Monday, June 14, 2010

Mixed Plate: Kitchen Confidential

Meanwhile, in a laundry room not far from here...

The Wasabi Prime Peanut Gallery Players - thanks, we'll be here all week - Photos by Wasabi Prime

So I'm either going crazy and having a Wonderfalls-like spell of momentary mental derangement, or it's a visit from the Wasabi Prime Peanut Gallery Players, objects from the kitchen who like to throw me under the bus now and then with a dose of truthiness and snyde commentary. I've been so used to snapping photos and clanking around in the kitchen, making stuff for the last year, that I forget what a silly setup I have, and how it's kind of funny to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Wasabi Prime makes food-whoopie every week.

I used to have a bit of ghetto pride over the little Casio point-and-shoot digital camera I was using from Blogging Day One, but I can't complain with the Canon 50d that Mr. Wasabi gave me over Christmas. But beyond that very lovely upgrade, it's still been Wasabi business as usual. My "photo studio" still consists of the south-facing laundry room, which finally gets its chance to shine, as normally I try to keep washing machine dials out of the picture. Thankfully I removed the drying undies and bras that normally hang on the metal rack on the left. With better weather and sunnier days back in season, I will definitely be booking more time in the "studio," between wash/rinse cycles.

The "studio" and the t-fail experience with cookware and sexy oven mitts - Photos by Wasabi Prime

I do have good knives, and that is worth noting, as it makes a world of difference from the Info-mercial set I had, also from college days. I invested in a set of cold-pressed steel awesomeness from Henckels years ago and have never regretted a penny of that purchase, but the cookware remains in a state of flux. Over the holidays and following birthday, I was lucky to receive some very nice new items, a big sautee pan and new pot from foodie-friend, Ms. South Sound Garden. I think she was just tired of hearing how the pans I use are so old, the bottoms are so warped, that I have to roll my wrist as I cook, to make sure the surface gets heated properly. Yes, for reals, this is how I roll, my wrist, that is. These are no longer T-Fal, but T-Fail pots and pans -- I've had them since college. Beyond shameful, but I'm the worst when it comes to replacing things. My socks have holes in them, my cookware has convex bottoms, and god forbid if I have a sniffle, as I'll probably wait until one of my limbs fall off before I go to the doctor. Don't even get me started on my flossing habits and how often I throw out my disposeable contact lenses. Kitchen Confidential or Life Choice Confessional? You decide, but don't judge too harshly as I'm pretty sure you don't floss every day either.

One of the other items I always use beyond the realm of good sense is this old pair of oven mitts printed with -- I swear -- fornicating penguins. My aunt gave me these right before I went away to college and a friend noticed it later saying, Hey, the penguins are doin' it. I was like, No, they're not. My aunt would not give me something with penguins 'doin' it.' But apparently I was wrong, as they are indeed getting to know one another in the Biblical sense, but in an artful, line drawing way. If Missoni can put out a line of naked ladies printed on  dresses this season, it's en vogue to have a pair of oven mitts with penguins doing the humpty-hump. They're fine oven mitts, but I've managed to set them on fire with my hand still in it, after brushing them against the top of the broiler. That's always a crowd pleaser at a dinner party, the host setting her hand on fire. Having meals at Casa de Wasabi, we spare no excitement or threat to bodily harm. So there's a hole in one of the mitts and I continue to use them on hot plates, slightly burning my hand every time when my exposed fingers go through the charred hole. Seriously, someone give me the number of a behavioral specialist, as there is clearly something wrong with me. This isn't a blog post, it's a desperate cry for an intervention of some sort.

Start spreadin' the news - it's time for jello molds! - Photos by Wasabi Prime

I also have a small collection of cheesy cookbooks. And yes, I do cook from them sometimes. For as much high-horse-ing that's said about organic, sustainable, farm-fresh whatever, sometimes you just want a weird Jell-O mold dessert with canned fruit bits suspended in it like fight scenes from The Matrix. My mom gave me her copy of the Philly Cream Cheese cookbook, from which I have a lot of fond childhood memories of her making layered gelatin desserts. I don't think about gelatin being made from cow hooves, the food dyes that most likely caused a tumor from which Mothra will spring forth from any day now, or the fact that Cool Whip was neither cool nor whipped cream, yet we ate copious amounts of it with abandon. Sometimes the best-loved food memories are perfectly captured... due to the level of preservatives.

As for my Crockery Cookery book -- it was a gift from a friend who found it at a used bookstore and it must have been like finding the Holy Grail, because the photo on the back is freakin' priceless. It kind of makes me wonder what future generations will think of the Martha Stewart cookbooks, wondering how crazy those will look years from now. I'm pretty sure Martha wouldn't have the fashion stones to wear something as totally fabulous as that printed dress that perfectly matches the colors on the crock pot collection.

What a crock. - Photos by Wasabi Prime

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  1. The pictures tell the story this time around; I feel like I'm right there with you in the laundry room with the humping penguin oven mitts on. I too never replace things- my underwear pretty much look like threadbare dental floss at this point they're so old. Happy to see I'm in good company:)

  2. I totally have that crock pot cookery cookbook though mine does not have an awesome lady with huge glasses on the back. It must be a different edition

  3. The fact that you have humping penguin mits in your posession was funny enough, but the visual of them on fire--:)
    I don't have an old crock pot cookbook, but I do still have a crock pot (circa 1984) that looks similar to the one on the cover! It's in pristine condition, complete with fake wood laminant on the outside.

  4. I LOOVE this post! The new homecook mades due to make fine food and photos ^_^. And I love your brainwaves because I just shot my whole kitchen to do as a profile post called My Kitschy Kitchen. Then I had reservations, 'Who really wants to see my dumb ole kitchen anyways?" But I'm totally doing it now.

  5. I love the cartoon that you made! So cute! I have virtually every one of those egg tools. For some reason all my friends associate it with me and always give them to me as gifts. Ha ha, it was so funny seeing them on your site. :)


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