It’s always great to have a good hardware store nearby. Dad’s dad was a carpenter/handyman and left him great old tools that I played with as a child. I took Dad to his first “big box” hardware store and he was amazed.
He was like a kid in a candy store. “Look at all these bins with nails and screws!” Me, I prefer a smaller store with older folks who know what they’re doing. There’s one a few miles away we’ve been to on occasion, and another opened up two blocks away, just a few weeks ago.
We went to the neighborhood store because the hose and sprayer we’ve had in the guest bathroom (now home to dog Zoe and me) had malfunctioned after ten years of use. The hose kinked and the sprayer’s spring broke. So went to find a new hose and sprayer. I use it to wash my hair so we had it fitted out.
They also have a kitchen section, so I had to pick something and it was two teflon mats on which to place pots, pans, dishes. Today I walked there by myself. I bought us a broom/dishpan because we only have a straw broom that’s old and has been used to sweep the garage and take down cobwebs. This one may actually pick up dog hair and would only be used indoors.
Mis en Place
Yes, that’s French for everything in its’ place. My mother never let me cook as a kid. At age eight I was allowed to assemble cakes with my younger sister for our much younger brother’s birthdays. Oh, we had elaborate parties, kings and queens, pirates.
After cooking school when I visited my family I wasn’t allowed to cook much. Mom said my mis en place used every dish in the house and she didn’t want to clean them.
So, today at the new hardware store I bought a broom/dustpan with special features that will capture dog hair. Herb plants were on sale so I bought two to fill the place of the thyme and sage I killed, involuntary plant-slaughter.
Plus, I got four small Pyrex ramekins for mis en place, shirred eggs, ice cream with my blueberry sauce…. Hardware stores are great to have nearby, but dangerous when Dee is around! With mis en place, I do the dishes but was trained by the best and do things right.
Blueberries were on sale yesterday, three pints for $5. Now they’re two for $4. And this is an expensive grocery store. I got my three pints, rinsed them and placed them in a pot with the zest and juice of a lemon, 1/4 cup light brown sugar (use any sweetener, to your taste). I prefer mine tart. Cook it down until it is the consistency you desire. Or barely cook it, save a bit of lemon juice and mix into a slurry with cornstarch, add it, let it come to a boil and take it off the heat and allow to cool.
Mine was runny but I never used cornstarch and after being in the frig it’s solidified to a perfect state for me. Not for my husband who would spill blueberry all over his dress shirt! How I love that guy. Cheers! Dee