New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Old Fools Journal: The Galley or I need to get rid of a lot of stuff and clean up the rest

Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other.Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.
~Katharine Hepburn

Kitchen, cook house, galley, mess, canteen are all names for the workshop the cook works in. This one is mine. Many a delious meal has been constructed here by others as well as myself. I can cook. I am not a chef but I can cook for one or twenty, I can make it taste good and I can do it everyday. Some of the others that have cooked here make me look like a grunting savage gnawing a bone
A clean galley is a pleasure. I finally cleaned and organized this part after months of "thinking about it". The hardest part was deciding what to remove.  So far I have only removed a Vita-mix and a small espresso machine that I haven't used in over five years. Removing the espresso machine was not easy but I expect to never use it again. Removing the hand tools however may prove impossible.
The first thing to go left months a ago when the blender in SWMBO's (she who must be obeyed) kitchen quit. I had a heavy duty romping stomping Vita-Mix I inherited from my parents hiding in a cabinet. It is huge (it is like having another person in the kitchen), it makes a noise like an outboard motor, it makes sparks when reversed and it will liquefy a concrete block. I have no idea when my parents bought it but I'm guessing at least 40 years ago. It is a magical thing that is sort of like a vacuum bottle. As a vacuum bottle keeps hot things hot and cold things cold this machine will make hot soup or ice cream. How do it know?
I have kneaded bread in it, made ice cream, made hot soup and turned things I didn't want to eat into juice. I have to admit I didn't move it far as it went into SWMBO's kitchen. I thought she would complain about it but she has actually used it. It freed up space I have not yet used.
While removing things for cleaning I found a tin of loose Earl Grey tea I didn't know I had. I've just finished a cup. How sweet it is.

There is a peculiar burning odor in the room, like explosives. the kitchen fills with smoke and the hot, sweet, ashy smell of scorched cookies. The war has begun.~Alison Lurie

Sounds like me cooking with my hot pan technique. My motto is "cooking over a low fire is for cowards and wimps". My favorite method is a cast iron skillet over a flame just below hot enough to melt the skillet.  I love the flame, the smoke and the flying sparks. The fire trucks, fire axes and all that water(?) not so much.  No curtains in the kitchen and no paper products near the stove when I cook.  If a pot holder is not charred then I have not used it yet.  SWMBO is appalled.


Ben in Texas said...

Shoot, don't you know a clean kitchen is the sign of a rotten cook? Silly, put it all back, you may need it tomorrow!!

Old Jules said...

I admire what you've got there, what you've done. I make excuses for myself and what a mess the kitchen side of the cabin is. Used to make excuses, anyway, before the gas bottle ran dry and I started learning culinary arts on a microwave. I think I'm going to bookmark this post and picture so's to come back to it when I feel the need for a role model, something to aspire to.

Thanks for the post.

Big Oak said...

I'll bet you make a mean blackened catfish.

Lollipops & Polka Dots said...

I just love to read your writings. So real and down to earth. Thank you.

Chandra said...

Hi Richard,
I hear ya! Nothing like cooking on a good skillet. I always get in trouble by cookin' up a storm. When I cook, I cook like it is goin' out of style! I use all kinds of spices in my cooking and while it is very fragrant, the house smells like food for a bit. The boss lady uses exhaust fans to get rid of the food smells.

Have a good one!

Peace :)

Oldfool said...

Ben,Jules: a clean kitchen lessens the chance of the stray cockroach in your plate of food. I don't care how expensive or how good a plate of food is the cockroach is what will be remembered.
Big Oak: I had blackened catfish today for lunch. That's what I call it SWMBO calls it burnt.
Lollipops: Thanks
Chandra: I grew up in houses that smelled of cooking food so I'm kind of locked into that being the smell of home. SWMBO makes the house smell like home but she objects to my liberal use of smoke. I guess smoke is just a man thing.

2whls3spds said...

When the smoke detector goes off...Dinner is ready!


Oldfool said...

How did you know about the smoke detector? When I cook I put it in the refrigerator.

2whls3spds said...

'cause that what mine does, unfortunately it is hardwired so I can't put it in the fridge.

I just wave a dish towel at it, open a few windows and doors and carry on as usual.