Home on the range
The dream kitchen has been installed in the beach house in all its white and shiny glory. This will be our exit kitchen, the one from which we will be carried off to the great black yonder.
Through various marriages, housing of various sizes and standards, bossy cats, skittish goldfish, a blended bunch of children and now two grandkids, I have dreamt of the ultimate kitchen, the one with an island bench as big as the control deck on the Starship Enterprise and an oven capable of roasting a bison. And now here it is. Golly, where to start. There are precisely shaped drawer compartments for oddments from sticky-out temperature gauges and long barbecue tools to scissors in three sizes and mojito muddlers. We have had to go on a buying spree to stock up on all the clever, fiddly things we didn’t know existed, let alone needed. A porridge spurtle, condiment gun or a spaghetti spinner, anyone? My chap is the chef and now he has a stove worthy of a professional, with baffling panels of knobs and wok burners and rotisseries and who knows what else — certainly I don’t, as the cooking “range” is terrifying. Love that word range, so American, makes me think of Ben, Adam, Little Joe and Hoss, which is pretty funny as our kitchen style is the Ponderosa. The salesman couldn’t tell us why, any more than he was able to explain the differences between the Savannah, the Rustique and the Cape Cod. Heck, our Bonanza homage doesn’t even have a batwing saloon door or a hitching rail for the horses.
We also don’t have sufficient matching wine glasses and pretty crockery to display in the glass-fronted cupboards. We have never had a trash compactor or a proper pantry … So much grinding! So many shelves! Who knew about things such as a built-in herb rack!
The appliances are German and operate with splitsecond efficiency. The dishwasher pings like a mad thing if the door is not firmly closed. The clothes dryer in the adjoining utility room growls out announcements when the cycle has ended. Achtung!
I don’t know what scares me more — that we are so grown up we actually have a utility room or that machines have been invented that bark out orders.
So while winter is not yet upon us, we retreat to the outdoor kitchen and fire up the barbie. Yes, an outdoor kitchen. It really is a simple affair, a bit like camping but with a built-in wine fridge and bespoke benchtop tiles from northern India.
And soon, my chef tells me, there will be a threering paella burner on a custom-made stand. Hold those prairie ponies, I think he’s about to go stir crazy.