Posts Tagged ‘kitchen disasters’

Tomorrow marks my seventh week without a functioning oven. Yes, seven weeks. Let’s count ‘em, shall we? One… two… three… oh, god, that noise you just heard was my spirit stabbing itself with a serving fork.  Either that, or my spirit stabbing my husband with a serving fork.

Here’s what happened.

My oven broke. To get really technical about it, that thingy that you have to pull out to light the thing got pulled out for good. And since the oven door was the detachable sort (not in a good way) and the knobs fell off when you looked at them sharpishly, we decided to replace the whole thing.

Unfortunately we then had to wait two weeks for some money to come in so we could afford to replace it.

But come that happy day, we marched into our local white goods store to order Our Brand New Oven. But somewhere somehow, in the middle of the ordering process, my husband changed his mind and decided we needed to consider renovating the whole kitchen before committing to one model or another.

For the record, my ability to talk renovations doesn’t extend much past the three minute mark, after which I start to glaze over and think about the bottle of wine in the fridge. If the conversation, say, wanders onto the topic of splashbacks and cupboard door handles, I start to think about the vodka bottle in the freezer. And if you tried, for example, to get me into some kind of FLOOR EMPORIUM to look at and discuss lino and carpet samples, then please be prepared to see me there swigging from the wine bottle and drinking straight from that vodka bottle with a straw at the same time. Just sayin’.

ANYWAY so I didn’t actually have to discuss renovations with him, I agreed to let my husband invite our friend C, who designs kitchens for a living, to come over and talk about them with him instead.

Within ten minutes of C arriving, I realised this was what’s officially known as a Bad Idea.  C and my husband began running about excitedly together, talking about knocking down walls and digging a three foot deep trench down the side of the house. And in one of those horror movie moments, C’s wife – who was helping me out with that bottle of wine in the fridge –  turned to me and revealed she hadn’t had running water in her kitchen or bathroom for over two years due to her husband’s own renovation project. I mean, she may as well have told me she no longer had a soul and wanted to eat my offal on toast for breakfast, such was my terror.

After C and his family left, my husband found me sobbing into my wine glass about “just wanting a fucking oven that worked”.

Luckily, my husband is a sensitive man. He saw my pain and realised it was all too much for me. He reassured me we’d just buy a replacement oven. The renovations could wait a few more years…

And then he changed his mind. Again.

Oh, he bought a new oven, all right. A good one, too. One that I am happy with – or rather, would be happy with except that it has been sitting, all warm and cozy and wrapped in plastic, cardboard and polystyrene in our garage for over a week now… while my husband has taken to one of our kitchen walls with a crowbar.

This is my kitchen now.

Extra points for spotting the almost empty bottle of vodka

And no, I didn’t see that coming, either.

The fact of the matter is I’m writing this blog post in the lounge room with the fridge next to me. The contents of my entire spice rack are currently alongside my bed just waiting for someone to make a joke about ‘spicing things up’ in the bedroom. For the record: don’t make that joke. DO NOT MAKE THAT JOKE.

But I think Tiddles McGee, all of four years old, put it best. When my husband first started pulling out the cupboards, he reportedly said  “I’m telling mummy you’re destroying the kitchen! She will think you’ve turned evil!”

Now where was that second bottle of vodka…

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How do I love my kitchen? Let me count the ways…


The cutlery drawer, whenever it is opened or closed, sprinkles a fine layer of sawdust on the items in the cupboard below.


My fruit bowl has its own Christmas decorations…


… and so does the door handle.


This knob has been missing from my range top since we bought the house five years ago. The result? I only use three of the hotplates. It’s like the fourth one never existed.


This handy guide reminding us which knob corresponds to which hotplate falls off frequently. It is important to note that it is impossible to remember which knob corresponds to which hotplate without this guide.


This knob falls off with alarming regularity, usually into the open bin below (not pictured).


This knob, although turned off, gives the appearance of being on, concerning house guests and welfare officers alike.


You need to take the oven door off its hinges in order to be able to light it properly. Of course you do. It makes sense.


Instead of a retractor fan, I have this handy smoke alarm whenever I fry anything.


Clean (and dry) cutlery falls back into the washing up bowl with ease.


My collection of broken plastic containers are stored neatly away in this broken plastic tub.


Finding anything in my cupboards is a dream.

Yep, I sure love my kitchen alright.

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I am an extremely accomplished multi-tasker – as long as you don’t expect any of those tasks to be completed well or, indeed, completed at all.

The other day I found myself in the kitchen making pizza dough, chicken madras and a custard tart simultaneously – and all from scratch. And please don’t ask me why because I’d have to bore you with a long convoluted answer about ‘chicken on the verge of an expiry date’, a husband returning from a three day business trip and a sick child’s plaintive pleas for a pizza dinner.

But nothing – nothing – can explain the custard tart… Except, perhaps, that it was a book group night and I’d earned myself a bit of a reputation as the bearer of freshly baked goods. I mean, let’s face it: I have to contribute something worthwhile to the group, especially since I tend to have read most of my book group books asleep and/or drunk. So I guess I can explain the custard tart, after all.

Anyway, there I was, already juggling recipe books, ingredients and sharp knives, when I decided to start tweeting about my endeavours.

Luckily, only one twitter friend, ‘cookingkt responded. “That’s a whole lotta kitchenbusy…. Hope there’s wine and music in the background?!” she said.

I think we can all agree that alcohol was the last thing this particular scenario needed. As it was, I still managed to make a complete mess of things completely sober.

In my defence, I don’t know why most pizza dough recipes insist on letting it rise a second time. It’s like the ‘difficult second album’ – agonising for everyone involved. And because I’d ambitiously started off with the dough with less than hour until my children officially expired with hunger, I had to settle for two ‘micro-rises’. It’s the kind of thing that makes a woman wish someone’d invent a kind of viagra for pizza dough. (“Is that pizza dough in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?”)

In case you are wondering, the results were spectacular – if, that is, that you count a pizza crust that’s just like cardboard parboiled in paper glue as “spectacular”.

And the custard tart? Let’s just say it brought to mind that Spice Girls’ song ‘When Two Become One’ because the crust rose up to greet the filling and the whole thing became one big biscuity omelette – ‘frit-tart-a’, if you will. Badoom tish! Yes, I’m here all week. Try the fish. But not the custard tart, obviously.

As for the chicken madras… Well, I didn’t get to sample it before I left the house for book group but when I got home there was a note on the table from my husband saying “That was the best curry I ever had.”

Admittedly, his handwriting was a little shaky. I personally like to think it was because of all the emotion he must have been feeling after eating such a magnificent meal and not, say, because he’d just spent three hours vomiting in the toilet and could barely grasp the pen.

Still, there it was: Best. Curry. Ever.

So I’ve decided I won’t be sad. One out of three certainly isn’t “all good”, but it isn’t “all bad” either, right?

(Anyone got a good recipe for Meat Loaf?)

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