The kitchen diaries

(image by EagleXDV on Flickr)

Our oven is a fearsome beast, heating either at blisteringly hot or HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN. The simmering ring doesn’t even work. I assume it’s not considered worthwhile using such a small amount of gas. My current game is therefore trying not to burn things to a cinder.  I’m not very good at it.  The trouble is that I put something on to heat up, then walk away and start to do something else (blog/twit/facebook – sometimes even something worthwhile).  Five minutes later I return to a kitchen full of smoke and a blackened pan.  You’d think I’d learn, but no.  I’m far too impatient to stand in front of the stove waiting for water to come to the boil.  Besides, as everyone knows, a watched pot never boils, so it’s only logical to walk away.  I’m saving time and energy.  Honest.

The oven has no grill, but there is, strangely, a small cupboard built in underneath the hob. We store our washing powder in there, which results in total sensory confusion as one smells aloe vera and lavender when cooking lasagne.  It’s also useful for the regular occasions when I drop cutlery down the back of the oven by mistake, while washing up.  The cupboard is open at the back, and it’s therefore possible to crawl inside the space and fish the hapless spoon or fork off the floor.  I’m sure this wasn’t planned usage in the original design, but it’s good for numpties like me.  Many is the time one or other of my flatmates has walked into the kitchen to see me kneeling with my head in the oven.  I shouldn’t think they’ve ever been seriously worried, though.  Gas in this country has a far stronger smell than in the UK.  Potential Plaths would have to be pretty strong-minded (and weak-nosed) to bear the smell for long enough to do the deed.  A car crash is far easier to arrange, and suits the Italian sense of the dramatic much better.
Speaking of which, there are a fair few people gunning for that to happen in my town at the moment.  As I drive to work, there is one set of traffic lights.  At certain times of the day you might find 5 or 6 cars in the queue; rarely more.  However, Italian driving being what it is, the last person to arrive in the queue often decides that they can’t POSSIBLY wait, and they roar to the front, slamming on their brakes as they reach the crossroads and find people driving across them.  Surprisingly, they seem nonplussed by this state of affairs.  Clearly the Italian driving test is rather different from the English one.
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About Kate Bailward

Kate Bailward is a cat-loving, trifle-hating, maniac driver. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
This entry was posted in Eating Like a Maniac, Living Like a Maniac and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The kitchen diaries

  1. townmouse says:

    I had a sicilian colleague who settled in the UK. After a year or so of driving here she went home for a holiday and got roundly told off by her father for driving so dangerously – stopping at traffic lights, not using her horn enough, that sort of thing. Because obviously the driver behind just isn't going to expect it

  2. Mikeachim says:

    Your oven reaches temperatures of 5,780 degrees Celsius? Please let me know the brand: I've been hunting for something that does a really good thin-crust pizza for *years*. In this case, in about 3 seconds of cooking time.

    "Italians have smellier gas" is an opportunity for low humour that I refuse to indulge in.

    So – what you're suggesting in this post is that you driving like a maniac (and it's right there in your blog title) is merely peer pressure? How do you feel when you see someone crossing the road in front of your idling car? Urge to floor it? Sudden urge to drive like a Mini in "The Italian Job"?

    'Fess up, lady. Because we're here to help.

  3. Katja says:

    Townmouse: At first I found the constant tooting of horns really unnerving; once I learnt that it's nothing personal, it's just to let you know that they're there, I became more relaxed about it all. Having said that, I still have no plans to drive at speed, against a red light, into the middle of a crossroads like the locals do here, but I'm here for another 7 months yet, so who knows what'll happen …

  4. Katja says:

    Mikeachoo: Your oven reaches temperatures of 5,780 degrees Celsius?
    Yes. Yes, it does. It's a miracle the flat is still so bloody cold at night.

    "Italians have smellier gas" is an opportunity for low humour that I refuse to indulge in.
    One of the major mobile networks here is called Wind. On the website, they suggest you 'passa a Wind'. Stop sniggering.

    For answers to the peer pressure question, see my reply to Townmouse, above. ;)

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