Laments About My Kitchen

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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Your Dessert or Mine

Caloric Choices Create Marital Mayhem!

In the old days, my husband and I disagreed about desert vs. mountain locales, city vs. more pastoral settings. Should we live in Las Vegas or Reno? Nevada or New York City or at least Washington, D.C.? Somehow we navigated our way through the difficult marital waters of very different lifestyles and career paths and recently celebrated our 30th anniversary.

However, add an ‘s’ to desert, and we now find ourselves facing a marital incompatibility for which there may be no solution. The issue is dessert. We never saw eye-to-eye on this caloric highpoint of a meal, but when we were younger, it didn’t matter. We could eat a lot (really a lot) and it wasn’t a problem for either of us. Appetizer, bread with butter, soup, salad, big entrée, potatoes, and, of course, dessert – always dessert. We could feast and then exercise it off.

But now, in our late middle years, our “middles” reveal the excesses of our gluttony. You’ve heard the unfortunate expression “muffin top?” I think of my midriff as more of a “seven-layer-cake cascade” and Jon’s as an “ice-cream crescendo.” Read more

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