Monday, March 07, 2011

In the Kitchen

I know I've said it before, but I truly find it amazing how quickly things can change in the lives of these little people. Just one week ago I was blogging about the excitement of Blake's birthday and the problematic issue of his not wanting to share his new kitchen with Noah. What in the world are we going to do, I was wondering, if Blake will never let his little brother share in this toy?! (which, as reviews of the kitchen on led me to believe, was actually intended for both of them and would be the answer to how I was ever going to attempt to get through my 3 box sets of Grey's Anatomy dvd's!)

Anyway, one week on, and at the rate they're going, you're likely to find a take-away menu for a new business venture lying on your doorstep in the near future: Blake's running his own in-house, restaurant/cafe/shop, and let me tell you, the menu sounds like it offers good home cookin', just like his mama serves up! (sample menu items: cheese, Cheerio's, "chicken fried", and "vegetables"). The kitchen has already been relocated to Blake's bedroom, where amidst all the chaos of all his other toys, it is not so much of a focal feature for Noah. Noah can instead be relegated to sit with the stuffed animals while Blake can prepare coffees and teas and burn things in the "hot oven". I've had two hilarious moments of Blake's attempting to expand his vocabulary through repetition, one when I asked him if his cafe served cappucinos (he replied, "No, we don't have peppercinos"), and the other time tonight, when I asked whether his restaurant served a "starter" - after checking with his sous-chef he replied that yes, they did have "stardas".

As with our very own real kitchen, he seems to struggle with having enough work surfaces, so right now a glance at the toy kitchen would reveal wine goblets and salt and pepper shakers in the microwave; a pizza, a colander full of wooden fruit, and assorted plastic cutlery all stuffed in the oven, and a spoon and a piece of plastic chocolate cake hanging from a towel hook. All in all, a pretty accurate replica of our own domestic perfection!

The funny thing is, we've literally been obsessed with kitchens of late, as we finally got the architectural drawings in order to get some quotes to do the work that our kitchen so desperately needs, knocking through to the dining room and then doing a small extension to the back. It's been a long time coming and is no doubt still a way off, but it feels good to be making some progress, even if minor. Of course, once I have a better kitchen, I will also miraculously become not only interested in spending more time preparing delicious nourishing food for my family, but also capable of it as well. Ha ha, I do just love that illusion!

Finally, to round out the title here....I rarely give a book a second chance, but I did just that with Monica Ali's debut novel Brick Lane. It was so critically acclaimed when it first came out, and I tried to like it but just couldn't; I only got a third of the way through before abandoning it. I was desperate for a book to read and got it off the shelf again before my trip to Boston, and this time I absolutely loved it. I really empathized with the main character, something I don't remember doing several years ago. At the library on Saturday I selected another one of Monica Ali's books, aptly titled (but I've only just realized it as I was writing the title of this post), In the Kitchen. I'll report back when I've read it but if you haven't read Brick Lane, I do recommend it.

We had a relatively quiet weekend, with our only specific goal being to use up some browning bananas to make banana bread. I let Blake help more than I have with similar activities in the past, and he did really seem to enjoy it. Our oven does actually tend to burn things, so I am not sure if the finished product was good enough to make the dessert menu at Blake's restaurant. Bless Noah's heart (he eats day-old toast off the floor - inadvertently not swept up by Mom), if he gets a sitting at Chez Blake for tomorrow evening, maybe he and the stuffed animals can order some nice banana cake to go with their peppercinos.

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