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Today is Thanksgiving. It is not that I am not thankful. I am. But I have a pressing need to rant about interior décor, the decline of basic cooking skills, and the obstinacy of appliances. Here is why:

What you have in the photo is domestic violence. On the left, the victim. On the right, the perpetrator. I am happy to report that the victim is recovering from her injuries, although typing is slightly more challenging than usual, and that the victim ditched the abuser and hooked up with a much sharper fellow. Remember: knives don’t hurt people; dull knives do.

We are staying in a lovely apartment here in Sydney. It has white walls, a white couch, and various other furnishings in neutral colors. Also dimensional artwork on the walls and the requisite natural touches (baskets! Dried flowers! Sisal rug!). It would make a lovely place for magazine people to live. People with actual stuff, however, find that the good looks disguise a place short on storage. People wishing to cook discover that one person’s idea of a fully equipped kitchen is not the same as another’s. People are trying not to use curses to describe the frustration caused by having no potholders and only two dishtowels. This would be a perfect kitchen for someone who wanted to eat microwave meals and the occasional pasta, as long as no ingredients needed chopping. I am taking the two knives I bought home with me.

We have, in theory, a washer-dryer. The wash part works great. I might have to petition the appliance people to remove the dry part from the name because as far as I can tell it is wishful thinking. I am enough of a hippie that I don’t have a problem hanging laundry to dry, but I do like to know what to expect.

I realize that I sound like an incredibly spoiled whiner. I am an incredibly spoiled whiner. The thing is, I believe that kitchens that allow for actual cooking are good for people. The smells of real ingredients feed the imagination. Chopping, sautéing, mixing, and washing up keep the cook focused on the present moment.

And now that I have that off my chest, I can say that the kitchen now smells pleasantly of turkey cooking. In a few hours, I will gather two of my favorite people around the table with me to eat the turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans. We will be together, and fed, and happy. I am thankful after all.



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