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!
There can surely be nothing better on a winter’s day than to go round the local shopping mall and discover a new barister bar – well, one tha also supplies delicious chelsea buns and other eats could conceivably iprove on mark one. Getting the feel for eateries can be a time consuming business – not least because of the hours of perusing their now very lengthy menues. No longer do we have the masive choice of tea, white coffee, black coffee or hot chocolate (if we are very lucky indeed). No, today we have the most amazing array of coffees ahead of us. Just looking up to the extensive menue gives me a dizzy feeling and I panic. Actually all I really want is a hot white coffee, not too much white, not too much coffee – and absolutely no cream or sugar. Bring back the tasty kitchen with just the few treats I need!
Well it is absolutely incredible to think we are already near the beginning of spring – how did that happen?! It will be an early easter this year, I’m not entirely sure how the moon phases etc. dictate these things but I do know that maundy thursday, the day before good friday, falls at the end of March. I absolutely love the easter period. Not the chocolate egg fest, well I do like them but they don’t like me and I get fat! Back to the theme – easter reminds me of glorious summer warmth to come in a few short weeks. Those wonderful daffodils and spring blooms that erupt all over the gardens and parks bring a ray of sunshine into our lives. This is reflected in our kitchens at home – more new kitchen designs are discussed, designed, paid for and installed in spring that any other period! Long may that continue too.
Now that the new year has arrived, and is in danger of disappearing just as quickly and quietly. I’ve realised my kitchen is looking just a wee bit sad and care worn. I have lived here for 16 years – the wonderful feeling of moving in to an absolutely fantastic new, clean and untouched kitchen cannot be under-estimated on the list of things to have at least once before you kick the bucket! TI don’t really use the kitchen to the full extent that I could. When I have entertained, there always seems to be a gaggle of bodies at one end, and because the way the designers placed the integral cooker and ovens, there is no scope for more than one person to be at the business end. I have decided to have it redesigned and fitted out to make more of the space and to ensure the cooking space is in more natural light!
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying watching the new series of a very popular cook and tv personality – she has really upmarket ideas and lives in a really nice little house in a very nice part of London. She is so very watchable that I couldn’t actuallyare less about the food itself, I am meerly interested in the layout of the studio kitchen and garden that has been built to resemble her own. I like the beautiful crockery she cooks with too. Amazing how it simply envelopes me into the programme – her saucy smile and small innuendos tossed in with relish!
When you want some tasty kitchen ideas of your own, you need to sit down first, make a list of absolutely must haves, then some really really must haves, then widen the scope a little and toss in some thigs that would improve your life but not alter it too severely. Amazing what you end up with!