Toaster oven. My husband hates it. Uses too much energy, he says. But look how beautiful, I tell him. Stainless steel. It's a behemoth, he says. Too big, he says. I cooked an entire dinner in it, I say. It burns my toast, he says. The other night it bore us pecan crusted chicken thighs. Sweet potatoes. Bubbling oozing sweetness. Salt. Fat. He wasn't complaining then. His mouth was too full.
My new stove, dressed to the nines in grease drips, finger prints, antique linen that used to belong to my grandmother, may she rest in austere peace.
It's not really a pile of garbage. Recycling bags, box of flavored seltzer (raspberry-lime), canister of rice. My daughter navigating spilled ice. She thought it was something else. "Sorry I stepped on your egg, Mommy."
Landscape of the refrigerator, ascending. Well-thought, carefully wrought, lovingly arranged area of chaos. Materials: paper, marker, water color, magnets, dirt.
Collected detritus, confiscated kidstuff and Bride of Frankenstein Marge (courtesy of my mother) train your eye away from the grease-thickened dust on the window sill. Can you smell the pan-seared salmon we ate last night? The flash-fried collards with garlic and lemon? The roasted onions and potatoes? The leftover peas?
A working kitchen. A work in progress. Ugly-ass kitchen.