NINETY DEGREES

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.

IN THE KITCHEN – CEE’S BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE

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

POINTY END DOWN

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.

storingeggspointedenddown

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.

atlantic_salmon

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.

ANOTHER WEEK OF SHARING MY WORLD

A FINE AND LINGERING SCENT

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!

A KITCHEN-CENTRIC SHARING OF MY WORLD

Share Your World – 2014 Week 26

Is your refrigerator, organized or a mess inside? 

Our refrigerator is an organized mess. Organized loosely, mostly by the height of the shelves. Tall stuff (mostly liquid) on top. Short stuff in the middle. Tallish stuff, veggies, fish, cold-cuts, whatever on the bottom shelf and in the pullout baskets.

Sometimes, what’s in those pullout baskets has been there too long. Forgotten veggies have morphed into pulpy messes. Meanwhile, leftovers from who-knows-when lurk in the back, covered with strange fuzzy fungi and now beyond identification. Yoicks.

If you could be famous for one thing, what would it be?

It certainly wouldn’t be my housekeeping, athletic prowess, or skill with arts and crafts.

marilyn selfie

So let me suggest, as a writer and photographer, that I’d like to be known as a pretty good writer who also took some nice pictures. That would do it for me.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?

You mean — ever? Or recently? Because I’ve done most of the things I wanted to do. Some of them I wish I had the wherewithal to do again … but my life has been full and interesting. Looking back, I don’t feel deprived. Poor, yes. Deprived, no.

Where do you eat breakfast?

A better question would be “Do you eat breakfast?”

To which I would have to reply “Define breakfast.”

I definitely drink coffee. With fervor and great enthusiasm. I don’t drink coffee all day, but first thing in the morning, coffee makes the wheels go round. The smell of it, the taste of it. The heat of it. Ah coffee.

And I eat something with my coffee. A protein bar. A small piece of pastry or a cookie. I don’t get serious about real food until lunch. Before then, I’m in coffee mode.

Don’t even think about telling me I should cut out caffeine. Not a word.

Mr. Coffee

ORDINARY PLACES, EVERYDAY THINGS

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 18

Among the pictures I take, there are some — such as these — that make me wonder why I am bothering, especially because there’s no obvious story, nothing particularly beautiful. Except that these are things and places that are part of my everyday world. Where I shop, how I live. I often find them beautiful. Maybe this is my way of trying to show you the beauty I find in the more ordinary places.

The parking lot at the grocery store. I should point out it is also the parking lot of the bank, the local Chinese restaurant, Dunkin Donuts of the cockroaches, and my hairdresser — even though most of our visits are grocery-related. And of course, my kitchen with the morning light shining in through the top of the dutch door.

oddball