Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Once upon a time, in a suburb not so very far away, lived a beautiful model. At least, she was beautiful, until the evil fairy godmothers Time and Chronic Bulimia waved their magic wands and made the beautiful model look a bit odd. Anyway, the (now not so) beautiful model lived in a white house, and every room and everything inside it was white too – all the walls, all the carpets, and all the furnishings, except for the occasional fur throw rug in a tastefully contrasting shade. The model so loved the colour white, she even dressed her children in it.

What a frightening house it was. Visitors were rather afraid to do anything in the house, lest a single drop of wine should accidentally mar the perfect house, which would make the model scream and turn into a wild-eyed monster armed with spray carpet-cleaner.

The End

It was some time ago I visited the model's house, but I thought of her while reading 'Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat,' by Naomi Moriyama. The author describes her mother's kitchen as being tiny – no bigger than the average Western wardrobe, with surfaces piled high with cooking utensils and ingredients. A garden with parsley and tomatoes grew outside the door. The refrigerator was too large to fit in the kitchen, and had to reside in the dining room.

It made me think about all the kitchens I have ever seen – the best and most stylish display no evidence of any cooking utensils or food preparation, the thought of a refrigerator being in the dining room is risible. The model's kitchen looked like a surgical operating theatre – and everyone would murmur how wonderful it looked, admiring the space and bare granite surfaces.

I can't help but think this says something about relationships with food. Is the kitchen still the 'heart of the household' it used to be? The cold, bare surfaces found in the fashionable home suggest major coronary disease if it is.

I bought a mortar and pestle on the weekend, and left it sitting on the bench. My small act of style rebellion, although I haven't quite worked out what to do with it yet.

P.S. Just noticed - this my 200th post! Hurrah!


unPC lesbian said...

Mortar and pestle, I use my stone one for grinding salt and peppercorns, and my marble one for garlic...oh, thats right....I cook!

Suggest you use it as the ultimate weapon of punishment (threat) to keep Mr Smith in line....mashed mountain oysters, doesn't that sound a treat.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 200 posts: Love your work.

Mrs Smith said...

Thank-you, Anonymous. You can be my new best friend.

UnPC - made a sesame seed dressing using the mortar and pestle last night. It was v good. Well, edible, so that's something for me.

llew said...

Oddly enough, the only thing that's ever been through our mortar & pestle was also sesame seeds.

Although I'm thinking of grinding a kilo or so of macadamia nuts & using them for something...

I'll think of something anyway. But maybe I'll use a kitchen whizz.

Mr H said...

I concur with Anonymous good job Mrs Smith

Martha Craig said...

I concur too, you're ace.

I imagine the ex-model wears quite a lot of black ;-)

Dango. said...

You're a rare talent Mrs Smith, am looking forward to 200 more.

d-man said...

Happy posting.