Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Watt do you think?

Downton Abbey, is a very interesting new series on PBS. It started this past Sunday at 9pm here, and will continue for the next 3 Sundays. But if you didn't see it, don't worry, check your local PBS station, they will be repeating episodes quite a few times during the week.

In one scene a conversation was held amongst the "downstairs" staff-the workers in the castle, regarding how were they going to adapt to this new electrical lighting that was going to be installed? They also mentioned that it was thought to put it in the kitchen, but really, what was the use of electricity in the kitchen??? Then the "upstairs" people, the hoity-toitys, also mentioned their new electric lighting-and how blindingly bright it was, and how they were thinking of putting it in the kitchen, but reaaaaly no use for it there.

Hmm? Let me think of the electrical situation in my kitchen, going around it has:

-Refrigerator/Freezer, one of the huge big side by side ones-living in the area that we do, I don't always have the desire to fight snow to get a loaf of bread-everything is "stocked up on", if you know what I mean.

-Radio/CD player on top of fridge-what kitchen does not have a radio in it?

-Electric Stove/Oven- I know some people think it is stoooopid to cook on anything other than gas, but really, I am used to it and can not cook on gas without burning everything!

-Microwave -when they first came out, I cooked so much in there, now I just heat stuff, pop popcorn, and the occasional veggie gets cooked in there.

-Intercom for talking to SSon in his room, way too many very steeeeep stairs.

-Small table lamp on microwave cart -one of the heat sensor ones that you touch to turn on-how easy is that?

-Large ceiling light/fan-we bought this model because SHusband thought the globe looked like a flying saucer!

-Ceiling Can/Light above stove-the older I get, the more I am interested in seeing what I am actually cooking.

-Two plain old bulbs in fixtures waaay up on ceiling above sink, can not even see then unless peering under the wooden thing above the window-and if you are doing that, you can see these: two small blue and green hearts that were in our wedding invitations-you know the kind that fall out and make a mess when you open the envelope up? We put them there when we first painted here together, and then when a painter did the next job-strict instructions not to paint the hearts! How many times do you think I reminded them of that?

-TV, not usually on, not usually in kitchen, seemed like a good idea at the time, days are numbered.

-Hands free small vacuum and recharging station-do you have birds? Enough said.

-Toaster-coffee and toast for breakfast to go with reading the paper. Is there anything better than watching outside birds at our feeders, drinking coffee, munching on toast and not talking to anyone? I think not.

-Coffee Pot-see above

-Portable heater for the above mentioned inside birds during the winter months.

Stuffed into cupboards:
-Nightlight-really only used it when Matka stayed overnight

-Coffee grinder-what was I thinking? Well, here is what I was thinking: how hard could it be, nice and fresh, take coffee beans out of the freezer, quick zap, and fresh coffee grinds. Except, there is a fine line between ground and pulverized, and those micro grinds go right through the filter and clog the opening where hot coffee is supposed to come out, and it backs up and overflows and causes those in the vicinity who do the cleaning to say all kinds of foul words. The alternative is to not grind completely, so you get these pieces of coffee beans that do the same thing, same results. But I will keep trying, how hard can it be?

-Electric knife, we always had one in the house from my late teen-years and up, then when we were newlyweds (174 months ago tomorrow-thank you for asking), SH used my electric knife (part of my massive dowry) to saw some Styrofoam-he had never used one before and was feeling adventuresome, the knife however was not sharin' the feeling and just went poof. I did not repurchase another until about 3 years ago when SCousin got a bread machine and brought over a fresh loaf whenever she came over (see left thigh for proof), and you do get the best results with soft fresh bread if you use an electric knife-it is hidden from SH, so don't you go tellin' him I have one now-you here! SGrandma V. used to cut fresh bread with this knife that was super sharp from being sharpened so much by her, and she would hold the bread across her chest and cut it drawing the knife TOWARDS her chest. Oh sweet Jesus, we could not believe that method every time she did it.

-A zillion electric extension cords stuffed into the JUNK drawer, why do I have so many?-I know, I have so many power cords/strips now that replaced these old fashioned kind.

-A hand full of cell phone chargers-in the potholder/dish towel/Sally's tools (don't think of not putting back my hammer, screwdrivers and measuring tape- exactly as I have them please) drawer

In the back hall pantry-cupboards:

-George Forman Grill-no bells and whistles, the original, plug it in , grill, turn it off and don't you dare wait till it cools to clean it-if you are not burning your hands pulling those paper towels across those red-hot grill plates, you are not doing it right.

-My beloved Crock Pot-nice and big-I will be using it tomorrow, I love cooking in it in the winter-a SFriend told me she uses hers more in the summer months to avoid heating up the kitchen-what a smartie she is.

-My beloved itsy bitsy crock pot-SSister#1 bought it for me-wonderful for making applesauce or rice pudding or small amount of soup or a dinner for Lilliputians.

-My almost never used blender-I did use it for that eggnog puff pancake I told you about last month, and I make a real mean onion mustard salad dressing in there, but really not on my top ten list of favorite kitchen appliances.

-My almost never used iron-I don't think I am alone here right people?

And if I had to live without electricity like when this house was built in 1904, the only thing I could not do without is my 'fridge. They had iceboxes then-the man would come and using his ice tongs, put a chunk of ice into a small squat very thick-sided brown box- (SGrandma V. called our refrigerator " L'iceaboxa". Stupida me thought it was the Italian word for refrigerator.....

I could adapt to all the other missing electric things: cooking my porridge by the light of a soot crusted oil lamp, throwing wood into the side of the stove because that was also the heater for the kitchen (hey, I forgot to mention our heat vent in the kitchen in my list of electrical stuff, which as we know is powered by.....) .
So anyway, you have to do what you know at the time, and I know the joy of electricity in the kitchen, but those ladies in the other non-electrified days, were wonderful, hard working women, God Bless them all for their labors of love that kept the family going........

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