Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy conveniences

by Julie

I don't know about you, but I don't care to cook in anyone else's kitchen but my own. At home I know where everything is, and I know precisely what I have in stock - I have a mental inventory that's generally pretty reliable. Cooking elsewhere means using garlic powder instead of fresh minced cloves. Cooking elsewhere means an oven that runs hotter/colder than mine or dishwashing liquid that smells different. Cooking elsewhere is stressful and difficult.


So, Saturday afternoon, I cooked dinner at home before taking it to my mother-in-law's house that evening. Worked out great because I had things in my casserole dishes and was able to prep them at home and simply pop them into the oven when we got there. Her oven seems to run hot, in case you were wondering.

Everything went smoothly and we all had a lovely dinner.

But even with my best-laid plans, there were two instances where being in someone else's kitchen gave me a little bit of a hard time. First... my mother-in-law has no oven mitts. How did this happen and how did I not notice sooner? Or ... did she get rid of them recently? Her memory isn't too great anymore, so there's no way to know for certain (and no way to know if they're simply misplaced). When I needed to turn the casseroles or get them out of the oven, I had to use a dishtowel.

That's one.


The other thing is a matter of preference. Before we tucked the leftovers into the fridge, I wanted to cover them with plastic wrap. My mother-in-law uses a different brand than I do and wow -- what a difference. Her plastic wrap was unruly, in a flimsy carton, and the plastic was hard to unstick from its center "hold in place" spot. It fought me every step of the way. The one we have at home is in a heavy, sturdy box. We pull out the wrap, cover whatever it is that needs covering, then slide a little plastic cutter across the top of the film. Voila! Perfect. No fighting at all.

It occurs to me that in life we have these happy conveniences we depend on. Like oven mitts. Like easy-to-use plastic wrap. These are things that we depend on and probably take for granted until presented with a situation where they aren't available (as happened Saturday for me). Now that I'm home I'm paying better attention to the things I've been taking for granted. It's nice.

I've pictured two of my must-haves in the kitchen. (There are many!)

What items do you depend on?



15 comments:

7LucyP said...

When cooking I depend on enough counter space and my standard of cleanliness in the kitchen. And, I must know what brand of plastic wrap you use. I'm forever cutting my fingers trying to tear off a piece of wrap.

Debra Fox said...

Good, clean dish towels and a lot of them. A paper towel holder that you can use with one hand. A built in hand soap pump. A touch faucet. I am spoiled with the touch faucet I know. When we go away I keep touching the kitchen faucet for a couple of days until my brain reprograms.

Edith Patchan said...

Please tell us what brand of wrap and/or where you get it? I've never seen a slide on plastic wrap.

Julie Hyzy said...

My plastic wrap is called Professional Plastic Food Wrap Film with a ZipSafe Slide Cutter. We buy it at Sam's Club in packs of two. They're 500 sq. ft. each and made in the U.S.A. I LOVE this product! Hope you're able to find it!

Julie Hyzy said...

I envy your touch faucet. My brother has one and I've been hinting for one ever since I used his for the first time. Pretty sure I have my husband talked into it. What a wonderful convenience!

Julie Hyzy said...

Edith - I posted above, in reply to Lucy, but I'll repeat here:
My plastic wrap is called Professional Plastic Food Wrap Film with a ZipSafe Slide Cutter. We buy it at Sam's Club in packs of two. They're 500 sq. ft. each and made in the U.S.A.

Such a smart product! Genius in the little things sure makes tasks easier!

Cheryl R said...

I require heavy duty aluminum foil..can't understand people who use the flimsy kind. You can get your mother-in-law some really nice oven mitts for mom's day. The silicon ones are great.

Julie Hyzy said...

You read my mind. That's exactly what we plan to get her for Mother's Day. Plus a few other things, too. But oven mitts are currently topping the list!

Debra Fox said...

Well now they have come out with a Motion Sensor Kitchen Faucet.

Julie Hyzy said...

Can you imagine that with cats in the house! LOL

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Julie! I have a Sam's Club nearby, so I'll check them out.

Rachelle21 said...

I agree about mitts. My husband keeps moving things and I have a hard time finding my mitts.

Julie Hyzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Hyzy said...

I hate typos. Re-answering:
Mitts are not something you want to have to search for when you need them! I'd probably hide a pair in safekeeping and let him look for them next time (grin)!

Aurian said...

Great post, I use aluminium foil instead of the plastic stuff as I can't handle it at all. But what you describe sounds easy. Going to ask the story if they have something like that instead of the cheap and frustrating stuff.
I love it when my boyfriend helps with the cleaning, but he does invent new places to put things where I don't think to look for them.