State of the Kitchen Address

This weekend The Captain’s aunt came for a visit to watch Pumpkin for the day so we could have an early Valentine’s date. Part of the deal was that she would also bring her stellar spaghetti (which I will share a recipe for just as soon as I can weasel it out of her) and make it for us for dinner. Aunt J, you say you’ll watch the baby AND feed us? Score!

The thing about Aunt J is that she is somewhat of a wizardess in the kitchen. She even carries around an embroidered tote for her travel materials (books, magazines, sale papers, the essentials) that says “Chef J” on the side. And I can’t even begin to describe her home’s kitchen. It is straight out of the pages of Southern Living magazine. Martha Stewart would find herself shamefully downcasting her eyes in this kitchen. Ina Garten would hit the floor weeping.

So of course when Aunt J went to make dinner in our little kitchen, hilarity was bound to ensue. All she really had to do was put the pot of sauce on the stove to reheat, and boil the pasta. She also made us salads that we didn’t end up eating because we were so stuffed on the spaghetti. (I dumped all of these in a Gladware for lunch at work the following day, and just a side note of advice – don’t eat croutons that have been refrigerated with wet lettuce overnight, people. The texture was like half-dried kitchen sponge, though the rest of the salad was delicious.)

Anyway, I had to direct Aunt J to the under-counter cabinet where we keep all of the cookware. Someday, I will have an island with overhead hooks for hanging all of our lovely stainless steel pots. For now, they get haphazardly shoved underneath the counter in a cabinet that goes back WAY too far and consequently we lose things in it all the time. My first moment of shame was having to direct Aunt J to this Cabinet of Doom to get the stock pot out to boil the noodles. I warned her to give it a good rinse before using it, because who knows what kind of muck got left in there last time it was washed. I’m always paranoid about the integrity of any of my pots and pans that won’t fit in the dishwasher.

Once the spaghetti was done, since we only have one colander, which happened to be dirty and in the at-the-time running dishwasher, she had to strain the pasta in shifts using a hand-held metal mesh strainer over the sink. She then had to use a slotted spoon to serve the pasta sauce, as our the single ladle that we have seemed to have been missing. There were other little snafus, but at this point I can’t remember them.

I never realized how inadequate my kitchen was until someone other than my husband or I tried to use it. Someday, I’ll have a grown-up kitchen!

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