The secret password is coffee, from which the day begins. After noon, the password changes to “tea.” And cookies.

There are not many non-negotiable foods in our kitchen. Coffee, half-and-half, Splenda (sweetener), tea … and cookies. Bite-sized apple strudel. Almost anything else, we can live without — temporarily, at least — or substitute using a different ingredient.

And of course — biscuits for the furry ones. Can’t ever forget those!

Welcome to the kitchen. Bring your own cup, if you like or we will gladly let you use one of ours.


Eleven months ago, I bought a Waring Pro Digital Convection Oven. Basically, it’s a high-end toaster oven with an added convection baking function. I picked it because it has the features I wanted, it got good reviews … and it would fit in the space I had available.

These days, I cook pretty much entirely for Garry and I. We rarely have company, much less dinner guests. I figured I could bring our electric consumption down considerably by not using the huge oven in my electric, glass-top range.

waring mini oven

Since I bought it last June, I’ve used my full-size oven only once. I love this little oven … except that the design of the rack can make it very difficult to get the baking sheet out.

art waring oven multi lens

It gets stuck under the claws of the oven, which I believe it is designed to do. It has been the source of significant frustration for me, especially since I use it nearly every day for everything from baking chicken to frozen pizza.

Our electric bill dropped by 50% between last year and now, so I figured it was worth the hassle.

Today, I solved the puzzle. I figured out how to prevent the baking tray from getting stuck on the rack. What was the solution? I changed its orientation from east-west to north-south. In other words, I rotated it 90 degrees on the rack and the problem vanished.

waring mini oven trayFor eleven months, I struggled with the oven pan, trying to get it out of the oven without burning my hand. I have hundreds of little burns on my hands because the pan got caught every time I used it. Which, I remind you, has been almost every day.

In all these months, it never occurred to me I could turn it.

What point is there in having a high IQ if it takes 11 months of getting burned on an oven rack before you consider turning the pan in the other direction?

Garry said he was glad it was me, not him.

I guess I will never be too old to be really stupid.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Things Found in a Kitchen

kitchen BW spices

What a great challenge this is. I love taking pictures in the kitchen. There is so much stuff in a kitchen … so much going on.

kitchen utensils BW

howling coyote cooking jar BW

sepia kitchen wide monochrome

So many textures and moods. I have taken a lot of my favorite photographs in the kitchen, usually in the morning when its east-facing windows catch the light. I was happy to take this today. Because the sun is shining.

copper kettle BW kitchen


I just read a post on Facebook warning me to store my eggs pointy-end down to keep them fresh longer. This is the kind of important issue I’m prepared to deal with this snowy morning.

Today, I’m going to worry about which my eggs are pointing. Really. Even my health food obsessed mother didn’t worry about positioning he eggs properly.


I’m sorry if I am a disappointment to egg lovers the world round, but I cannot be bothered to check the positioning of my eggs in their cardboard beds. I feel proud of myself if I know whether or not they are too old to eat. Sometimes, the eggs are so old, I’m not sure during which calendar year I purchased them, much less which of their little eggy ends are up.

Honestly, of all the things I to worry about. I think I’ll slip my concern over the position of my eggs neatly between my fears about the failure of world peace and the failing ecology of our planet. Which brings me to … The Daily Prompt.

WordPress suggests I make a case for the continued existence of my favorite person, place, or thing. To keep him, her, it or them from vanishing, without a trace. I hope no one is counting on me. I can’t come up with good reason I shouldn’t vanish. I have trouble figuring out why the human race should not be obliterated.

I think eggs should be spared. Pointy or blunt end up, I’ve never known an egg to do anyone any harm.

Do or Die – You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!

Share Your World – 2014 Week 38

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

aloe veraI think I’d like to be something useful. Maybe aloe vera. Good for skin, burns, hair. A very useful plant and it smells good too.

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for one hour, what would you have them do?

Cook dinner!

kitchen condiments

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

Salmon, probably. It’s my favorite fish. I’d honestly prefer shrimp, but my cholesterol wouldn’t hear of it.


What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I washed poodles. By the time I was done with that job, I never wanted to bathe another animal of any kind. But I have. I have scrubbed many, many dogs, cats and other critters over many decades. But I never use poodle shampoo or paint their nails some weird color.



Nosey Delights – From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

There was a time when I baked bread. The smell would bring friends and neighbors lining up at the kitchen door to get a hunk off a warm, newly baked loaf. I was a good baker, but one day I got tired of spending ten hours to bake 4 loaves of bread which would be consumed by my pals in about 10 seconds.

empty chairs

I used to love the smell of new-mown grass, but we have no grass here, just crabgrass, weeds, rocks, and woods. And though the smell of freshly mown anything is good, weeds and crabgrass don’t have quite the same kick as grass.

I suppose my favorite smell these days is the scent of supper being cooked by someone else wafting from the kitchen. Someone who isn’t me.

It’s the smell of a night off from the kitchen. It is yummy and I can’t get enough of it!