Day eleven of the ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge’ For me the kitchen is a room of mixed blessings. It is a utilitarian place where food is prepared yet it is the heart of the home. The bedroom, the sitting room and the kitchen are the holy trinity of the house. I must spend ninety per cent of my time in one of these three when at home.
The kitchen can also be a room of pleasure. I enjoy cooking when not under pressure. I like the alchemy of mixing raw ingredients to create something satisfying and tasty. I particularly like making cakes. I have got to know the quirks and foibles of our oven and they usually turn out well. They get eaten but it is not quite the same story with pastry however. I’m not so fond of the washing up though.
I have a favourite chair in the corner of the kitchen which I sit in at the weekend to read. I’m writing this blog from it now as it happens. The kitchen though has thrown up a few challenges for the budding left-handed.
The first thing that I noticed is how the whole room is laid out to suit the right hand. All the gadgets are placed so that they can be switched on from the right. The draws and cupboards are arranged so that it is easier to pick the provisions with the right hand and even the kitchen utensils are kept in a pot to the right of the cooker. There is little in the room that cannot be done with the left hand but there is an obvious right-handed leaning.
Making lunch has been interesting. Preparing a seemingly innocent sandwich has not been without its challenge. Learning to wield sharp knives to cut bread rolls, spread butter and slice cheese is filled with dangerous opportunities. Dicing with chilli jam is something that shouldn’t be approached lightly.
The hardest thing though has been to stir. It sounds so easy. Just take a spoon in your left hand and move it in a circle, changing direction every so often. It is difficult though. I just don’t seem to be able to build up a rhythm. I can start well enough with a nice slow action yet as soon as I get over a certain speed it all falls apart. My movements become jerky and the smooth action breaks down.
When I stir a hot chocolate I don’t get the satisfying clink of the spoon in the cup as the milky mixture froths. Instead I get a mess on the bench which provide me an opportunity to test my left-handed wiping skills. Whisking is an impossibility. I can’t build up sufficient speed to get any air into the mix. Meringues are out of the question.
Tying the apron strings behind my back was fun. Tying a bow with the wrong hand when I couldn’t see it required all of my mental and physical dexterity. That leads me nicely into tomorrow’s blog.