Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Tiny 1st Sunday of Advent

The previous topic of my postage stamp kitchen brings me to my postage stamp house. Which I would like to point out that I love. It has all the cozy of the kind of ancient cottages I grew up in back home BUT (most importantly) doesnt leak/have mold where the dry rot meets the rising damp, has actual electricity. It lacks charm but I have managed to over come this by cramming it full of books and oversized squashy furniture. 
This leaves barely enough room for anything else but..... ho hum. Now however the combo of Christmas/Parties/Visiting Family and Stubbed Toes (mine!) I must make room somehow. And find space to fit all the food/appliances/people that are needed to create spectacular holiday feasts (and really boring leftovers) for a bunch of people with allergies galore. 
I'm sure there are many people for whom a bread maker is a gimme not a gotta but not this house. faced with the choice between space for a toaster OR the bread maker I opted to call the toaster a masterpiece of decor and both stayed. I need a food processor but ive had to be honest and say there is no more room! I am working on a kitchen-aid but the no space/no money double whammy is keeping us from having one and calling it something ridiculous like 'coffee table art' to justify leaving it in the living rooms one inch of available space. 
Lest you think Im the crazy Hoarders lady. I'm not. This is a 1000sqft house with three bathrooms. that means we're living in 750sqft max once youve included the stairs. I used to live in an open plan 2400sqft double wide with an island kitchen and walk in pantry. I HAD SPACE. I filled it with all the things that make a literary/culinary/horsie weirdo a happy and productive person. so i have nine million books, three zillion loaf/muffin/egg doohikies and more leather and straps than the annual erotica LA convention could shake a french tickler at. 
in 750sqft and one storage unit. 
in this space i will now force. a deep freezer. A 6ft+ Noble Fir. all our friends. AND more toys and stuff on Christmas day because they cannot live in my closet and behind the dryer forever. I may only wear jeans and tee's but I would like to be able to put them away because that would mean i had a bedroom floor. 


It is the first Sunday in Advent and in the spirit of my own childhood memories I have done the following,
Skipped Church
Bought the big dinner
Added a glass of wine to my afternoon plans
Dragged all the Christmas boxes from behind the dryer. 

It is TREE TRIMMING day today and from amidst the chaos of my home a spacious and festive Blue and Silver Christmas will emerge. (By tuesday latest. Promise)

Then I will vacuum my fifteen available sqft of carpet AGAIN and wash the door frames AGAIN because everything gets touched 11zillion times and toddler tyke is sticky and THEN I will begin THE BAKING. 
So dear friends. If you find yourself in need of a few inches of middle do drop by and sample the bounty. You get to eat all the ones that turned out badly/stuck/i miss spelled Christmas on that cannot go to the Gift List. Like the year I had a few too many and put little icing trees on what turned out to be driedel cutout cookies..... or the Year I did the last fifty with Happy Hogswatch because i was listening to an audiobook two glasses past sensible (and in ridiculous sleepdebt)
So come one comee all. Its m'n'm brownies first. Always loads of stick-it-back-together-with-frosting there

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Medieval Life.... (teeny tiny toy kitchen part 1)

It has been said that I was born in the wrong time. This may be true in the spiritual sense but it has become apparent that it is very true in the physical sense as well. I am allergic to modern life. Or at least the food it eats.
 study I read the other day discussed how many people have discovered that they are allergic to kiwi fruit. all across the world! Now this study doesnt posit that people are developing new and weird allergies instead it supposes that all of these people (and probably other people in their ancestral line) were ALWAYS allergic to kiwi or at least had the tendancy. The reason we just noticed was that kiwi wasnt exactly readily available. In the middle class Britain of my childhood it was a high treat of a summer fruit salad and usually only if the gathering was important enough for my mother to have gone all out to compose a massive three tired pavlova.
I am not allergic to kiwi, by the way, Im just illustrating my point. What I'm allergic to is Soy tuna and eggs. Plus a bunch of environmentals and pharmaceuticals but for this purpose.... the problem is food.
Welcome to the world of Microwave And Die. This is because soy wasn't a part of my diet as a kid. most of the convenience products of today hadn't been invented and my mother made most everything the old fashioned way. She would not have known a soy bean if it hit her in the head but she could have grown prepped served and identified nine other kinds of beans that thrived in out temperate corner of Britain.
Here State-side I stepped into a household that thrived on hamburger helper and Betty Crocker. I was an instant and very busy mother and wife and there was a way to insert meat and water and POOF! dinner. The added sult and MSG explosion ensured that you didn't hate it. Cakes in one bowl, no sifting or weighing or careful scaling to make the making science Gods smile. Just crack in two eggs beat in a third of a cup of oil and POOF! reliable unsinkable and idiot proof cake! Then I started getting sick.
Poisoned by convenience. all of these products are laden with preservatives, colourings and flavourings and loads of them are made from Soy. I was poisoning myself with every single thing I ate from the fast food joint to the fancy restaurant. Go look at your Pam spray or that tub of butter like spread it you don't believe me. Its everywhere. my kryptonite. Turns out that for me the lables 'light' 'fat free' and 'diet' mean tripple whammy poison.
There is only one solution. I have to make everything myself. Not really a huge concern until yo u realise i have the Worlds Smallest Kitchen.
But then I also get to eat butter and real bacon because the turkey kind uses poison flavouring to get the 'bacon-ness' in (badly)
I believe I am allergic to something i wasn't even evolved to eat in the first place.
Sadly my mother is allergic to citric acid (can't grow much citrus in Wales after all) which means I will do all of everything from scratch in the worlds tiniest oven with 18 square inches of counter space.
Sadly those 18 inches cannot stretch to any convenience appliances. So no kitchenaid or cuisinart. No storage space. So I am constantly running to the store for EVERYTHING.
And so. Then where do you store everything. Im fighting back the only way I know how. I bought a deep freeze. People who have actually seen my house are laughing as they try to picture me fitting a deep freeze in my postage stamp house.... but i did.... so stay posted people I may be poorly evolved to eat American food but I'm going to figure out how to kick culinary tail (and find fairies to clean up afterwards)