen and I try not to notice the rather old fashioned cupboard design or the marks that ruin an otherwise splendidly generous ceramic sink arrangement. Cleaning up is fun there – the water is so soft from her spring. Yes, it comes direct into the house – one line via the roof top solar panels gets heated and stored. The gentle cleaning products we do use have wonderful names like biff and clout – together with the shouty cilit bang. A hoot indeed.
There is a fabulous kitchen showroom tucked away in the business quarter of my local county town. It’s been there for donkeys years, various folk have owned it, some more successfully than others. But it has remained a kitchen showroom. Today it is considered one of the elite high end suppliers to those who have made their successful mark and are now willing to spend out to show it. This showroom ioffers a really comprehensive advice, design, drawing up of plans, dealing with the planning department as necessary, and all the other must do tasks that Jo Bloggs may well not be aware of on his own. Their approach is simple – talk to all the folk likely to use the kitchen regularly and find out what they really want and want they don’t. Designing around what someone will enjoy using is a key factor and kitchen equipment is such an expensive mistake if this is not catered for.
Most folk can effectively produce a small light buffet of sorts, if we really sat down and made copious lists…. Good job therefore that my chum has the ability to conjur up produce from the fridge and make the most sumptuous indoor picnics – depends on our kitchen design and our knowledge of appliances. Ever since we got to know each other’s families, she has always been able to throw together any kind of light weight crowd filler – obviously suddenly thrusting a 6 course dinner for 12 at her would probably cause melt down, but generally a light buffet is achievable as if by magic. This is down to her organisation skills and a really well designed kitchen work and storage area. None of this walking from one side or end to the other. There is a food storage end with daily fridge and the other end is the preparation and cooking area.
Watching the birds out in my garden is such a pleasure – so many years I was going out of the house to commute to work – leaving the bird food out and only ever being able to witness the gun and games around the feeding stations at weekends. The speed the containers were being emptied, I did just wonder if I was feeding the entire pigeon population but we can’t really discriminate against the larger and more enterprising feathered friend. The birds that visit do so with such excited sqawking and screeching, it can sometimes be very hard to work out exactly what’s happening with our little feathered friends. Of course, their kitchen table and worktops are the feeding tubes, bird table etc. Not for them the easily scrubbed down kitchen of our dream home; life’s too short for anyone caught making a mess of a favourite pudding or nice clothes.
I was happily watching the kiddies playing outside – lots of yelling and the girls bossing the boys about . . . . Not sure the exact game, but apparently it is unusual to see girls and boys playing outside and together, it was an absolute joy. However this lovely hour was brought to a sudden and drastic stop when a yell came from a nearby kitchen – the owner had spied an unwanted guest in a kitchen cabinet and was distraught, knowing not what to do. My older, male neighbour came the rescue with mouse trapping devices and it went quiet for a while. Nothing was said about this incident but a van displaying logo for complete house cleaning – kitchens a speciality, was seen in their drive. I’ve since heard that the cleaners have been booked on a regular monthly basis to do various sections of the house – afer the kitchen has been serviced. I bet those kiddies were sworn to non discussion mode after that.
Whilst I was away over Easter staying with relatives, I was able to taste some absolutely fabulous new additions to the usual kind of thing I tend to stick to. If I’m having a chilli con carne, then I don’t venture any further than the boiled rice with it. This one though had all sorts of additional herbs and spices plus some apple and grapes. Absolutely fabulous concoction and well worthy of our attention. The next day we had a particularly splendid salmon dish that had been marinaded with other herbs and juices. The kitchen I was sharing was wonderfully spacious and fantastically clean. The owners are both very fussy and look after their property really well. They’ve been in their house for over 18 years from new. It looks exactly the same as the day they moved in. I came home utterly inspired to rip mine apart and clean from top sprocket to bottom!