Laments About My Kitchen

Household News You Can Use

And Eat Too!

Household News You Can Use

Does all the gloom and doom of the news get you down? Well, cheer up! Here’s household news you can use … and eat too!

It’s all thanks to my hometown newspaper, The New York Times, and a terrifically tasty morsel, I mean, just published article entitled “Beyond Lemons and Vinegar: How to Clean with Ketchup, Vodka, Butter and More.” It’s a cook’s, I mean, cleaner’s dream.

The article goes way beyond those old pantry cleaning standbys of baking soda, lemons, and salt, and takes us into the yummy culinary, I mean, cleaning arena of butter, potatoes, wine (white AND red), and olive oil! This is better than sliced bread. Oh, wait. Sliced bread is also on this innovative culinary/cleaning list! Read more

Cake Porn

Confessions of a Chubby Middle-aged Woman

Cake Porn

OK. It’s true confession time. And it’s one to take the cake.

Everybody has an addiction, a guilty pleasure. Mine? Cake porn. Yes, I’m a cake … and cookie … and cupcake … and pie-aholic. I’m indiscriminate and undiscerning. If it’s baked, I’m in. I cannot get my fill of the stuff.

Some people say it’s a good idea to eat dessert first, but they’re all talk. I don’t just talk about it. I regularly dessert first, dine second.

Some people like cold pizza for breakfast, but if you ask me, nothing beats leftover chocolate birthday cake.

My obsession with cake extends way beyond ingesting the stuff, I’m a voyeur as well. Read more

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Instant Pot Madness

Big Boys and Their Kitchen Toys

Instant Pot Madness

Christmas has come and gone, but Instant Pot madness lingers at our house.

Handsome Hubby (HH), a modest fellow of few wants and needs, had expressed a gift wish for an Instant Pot, a wish I failed to heed until it was too late. I should have realized he was serious when he started reading New York Times Instant Pot articles to me with the solemnity he usually reserves for stories about the environment and the Golden State Warriors.

What is it about men and their desire for gadgets? Read more

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Throw in the Towel in 2018

The Path to Enlightenment

Throw in the Towel

You know the expression “to throw in the towel”- meaning to give up? Well, I am trying the opposite. I’m turning to towels, dishtowels to be specific, for inspiration and wisdom in 2018.

Maybe it is the challenging times we live in. The nation seems more divided than ever. We’re all scared about a possible war with North Korea. And I personally feel adrift, desperately trying to figure out what to give my sister-in-law for her birthday this year.

So, you can imagine my delight the other day when birthday gift shopping online, I found inspiration, indeed true enlightenment in … of all things … Read more

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear middle-aged muddlers! Have a wonderful holiday. Enjoy your family and friends. Eat hearty and be well.

As for Handsome Hubby and me, we’ll be muddling along—cooking a vegetarian, vegan Thanksgiving dinner sans turkey for our vegetarian, vegan spawn! Wish us luck as we create new traditions while celebrating the past!

I’ll be back next week with new Light Laments for women (and men) “of a certain age.”

Fondly,
Karen

AND if the holiday and spending time with family is more of a “lament” than a “laugh” for you, please take a quick break and read some of my prior stories. In fact, it might be a good time to re-visit my 8 Tips for Personal Holiday Fulfillment–Sure-fired Ways to Get the Gifts YOU Want!

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Inheritance Guilt

Much Too Much of a Good Thing

inheritance guilt fine china overload

Do you suffer from inheritance guilt? It’s a problem many of us middle-aged baby boomers face. Your parents pass on and you inherit all their “stuff.” Are you grateful or do you buckle under the weight of unwanted material overload and guilt?

Nowadays, more and more of us fall into the suffering and lamenting category. One friend of mine cannot wait to dispose of her mother’s mink coat. Another hates her mother’s bright orange, fish-patterned ceramic platter. For me, the cause of distress – fine china.

And while it’s all well and good to lament, on a practical basis, what do you do when when you have too much of a good thing or even too much of a bad, but deeply sentimental object? Read more

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Where Do You Keep Your Olive Oil?

Culinary Questions Meet Midlife Uncertainty

Olive oil in a dish

Both the mighty and the not-so-mighty worry. Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet pondered lofty questions from his castle keep; I ponder less esoteric topics like how to keep olive oil.

Hamlet contemplated the unfairness of life and debated avenging his father’s murder by his uncle, now  stepfather and king. He pondered life itself:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Poor Hamlet. Everybody’s got issues, right?

Take me. I’m no Shakespeare, but I too face grave, indeed existential questions:

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate? That is the question.
Tis better to risk rancidity or clouded, solidified olive oil? Read more

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Celebrity Diet: Words to Live By

2 a.m., Any Night of the Week

That’s it. I’ve binged again. Must stop. Must take control. I will go on a Celebrity Diet. Starting right now. Read more

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Microwave Maladies and Magic

Early one morning our microwave broke. I ordered a new one. A delivery date and time for installation was set and that was that. No big deal, at least not for me, but for others, life without a microwave was a challenge. Read more

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Croissants vs. Kisses

I had gotten up early to prepare croissants for my Barnard College book club meeting. I baked, I dressed and was heading out the door, just when the gardener showed up, an hour earlier than expected.

The night before I had given Handsome Hubby (HH) a list of “to do” tasks to review with the gardener. HH had dutifully set his alarm for the expected arrival time. Yet, here was the gardener 60 minutes ahead of schedule and I needed to leave. What to do? I woke HH, who zombie-like lumbered out of bed.

Back in the car, I buckled my seat belt, adjusted the mirror and opened the garage door. I was inching the car out of the garage when I looked up. There was HH gesturing wildly for me to wait.

“Yes?” I expectantly and lovingly asked, opening the car window as he rushed to the side of the car.

Read more

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