Monday, February 18, 2013

Shower cabinet

I really like our shower cabinet. There's a light switch conveniently located outside the glass door. The small blue tiles are beautiful. The controls for hot and cold water are accessible. Above all, I appreciate the handy built-in shelf across from the shower head. I recently noted what was on this shelf. My shampoo was my sole contribution. I counted nine different containers of Barbara's--various shampoos, unguents, lotions, and what-all. Ten items in all on this useful shelf. In this matter I fortunately don't even want an equal share of shelf space.

Monday, February 11, 2013

His and Hers

My quip about Berkeley politics is stale now, but still accurate. In what some snide commentators still refer to as "The People's Republic of Berkeley", we have two political groups--the Left, and the Far Left. Barbara & I are both Democrats, but our views are not identical. Generally speaking, she is a Liberal Democrat and I am a Moderate Democrat. Needing from time to time a way to indicate which is Barbara's and which is mine, I always put my share on the right, and hers on the left. An example is her avoidance of butter--she uses a spread called Earth Balance. So when putting toast in the warming oven, my plate goes on the right, and hers on the left. One recent morning, enjoying my toast and Marmite, I was informed by Barbara that I was eating her toast. Now, I have no objection to eating Earth Balance, although I normally use real butter. "But I took it from the right side", I protested. "I'm right-brained, and you're left brained", she replied. Aargh! What can a stable, rational person do to stay out of such situations, while married to a creative, artistic person, who likes to tell people she is "consistently inconsistent"? At least I can truthfully say that the last 43 years have never been boring...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Warming Oven

One of my best decisions when we remodeled our Berkeley kitchen was to insist on a Warming Oven. I almost always eat a cold lunch, usually ham and Camembert on a piece of baguette, plus 3 prunes, an apple (of which one-quarter is passed along to my wife), and a small piece or two of dark chocolate. But I prefer a hot meal for supper, and that goes in our warming oven, at half the maximum heat. I like to have the evening's wine open and poured--we usually take to evenings per bottle--before my warm plate is put in front of me. Barbara prefers to call it a "Warming Drawer": either way, it's great for keeping cooked food warm, until we are ready to serve it. In Colorado, we have a different system: a shelf above the stove has two sides, each with controls for heat and light. It does a good job of keeping food warm, but there's no way to vary the temperature: the heat is either on or off. It's a minor difference, but I slightly prefer the warming oven. On the other hand, in Colorado it is always obvious if a dish is being kept warm. In Berkeley, sometimes I find that food left in the oven, in case someone wants a second helping, is left there overnight, and I find dried-out food when I open the warming oven to heat up the breakfast plates.