Everyone’s excited about the new place. Because, while I’m waiting for the current tenant to vacate, I’m hanging out at the family manse. Which is fairly large, but not enough for me, my stuff, my parents and their stuff, not to mention a room half full of my sister’s stuff (she’s got her own place, but she still left behind a lot of… stuff). And did I mention the storage locker where my grandmother’s kitchen stainless, an Evesham platter, and a set of holiday plates are sitting swathed in tissue just waiting to be used? So the air is thick with excitement.
The lease went back and forth and was mailed Express, return receipt, with a large-ish check. And then the planning began. After some consideration my mother decided I could take the cherry bedroom set if I planned to stay in this new place a long time. I was noncommittal (um, not long enough and it’s not big enough- save it for the house I get soon, Maman).
“I know what we’ll do,” my mother said the other day, thumbing through the paper and rolling her glass of red around in one hand (making it warm and inspiring me to hit Crate&Barrel and get her some stemless glasses, but that’s another story.) Then she said 3 little words that filled my heart with warmth and happiness:
“We’ll go shopping.”
Me: (Sigh. Visions of Ann Taylor ruffled blouses, Talbot’s ombre silk skirts, and the upscale shoe department at Nordstrom with its selection of Stuart Weitzman yumminess are dancing in my cute, in dire need of a haircut, head.) “Really? Because I saw this fabulous–”
Mom: “There’s a whole bunch of stuff your grandmother left for you. Baking things. Kitchen stuff. We need to figure out what we’ve got and what you need. Then we’ll go shopping.”
My grandmother was not as good a cook as my mother- so says everyone else in my family- but darnit the woman could fill a kitchen with as much warmth and happiness as Julia-freaking-Child, so I could not be more excited to be getting something from her kitchen. And I really like the sound of “baking stuff.” It sounds like I’ll be doing some baking.
Since I signed the lease I’ve been making a mental list of things I’d like to have in my kitchen. Naturally this includes the usual stuff- microwave, Cuisinart, mixer, blender, measuring cups and spoons, dishes, dish drainer (no dishwasher- le sigh.)- but there’s also a bit of fancy. A touch of whimsy. A little crazed, unvarnished, totally nekkid covetousness. Things I could probably live without, but would love to have. Some of it is stuff I’ve seen in other people’s kitchens that I’d like to have, some I’ve coveted from Crate&Barrel (I should probably apply for a part time position there for the holidays, come to think of it). And my birthday is coming up, so maybe I have a shot of having a few wonderful kitchen toys to play with. Who knows?
So here, in the spirit of Gilbert & Sullivan, is my little list- which, I really must insist- you read:
- A pasta machine. While living in Boston I borrowed a friend’s and was up until 3am making ravioli. Heaven.
- A full complement of baking ingredients: a mondo bag of flour, a box of baking soda, a can of baking powder, boxes of salted and unsalted butter, etc. so that I can whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies on a whim.
- A cookbook stand.
- A bottle of really good olive oil from this mail order company I found out about recently.
- Cupcake cups that can go right in the oven.
- A bottle of gin in the cupboard, a bottle of champagne in the fridge, and a bottle of really good vodka in the freezer. Just in case.
- A crisper drawer that’s really for cheese. Lots of cheese. Maybe I’ll even join a cheese club.
- Fresh herbs, arugula, and one vegetable or fruit I’ve never cooked with before- rhubarb? endive? marigold leaves?
- A shelf for all my Food&Wine magazines and cookbooks.
- An ice cream maker.
- Tea. Lots of tea. And a kettle… and a tea pot.
- A set of salt and pepper grinders. Maybe some fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt to go with them.
- My own set of stemless wine glasses and a nice decanter so that if I want to drink red I can do it right.
- A waffle iron and some good maple syrup- they say that within the next decade or so Dutch Elms will choke out maples, and I want to savor the taste of maple before it gets pricier than oil.
This could go on forever. Two more weeks, to be exact!