Ach, the espresso machine is on
the fritz — is a regular coffee OK from the coffee machine?
Scheiße, the egg cooker poached
these eggs way too hard. What’s the matter with this thing?
Here — use this hand blender
to mix the pancake batter. Oh no, you’ll have to use a spoon — the
batteries are dead!
Ever think it’s the end of the world
when your little white molded plastic and stainless steel friends in the
kitchen give up the ghost or don’t perform flawlessly? And God help us if it’s
one of the bigger guys who goes on the fritz — a bonky refrigerator or
freezer can throw the most stalwart stoic into a cold sweat.
While I discernibly flinch whenever I
see an electric wok dangled in front of my face at Future Shop and have thus
far managed to lead a perfectly happy and fulfilling life without a George
Foreman grill, thank you very much (although it’s taken me some counselling and
subliminal food binging to get over it), there’s a heck of a lot of us out
there — too many, in my humble opinion — who go ga-ga over the
latest and greatest in home appliances without so much as batting an eyelash as
to how much packaging alone each engenders, or how the bruised and battered
hulk will look in the landfill in 18 months when “it” finally busts because of
the shoddy power switch some poor bastard in a badly-lit Chinese factory
installed without the ground properly connected because he was half-asleep
after delivering the truckload of melamine to the powdered milk plant up the
street, his second job.
As the “Happy Holidaze” ads and
commercials for home gadgetry reproduce like fruit flies right now, I finally
understand why people need 18,000-sq-ft homes with 3,000-sq-ft kitchens and 2
km of counter space.
To put things in perspective, you can
still order your copy of Rosemary Neering’s
The Canadian Housewife: An
from Amazon.com in
time for Christmas. Then marvel, especially if you’re a woman, at your own good
fortune to be alive now.
This from Alice Barrett Parke, who
lived on a ranch near Spallumcheen Valley, just south of Armstrong and north of
Vernon, where she kept house for her brother in the 1890s:
“Mr. Hays was here this morning so I
had the men to dinner. I had intended ironing this morning, but I had to churn,
attend to the bread, cook beets, carrots and potatoes, boil a shank and cut the
meat up for the hash — & just as I thought I’d have a minute’s
breathing space, Mr. Hays ran over a hen in the meadow, cutting its legs half
off, so Harry cut its head off & brought it in — & I had to pick
and clean it. I roasted it for tea…”