Sunday, January 22, 2012

kitchen appliances unearthed

Like many a person growing up with a fondness for cooking, I grew up in my mother's kitchen and learned her tricks. Starch water for gravies, that shepherd's pie is best made from leftover prime rib roast and that the gravy is the perfect sauce. How to make eggs and things - her way. I grew up with her wisks and wooden spoons, food processor and handheld mixer, and her little tools. Fairly standard, I think.

Every now and then my mother likes to clean house. When my mother cleans house, what tends to happen is that my house comes out significantly more full. I end up with leather skirts and jackets, old suits that haven't fit anyone in years but are only a size away from what I currently wear, candles and antique clocks. Sometimes, I end up with kitchen gear. Snag a proper spoon here, get a wisk there.

Very occasionally, I end up with antiquated kitchen appliances. A pasta maker that I think was a wedding present 25 years ago. Bunny and I use it gladly whenever we're in a pasta making mood. A chafing dish that has yet to be used. Old cookie sheets. Sometimes, I get hand me downs that really kick it out of the park.

About six months ago, my mom called to say "I'm getting rid of the bread maker, do you want it?" The bread maker. A Christmas gift one year, that I remember quite clearly. Probably got about six solid months of use, but hadn't been pulled out since before they split. The bread maker that probably didn't work ... but I needed to at least try it, right?

So, the breadmaker. Beautiful fresh egg bread and country bread. Cinnamon bun dough. I feel like I'm cheating at everything when I use this, but it works so breezily and it makes my life so simple. Plus, who doesn't like fresh baked bread? Or buns.

It's an appliance I would never have bought on my own. It takes up more kitchen space than it really has any business doing. Would I get rid of it? Not a chance. It's useful, fun and oh does it make my kitchen smell good. That's really what matters, right?

Bunny's been bugging me for the cinnamon buns for weeks on end. Today I was finally in the mood. Right now, we have cinnamony goodness bubbling up in my oven, rising to deliciousness. I could not be more excited. (And hey, the damn bread maker even comes with its own recipe book. the work is done for me!)

On another note, I don't have a menu yet for the week. This is very odd to me, but that's ok. Currently I'm just trying to work around what I have available:
  • A head of fennel (I'm thinking baked? ideas?)
  • Haricots vert (perhaps with a beef or pork roast?)
  • Leftover broccoli (cheesy soup to come, methinks)
  • Lemons, oranges and apples - will be used as needed
  • Mini red potatoes
I think I have a few plans for these, and I have a few more ideas bouncing around my head for the week. We'll see what I come up with.

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