Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A new kitchen

I always loved the idea of being a starving artist, needing to cut corners and think of creative solutions to help live creatively on the cheap. I am no longer a theatre professional (my early retirement came with the decline of my health followed by my new-found love of cooking) and my day job helps me afford good living conditions. That, and one can only live in a cramped studio (see pictures here) for so long before the stress of cooking appliances tumbling out of the kitchen and squeezing past your bike in the hallway get to you. When I moved into my studio, it was great - I didn't mind the small kitchen since my cooking skills were limited and I was never home as I worked multiple jobs. Over the next two years, I realized that I needed something more than a two-butt kitchen and the last thing I ever wanted to do was wash dishes just so I could cook a simple dinner. Originating with my food intolerances and my desire to lead a healthier life, my priorities shifted and thatmeant more time in the kitchen and eating at a table rather than in front of my laptop on my desk. So I did what my budget allowed and moved. To a wonderful unit with: a kitchen large enough for several people, a gas stove, ice dispenser on the freezer door, a garbage disposal (still scared to use it...), tons of cabinet space, outdoor space to grow tomatoes, and most importantly: a dishwasher. Okay, the bedroom door was also a selling point, but I am so grateful for the dishwasher. The unit was even billed as having a "gourmet kitchen" - perfect for me as I am forever growing my cooking skills! And with this move, I was able to finally be with all my kitchen toys I bought on a Black Friday sale last year. (I'll soon be announcing my new love in my life: my Kitchen Aid stand mixer! I'm still deciding on its inaugural dish.) The kitchen is still a bit of a mess as I'm settling in and deciding where to put everything, but the new area to play in really feels like home.

I moved over the course of a week and a half, which meant I was juggling where do I eat my meals with lets-wash-everything-I-own-in-the-new-dishwasher. My first order of business after getting keys was to disinfect the dishwasher with cleaning wipes. The previous occupants left everything pretty spotless, so my concerns about cross-contamination were near invisible. After I was unloading round 4 of already clean dishes, I noticed something at the bottom of the dishwasher. A four-inch noodle. And it wasn't mine.

I called my mom in a panic, and she was really sympathetic: "Sorry you'll have to wash everything again, Michelle." I was dreading doing that, but if I didn't, I would have been sick for months since I was washing everything - including dusty Christmas cookie cutters. I had a good cry and unloaded the dishwasher. The next morning, my brother helped me take apart the dishwasher and I cleaned every nook and cranny that I could get to without major surgery. Turns out the wonderful dishwasher doesn't do a very good job of pulverizing food, so everything needs to be rinsed first. By the time I was done, that dishwasher was as clean as it was ever going to be. When I was telling other people about my traumatic misadventure, they asked if I would still get sick since that noodle went through the dishwasher so many times. Here's my theory: it may have been a very clean noodle, but some soap doesn't change its gluten properties (that and I pictured it manically laughing while evilly dancing over every single surface of the dishwasher's contents - but maybe that is just me). The noodle incident was a major step backwards in getting my kitchen organized, but I am glad I caught it early on! Luckily, I somehow even managed to not use a single "clean" dish and therefore was not glutenized once while juggling a move.

Many most posts and pictures to come! Sorry for being absent - needed to get organized and get cooking again! The dishwasher (now that we are on good terms) is already freeing me up to make more multiple-pan meals and cook creatively!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear things are getting settled in the new place! (Though, the dishwasher situation sounds tough! I can't even imagine.) I have a KitchenAid stand mixer, that thing is the love of my life. It was a gift and it sat in the box for three months because I didn't think I had any use for it - once I started, though, I used it all the time! I think the first thing I made was mashed potatoes, to be honest. :)