Thursday, August 31, 2017

Life as Advertised or Real Life In My Kitchen

Have you ever noticed how ads for kitchen utensils seem to show them arranged as works of art, not tools for cooking? Look at this photo -- three beautifully arranged spoons and one whisk. Nearby a few other miscellaneous items, not all identifiable but all very decorative, and I believe all for sale. Or maybe this is one of the many supposedly helpful illustrations for articles that explain how to have a perfect kitchen by getting more organized and throwing away stuff. For some reason, I have been saving these idealized photos all month. What does this have to do with cooking in real life? 

Here are two more reality-challenging photos ...

I guess the owner of this kitchen threw away all the rest of her tools.

In real life, who could use a kitchen like these? If you were to hang your utensils above your stove, they would soon be covered with grease even if you had a very fancy hood above the burners. At least they would be greasy if you actually used the stove for cooking.

My real-life utensil storage looks like this:

If I stored one utensil in each divider space, I would need maybe 100 drawers. I have other drawers but they are worse-looking, so I'll leave them out of the pictures.
A real utensil holder. Lots of choices. Nothing matches.
In fact, I have two of them with lots of gadgets.
Emphasis on usefulness, not on being decorative.
Another area where idealism challenges reality: storage of coffee mugs and cookbooks.
This photo speaks for itself. No comment on the specialized wine refrigerator and espresso machine.
More idealism -- could anyone really manage to keep a mug tree
on a working kitchen counter? Maybe she could.
My messy mugs from all sorts of places. Others were in the dishwasher when I took this photo. More of them are
on various other shelves because I have way too many of them. In real life, this is how it is.
Counter tops in fantasy life. Clean. Spacious. Perfect utensil holder. Perfect knife box with matching knives. Not my life.
In fact, I don't even aspire to arrange my kitchen like these paragons, because I think it would interfere with cooking.
A refrigerator organized by a higher power.
I won't even include a photo of my fridge here. 
Anyone can see that this pantry appeals to looks, not sense. If you bought all these storage containers, your cereals probably wouldn't
fit into them anyway. Nor your spices, assuming that you had only that many spices and could remember to put them back
in the right places. Don't let me become a raving maniac. I think this was the collection priced at $350 just for containers.
I use boxes saved from Costco cookies and from Christmas cookies.
Also some disposable boxes, old jars, whatever food came in. In real life.
A terrible picture of some of my mismatched canisters.
Maybe I should spend a few hundred dollars but I would soon drift back.
This is my contrarian view of the idealized, minimized, sanitized, advertised kitchen as opposed to my own kitchen (and maybe yours)? I cherish my practical and disorderly style.

I'm sharing this with the once-a-month blogger celebration called "In My Kitchen." Each month, I like to look back on my kitchen stuff and kitchen thoughts, and I look forward to seeing what other bloggers around the world have in their kitchens. Although I enjoy ads, I see them as fantasies. I try to keep a realistic view of what it means to be alive and cooking! To see what other bloggers are sharing, here is Sherry's post with a linkup from other bloggers.

Note: Kitchen advertisements are from Food52, The Container Store, HGTV, and Crate & Barrel.


Jeanie said...

Well, you may not look like the photos you shared but you look a heck of a lot neater than me! Rick says I really should get rid of some utensils, silverware and mugs (so I brought four mugs to the lake and now that cupboard is a mess!)

Love this -- maybe when I finish up Quebec I'll have to take on the kitchen!

sherry from sherrys pickings said...

You have to laugh at those beautifully set-up and unrealistic photos don't you? Tho I would really love that little nook with the coffee machine and the books and the settee. My idea of heaven. Thanks for joining in again. Appreciate it! x

MazzaJ said...

Love your IMK contribution this month, too too true!!! Go girl!!

Liz (Good Things) said...

Love this post, Mae. Really clever for an IMK post. My own kitchen is like yours. REAL! I can't stand those showcase kitchens where the owners feel that even their guests look out of place! (I knew someone like that once. Needless to say we are no longer friends!). Happy September xx

Napoli Restaurant Alert said...

Love this post!! So so true!

Anonymous said...

Mae, had to smile when I saw your post as I know photographs of my drawers and cupboards are not magazine material. They just might inspire me to tidy up a little :)

Aida said...

Hi Mae, lots of laugh while reading this. While I inspired to be like the idealist as tried hard to... not much close to it. More of functional and practical type myself. Threw away (or maybe garage sale) that mug tree long time ago. Enjoy collecting old jar and plastic canister - recycle where possible.