Kitchen(s) Items

Anne Taintor's Vintage Sass

Perhaps it’s because my last name is (yes, still) Kitchens.

Or because I had my ten-year-old birthday party at Let’s Get Cooking.

Or because I’m always thinking about food.

But I cook a ton. Every Sunday, for hours, in fact. And tonight, while slicing and dicing daikon radish for Yin Yang Salad and pureering Green and Mushroom soup, it occured to me: I have a pretty tricked out kitchen. So I thought I’d share some of my must-haves.

  • A Vitamix blender–This bad boy sounds like a jet, and blends like a dream.
  • I finally got an immersion blender. Tonight, I used all three parts of this one, and it was so easy to clean, I almost wept.
  • A rice cooker. I wish I had one that made me weep. Alas, I am using a dinky one that gets the job done. Rice, quinoa, bulgar, wheat berries–they all go in the rice cooker. It’s easier than a stove top pot because it’s stick-free.
  • I found this same set of vintage pyrex bowls at an antique store when I first moved up here. SO worth the hunt to find the old stuff. Why don’t they make bowls with pouring spouts anymore?
  • Pack my lunch in these every day. I have yet to break one or toss one out because I let the food grow mold babies in the depths of my classroom. What? You don’t do this??
  • Got this beautiful cookbook holder from Mama Kitchens–how have I lived without it?
  • A family heirloom from Denmark: a bottle opener the size of my forearm. Big enough to whack someone over the head with; strong enough to open lifetimes of beer.
  • My mandoline makes quick work of veggies
  • Mine aren’t quite this nice, but I love my teak salad servers
  • This sturdy garlic press is used several times each Sunday
  • Any oil from Drizzle (sigh) Currently in love with this one, but I have a hunch this one might be my long term love
  • GINGER! (I think all my favorite recipes call for it)
  • Caramelized onions

Happy cooking!

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Here I Go Again

Whitesnake pumps through my head. Rain pounds outside the windows. And somehow, I’ve found the courage to go again on my own.

I think the fabulous Meg Keene did her inspiration number on me yet again. A friend from high school  has sold her line of fabric. I read this book about women going out and harnessing life. Girlfriends are making shit happen.

So I’ve pounded out a new synopsis of Wild Mustard. I’ve scoured the A’s and B’s on QueryTracker. I’m putting my head down and getting back to work on another revision. I am going to make this happen. Or at least fight trying.

***

WILD MUSTARD

What begins as a journey for a memory ends as an odyssey to a sisterhood, one that Olivia Simpson may have to sacrifice everything to obtain.

All Olivia has ever wanted is to recall the moments before her parents’ death. After eight years and a trip to Costa Rica to scatter their ashes, a shard of memory is finally conjured. But it’s only a shard, and leaves Olivia begging for more.

With newfound resolve, Olivia confronts the other person who would remember those fateful moments before the shooting: Donna Henty—the woman who murdered her parents.  But Donna’s parochial memory is a dead end and the only other person who might recall the day—Donna’s daughter, Summer—hasn’t been heard from in almost a decade.

United by their quest to find Summer, Olivia and Donna forge an unlikely friendship. Olivia locates the daughter of her parents’ killer and devises several attempts to “serendipitously” meet Summer, all of which prove fruitless. In order to get close to the foster child, Olivia is willing to feign interest in adopting. But when the two orphans finally meet, Olivia realizes that the girls do, in fact, need each other more than they could have realized.

Summer, the taciturn teen, disagrees. As Olivia’s world crumbles around her, and Donna teeters on the edge of death, it seems that Summer may hold the only Hail Mary able to mend the haunted past of the three women.

 

A Girl and Her Horse

Sometimes I have to decide whether to ride Trusty Old or go for a run. One day a few months ago, I decided to kill two cardio workouts with one stone. I laced and haltered up, and led Echo out to the front field where we ran 2.5 miles. I had to keep pulling his head up from the grass. I had to keep my elbow out by his shoulder. I had to run my ass off to keep up with him. Both of us licked and chewed at the end. Success.

It’s a thing now, for the boy and I. He’s my speediest and most hungry running buddy. But hey–now I can say I can keep up with a Thoroughbred race horse and mean it! (Even if I do have to elbow him the whole time to keep him out of my space!)

I Saw a Smurf!

Tonight I came home from the gym to this:

And this was on the porch:

I’m not much one for Halloween–especially since my mom stopped sewing my costumes–but my boy drove home two hours to pass out treats on our front porch.

For the first time in his life.

His big grin waited for me at the front door when I got back from the gym (working off all the candy I’d consumed–FOUR pieces ONLY!!)

“I saw a Smurf!” he cried, giddy as the kids loading up on Milky Ways. “And Mario and Luigi, and a fireman and we only have twenty pieces of candy left, and did you see Pumpky?” he asked.

He wanted to roast pumpkin seeds and still, despite no trick-or-treaters for over twenty minutes, he’s wearing his afro. He has checked on his jack-o-lantern every ten minutes.

It just reminds me of the joy of something new. Of participating in something, no matter your age, because you’ve always wanted to and never had the chance.

At my house, we never had enough candy and my mom, despite Halloween being her favorite holiday, was known for doling out toothbrushes, apple slices and raisins. Some years she decked the house out better than the local haunted house: a one-eyed monster in the doorway, holding a jar of eyeballs, a bat on his shoulder, another suspended from the ceiling, brains sliding across a table, apothocary jars with gizzards and newts and my mom passing out whatever “treat” it was that year, that cackle at the ready.

Have you heard my mom cackle?

She has to cross her legs when she does it; it’s so loud she sometimes pees in her pants. And the cacophony frightens me every time, even when I know it’s coming. It’s that good.

She called to chat with N. She is pissed that she only has three trick-or-treaters. N is trying hard not to dwell on the fact that he’s passed out bowlfuls.

So next year, I will decorate a bit, for mom. I will put on something silly for N. I will carve “Pumpky” for me. And have a bit of fun for all of us. Cause I’m not past fun, right? And how can you say No to a face like this?