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©March 2007

Carol Jane Remsburg




Where did the Celery Salt Go?





"Where did the Celery Salt go?" I asked my husband two weeks ago.  I was in the midst of making a quick dinner of scrambled eggs and toast as I'd gotten home late from work one evening. 


"I dunno," he replied with an overtly innocent expression.


Just days before he'd proudly announced that he'd cleaned out my spice cabinet.  I cringed—both of us knowing exactly what he'd done and he wasn't about to admit it.  The man is now home during the days awaiting surgery for a ruptured disc and has too much time on his hands.  In an attempt to be helpful during the days he feels well enough, he's managed to misplace all my favorite cooking utensils and change where the flatware has resided for the last twenty years.  The result—I'm lost in my own kitchen.  He's also incapable of putting a roll of toilet paper on the spindle—still!


Hubby is housebound these days and often frustrated over how little he can do.  So, often I'm quiet about certain things, like the newly relocated flatware.  However, I groused loud enough when I couldn't find my favorite paring knife that folks about four states away could have heard me.  Strangely, he never poked his head out of the TV room.


Then, it comes down to the kitchen gadgets.  For months, literally, hubby had been watching that TV ad about the onion chopper, you know, that throwback from the late 60's or early 70's they had warehoused because it didn't sell back THEN!  Women in the kitchen already knew that little item was a waste of time but men bought them as cute little Christmas presents for the wifey.  I often wonder just how many divorces this unhandy little "gadget" spawned.  Instead of dirtying up a paring knife and the cutting board you are going to use anyway, add to the wash up a plastic combo with that telltale 'green' of the times.  Does it do a better job?  NO! 


Finally, I just happened to run across it while at Target.  At $19.95, I thought it hugely overpriced.  Actually, I'd be hard-pressed to shell out more than $5 for what I deemed a waste of space in our already cluttered kitchen—we are slightly over-applianced challenged in this house already.  However, the teen was nearby.  She spied it as well and began to beg on behalf of her father.  There is little more annoying than a five year-old begging in public unless it's a teenager trying to plead her cause for someone else.  She's learned the finer arts of guilt by this age and put them to good use.  I guess it was worth it because when I brought it home, hubby simply beamed.  He couldn't wait to try it out.  One thing he did discover, it won't chop up sweet potatoes—and he still needed the paring knife AND the cutting board/block.  It was a little bet with myself that I won quickly and smirked over in secret.  I enjoy my small triumphs in life.


When the aged Remington mix-master finally died after 20+ years, I invested in a Kitchen Aid model.  It's incredibly good, not that the old one wasn't.  Just put it in the way of 'men-speak', the Remington was a Camaro, the Kitchen Aid is a Corvette.  Actually, I'd class the Kitchen Aid in the Jaguar class, sleek and very powerful.  But will hubby USE the Kitchen Aid mixer?  (Where he's had time on his hands, he likes to make desserts, especially the boxed cake mixes.)  Oh, there was a question there.  The answer is—NO!  Initially he requested a hand mixer because he didn't want to dirty up the big bowl of the Kitchen Aid—so he would mix the batter by hand.  Can you say PARADOX?  It will still require a bowl and the beaters…same thing!


The same man who wants a gadget to chop potatoes and onions?  Oh, and ALSO thinks that 'deep frying' has the same connotation that the Brady Bunch's, Florence Henderson, commented on when she was hawking Mazola oil (I think) keeping the fat out of food.  I reluctantly shake my head as he has been extremely busy with a cheap little "Fry Daddy" with French fries.  Go figure!


Still, he finally did get that $15 hand mixer and was SO happy to have it, I just had to wonder how the male mind works.  This is the same man who can fix a washer, when he's able to be ambulatory, or fix the vacuum, but cannot for the life of him actually use either appliance.


If I had my druthers, I'd keep him out of the kitchen AND the laundry room (I don't have a preference for one-color clothing or mysteriously shrinking jeans), but I'd let him CLEAN—dust, vacuum, and scrub—if only he realized you have to MOVE things, pick them up and out of the way, in order to accomplish such tasks.  Granted, home is likely where he's going to be now for the most part. 


If I can keep him busy with his lamps and out of my kitchen, then I won't have to ask, "Where is the Celery Salt?" again.




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