Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.



I flooded the kitchen.

To be more precise, the running tap flooded the kitchen, aided and abetted by the plug in the sink. 'I' simply failed to apprehend the two culprits. They did it overnight when all weird things happen in kitchens.

The water ran down into the cupboards below the sink. Everything was soaking wet and the water crept under the linoleum - probably fifty years old - that lined the cupboard shelves.

On the positive side, the timber underneath the linoleum was first quality hardwood, as solid as the day it was built. (I once flooded a newer cupboard with shelves made of fibreboard and that means disaster, since fibreboard turns to papier mache when wet. Fibreboard is definitely one of mankind's very worst inventions, along with the leaf blower and the internet.)

So I spent the next day or two airing the cupboard. Its contents - pots, pans, colanders, vases, baking dishes, rubber gloves, bits of soap on saucers, detergent, dishrags, scourers, rolling pins, cookie cutters, old jars, breadboards, knife sets and a number of other things that were invented specifically to go under kitchen sinks and nowhere else - were spread over several rooms. Isn't it great eating dinner with your entire kitchen cupboard contents out on display?

I spent the two days after that flat on my stomach sealing and painting the shelves under the kitchen sink. I must say they did come up particularly well. One coat of primer (acrylic, wash up in water) and two coats of high gloss (oil, wash up in turps) and we have sparkling new cupboards.

*Title of 1926 book by John Masefield who was eighty years ahead of today's acronym-obsessed world.

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