Fear of Frying

Take a look at this picture. It’s a blah picture of a spoon rest on a plastic plate, right? Oh no. It’s more than that. This is Michael and me being scared of our kitchen. This is an image of spoon rest on a plastic plate so the metal won’t somehow destroy the counter under it.

Give me back my hovel.

Our entire kitchen was ripped out and replaced recently. The old one was decrepit. We used it freely.  Splattering sauces, smashing cherries … you think up the messiest culinary occurrences, and you can bet that we did them regularly and with abandon.


Then, the first day our new kitchen was complete, I did something I’ve been doing since I moved into this house 14 years ago: I opened a can. I emptied it. I rinsed it. And I put it on the counter above the sink, where I have long gathered items headed for the recycling bin the garage. Only this time, for reasons no one can understand, the wet can left a rusty-looking ring on the counter.


If I had one of those high-style stainless steel counters, that might make sense. Or maybe another Formica counter, since that’s inexpensive – although I’ve never encountered a stubborn rust stain on a Formica counter in two decades of living with them. This rambunctious rusty ring is on a “haiku”-colored slab of Silestone, on which we splurged for the sole reason that we thought it would be indestructible.


Oops. “There must be a way to get it out,” our kitchen guru Zeljko assures me.”The stain must be on top of the Silestone.” I’m not about to take Brillo to my zillion-dollar countertop to find out if it will damage the shiny surface further, so that faint half-circle may be part of my life for as long as I Iive here.


That’s doable. Cooking in terror isn’t. At some point, when Michael’s attention is elsewhere, I will dare to remove that ugly plastic plate from below the oft-used spoon rest. I will hope really hard that no permanent mark will form. I will also wipe, mop, dust and otherwise compulsively clean every element of that kitchen every time I step into it lest I be forced to undergo another grueling renovation. Most people clean up regularly, I know. I never did. I was comfortable in my negligence. Now I tidy in a panic-induced delirium lest this heart of my home morph into a disastrous den of decadence like last one.


Home clean home. Eh.