Metatalktail Hour: Wrongness in the Kitchen April 15, 2017 1:09 PM   Subscribe

What's the weirdest/worst/dumbest/most obnoxious thing in your kitchen?

Today's question comes courtesy of last night's Portland Oregon meetup, specifically from Phire and LoRichTimes visiting from Canada.

It's a mixed-up weekend because of Easterlings (Eyebrows is out of the office), so I'm kicking this sucker off early because why not. As always, these are conversation starters, not conversation limiters, so feel free to gab about anything that's on your mind -- just not politics.
posted by LobsterMitten to MetaFilter-Related at 1:09 PM (305 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

At the moment, my wife.
I kid, I kid...
posted by pipeski at 1:13 PM on April 15 [9 favorites]

The hideously ugly wallpaper border that was there when we moved in! I was always going to get around to it but I never seem to, and now I forget to notice it most of the time but every now and then someone mentions it and I see it afresh and I'm like ARRRRRRGH SO UGLY.

I also have a poster of poisonous and psychotropic mushrooms, because I think people should be at least a little edgy when I cook for them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 1:16 PM on April 15 [22 favorites]

From the reactions of friends visiting us it's gotta be our fruit fly traps. I don't think they're particularly weird but I guess most of our friends had never seen one before. The one in the pic was made by a neighbor who does glass blowing, mostly bongs I think.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:17 PM on April 15 [7 favorites]

We have a lot of pseudo-food in our kitchen at the moment, like Fitness Slime, a pudding that comes in pop-top cans like cat food and claims to be made of no carbs, no fats, no glutens, no animals, nothing anyone might want avoid, yet has lots of protein for today's exercising person. Mr Mitten reports the vanilla is passable because it has the good grace not to push too hard to seem like real food, but the chocolate is another story.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:24 PM on April 15 [7 favorites]

The decor:
  1. the recessed can spotlights that burn out super quickly
  2. the ugly decorative ceramic tile border in a very '90s purple, green, and gold
  3. the all-white sink, impossible to keep clean
  4. the wicker dinette set
  5. the gold handles
Otherwise it's good.
posted by limeonaire at 1:27 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

The boiler in this flat only clicks on to produce hot water when I run the tap at high enough pressure to create an unintentional water feature in the corner where the sink is. Also the washing up never magically does itself (whether I rent again or buy again, the next place I live is going to have a dishwasher).

However, the nicest thing in my kitchen is a big wide windowsill that faces east so on sunny weekend days - which do happen in Glasgow - I like to put on music, sit in the window with a cup of coffee and read.
posted by theseldomseenkid at 1:28 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

Tile fucking countertops! Whose idea was that?? Also I missed a meetup? 😞
posted by masquesoporfavor at 1:31 PM on April 15 [9 favorites]

I finally removed the groundhog skulls from the shelf above the sink.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:33 PM on April 15 [22 favorites]

This morning I discovered a pair of sad, soupy zucchinis in a bag at the bottom of the vegetable crisper.

I had plans for those, once.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:38 PM on April 15 [19 favorites]

At the Portland meetup I think we were talking about obnoxious kitchen gadgets (both obnoxious good, like an extremely single purpose item, and obnoxious bad, like, just dumb gadgets that don't work). But I think the most commonly wrong thing in my kitchen is paint brushes. The kitchen sink is an excellent place for washing out brushes, and for most of the 8 years we've lived in this house there's been something being painted for one reason or another- outside of the house, raised beds, bedroom sunburst, touch up after house repairs, fractals... To the extent that paint brushes drying on the windowsill by the sink just look natural now. But they're WRONG.
posted by Secretariat at 1:41 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

The cat's toothbrush. If it's not visible, I'll forget to use it. Which is also why I haven't flossed my teeth in a week, as the floss is covered up by tax forms on my coffee table.
posted by lazuli at 1:50 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

The suspiciously lined-with-cardboard cabinet under the sink. I have not dared to look behind the cardboard.
posted by zeptoweasel at 2:04 PM on April 15 [10 favorites]

The painted-shut storm windows. Thanks, previous owners.

(Also, I should probably mention my aggressively neglected compost pail, which is why I'm very excited about Hairy Lobster's fruit fly trap!)
posted by BrashTech at 2:08 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

It's both wrong and right that my kitchen itself entirely fits in a small bag in the form of an ad hoc mess kit and stove that's been honed and refined over the last three years of my surprisingly rewarding hobo life.

The most obnoxious thing in this kit has to be the stove or pot stand. I've been working on different designs for months and months now, and it's been one of those pick two out of three triangular engineering problems, in this case choosing between stable, bulky/light, and packability.

I think my next stand design will solve this, though. The end result should result in a complete stove (pressurized/boiling alcohol burner), pot stand and camp cup system that nests in a space about the size of a standard coffee mug. The goal is (even more) portable hot coffee/tea for my night time astrolandscape and other photography missions.

Sure, I know about jetboils and MSRs and other isobutane burners. They're incredibly heavy, expensive and costly with fuel. The alcohol burners I make cost pennies to fuel, and the stoves themselves are made from trash. It also weighs less than just about anything commercially available.

I don't miss having a kitchen much at all, because when I do I can volunteer and cook at a non profit sort of coffee house meets community center that feeds people for free. So if I get a hankering to actually cook something I just go there and make sure to make like 10-20x as much as I would for myself so there's plenty to share.

Sure, that's a certainly a form of a humblebrag but it's not about any selflessness. I'm really thankful that this place exists, and my motivations to be involved are pretty selfish, really. They just happen to be symbiotic, which is great.

The most obnoxious thing in that kitchen is the utter lack of space and possibly the poor old electric stove. That and different bits of the blender are always missing. If the base and jug are there, the lid is missing. If the lid and base are there, no one has seen the jug.
posted by loquacious at 2:11 PM on April 15 [10 favorites]

Ok I don't actually have this but I wish I had a secret pantry that I could access by pulling down on a spatula or something. I would store all the single-use appliances that I dream of (rice cooker! Espresso machine!). My husband HATES single-use appliance and our kitchen is small so he's right that we don't have the space...
posted by CMcG at 2:18 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]

Aside from the fact that this is basically the resting state of my kitchen on any given day (minus katana), the thing that really gets me are the hanging cabinets. The doors are aluminum frames with frosted glass, and they cantilever up and out on locking hinges. Three across, and mounted flush with one another, I can't have more than one open at once without risking a sudden, startling, and potentially dangerous closure of one or all of them.
posted by carsonb at 2:26 PM on April 15

We have a generous-seeming pantry in our kitchen. It has a floor-to-ceiling folding door in prominent view of anybody in the kitchen work space, looking like it could hold everything we need that doesn't require refrigeration. But it is a moral failure, a self-sabotaging device. When you open the door, you see that the lower half of the space is a large plaster wall, not shelving. It seems inexplicable, inexcusable, the product of a construction crew hard bent on fucking with a new home owner of 30 years ago.

It's duct space. It is the backside of the HVAC whose air intake is on the opposite wall (the living room). It is literally and deliberately a walled-off gap of rattling breathing void, and not cans of tomato sauce.

Our neighbors, whose house is nearly an exact clone of ours, had promptly moved the air intake from their pantry to a freshly-cut hole under their staircase. And we might do the same. But for now, the generational lie retains its hold on the building, one of the several signified moral failings of hard working men now beyond our reach.
posted by ardgedee at 2:27 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

Above our sink, high up on the wall over the window, is a recessed electrical plug. Also, there are two light switches on the wall on the side of the fridge niche, so you have to stick your hand between the fridge and the wall to turn the kitchen light on. The other switch is for the living room light. There are six switches in the living room itself, but if you want light, you have to go to the kitchen. My house is weird. (I also have a razor blade slot in my bathroom medicine cabinet, where we don't store medicine, of course.)
posted by Ruki at 2:27 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

I have an unopened container of sour cream that's been in the fridge for well over a year. I have no idea if it's still edible - I suspect it may be and every time I see it I intend to research (or post on and see if I can use it. Then I forget until the next time I see it.

I also have a box of rice flour I bought at the local international market when I was trying to find ground toasted rice for a Thai recipe. I finally asked another shopper for help. Despite a slight language barrier, she proudly escorted me to the Mochiko sweet rice flour, handed me a box and assured me it was the very best. I knew it wasn't what I was looking for but she seemed so pleased I figured I'd put it away after she moved on, but she remained in the section for a long time and finally I gave up and figured I'd find a recipe for it. I went home and researched how to toast and grind rice. That was last summer.

There are many wrong things in my kitchen - from the second-hand rice cooker that undercooks my rice to the spatula that falls apart if I'm not careful, to the spice duplicates I've purchased by accident.

But the twin spaces on either side of the range which attract all the little things that can possibly fall down into them, which I haven't yet figured out how to clean, are tied for first place.
posted by bunderful at 2:29 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]

In my kitchen? The cook!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:35 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

posted by jonmc at 2:38 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Overcomplicated can opener that doesn't fit into the drawer.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:39 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

The black peel-and-stick floor tile. It is impossible to tell if it is actually clean, it absorbs all of the light and makes my kitchen feel like a grotty cave.

The thing is, that tile is EVERYWHERE - all of the common areas, the laundry room, and in a few of the other apartments. Someone must have gotten a good deal on it is what I'm saying.
posted by janepanic at 2:47 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

Actually, I take it back: the wrongest thing in my kitchen is not the built-in decor, but rather the ficus I'm doing my best to kill by not moving it somewhere with better light. This was also something bequeathed by the former owner, and I really hate that thing. It's perpetually unhappy, as ficuses tend to be. It drops leaves everywhere. Ugh, ficus.
posted by limeonaire at 2:53 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

I finally removed the groundhog skulls from the shelf above the sink.

But who will stand watch over the kitchen now?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:54 PM on April 15 [9 favorites]

Our kitchen sink. First, the water heater is in the garage. So it takes an hour or so for the water to heat up. Then we had to replace the faucet. The guy who did the job kind of messed up. I think the valves he installed are an incorrect diameter so that the water pressure is way too low. When we can afford to we'll get that fixed. It's not the end of the world, but it's really annoying.
posted by Splunge at 2:56 PM on April 15

What comes to mind is my frustrating stand mixer, which I bought a couple of years ago. Instead of spending $300 on a KitchenAid, I paid $100 for a Mixmaster and I have regretted the decision ever since. However, I did manage to use it to make hot cross buns this weekend, which I am quite proud of.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:01 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

But who will stand watch over the kitchen now?

I figure the elk skulls have the downstairs covered.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:04 PM on April 15 [10 favorites]

I would store all the single-use appliances that I dream of (rice cooker! Espresso machine!). My husband HATES single-use appliance and our kitchen is small so he's right that we don't have the space...

Rice cookers are also polenta cookers and are therefore not single-use. (My rice cooker is actually, I think, the only single-ish-use appliance I own. I avoid them, too, but I love my rice cooker. For someone who considers myself a fairly good cook, I am useless when it comes to cooking rice.)
posted by lazuli at 3:04 PM on April 15

I live in an old apartment building and there are casement windows above the sink that swing inward. The wood has rotted on the frame where the catch for the latch is supposed to be. The window will swing right into my face when I'm doing dishes, so I ended up taping it shut.
posted by AFABulous at 3:06 PM on April 15

An easy question, for once. That would be the frozen, and obviously very dead, squirrel in the freezer (don't ask).
posted by Wordshore at 3:13 PM on April 15 [12 favorites]

A funny, and entirely random, smell.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 3:25 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry to interrupt with a non-kitchen topic, but my mom just casually dropped into a Facebook convo that she witnessed Tupac's murder, and that is freaking me the fuck out, y'all.
posted by Etrigan at 3:25 PM on April 15 [53 favorites]

Like, in person?
posted by lazuli at 3:26 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

frozen, and obviously very dead, squirrel in the freezer (don't ask).

Awww, no fair!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:27 PM on April 15

Currently the worst thing in our kitchen is the sink that isn't draining (a close second would be the layout that prevents half the cabinets from opening all the way and makes 1/3 of the very limited counter space nearly inaccessible.) I am overall very satisfied by our move but living in a 100+ year old house that has been very sketchily maintained has some thrills that I'd be happier to skip.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:30 PM on April 15

Our kitchen was a shitty 80's reno in a hundred year old house. We lived with it for 6 years. The oven had 2 working burners and dials with completely worn off markings so we scratched them in with an exacto knife. The fridge door opened 1/2 of the way then hit a wall. Power outlets were in short supply.
Sometimes the dishwasher would start smoking so you could only run it if you were in the room to monitor and restart it; one day these pieces in it just crumbled apart and that was the start of us renovating the whole downstairs because we couldn't rationalize a new dishwasher in a shit kitchen.
Our new kitchen kicks ass but I sort of miss the clock on our old stove.
posted by chococat at 3:34 PM on April 15 [9 favorites]

The small mouse that my fiancee spotted running across the counter, into the stove via the burner, and presumably into the wall the other day. We'd seen and heard him before but thought that he'd moved on after the management company laid out some traps and we got rid of an open-topped trash can.

The maintenance guy apparently blocked a small hole behind the stove and hopefully that takes care of it, but I'm pretty glad to be moving out and (presumably) someplace mouse-free in a few months. I guess I should thank my stars that this is the worst problem I've had with this apartment in five years.

I feel positively towards mice in principle - I think they're kind of cute, enjoyed Redwall and Mouse Guard, etc - but I guess not in practice!
posted by dismas at 3:35 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

Like, in person?

She says "We were right there waiting to cross the street to go back to our hotel when it happened."
posted by Etrigan at 3:37 PM on April 15 [11 favorites]

The previous owner of this house was a DIY-er, and, er, should not have been. Among other things, I have an incredibly ugly tiled counter-top; a slightly crooked sink (let's not get into what plumbers say when they take a look at the oddly-arranged pipes); a mismatched drawer; badly-applied backsplash; and cabinets that reach the unusually high ceiling, none of which I can reach. I should rip the whole thing out, but there are many things ahead of it in the queue.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:39 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

She says "We were right there waiting to cross the street to go back to our hotel when it happened."

Well then! I would also be freaking out.
posted by lazuli at 3:40 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

The previous owner of this house was a DIY-er [....] badly-applied backsplash

Yes yes, us too! Our backsplash is made of absorbent paper/foam textured wallpaper. Perfect for wet locations.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:44 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]

dismas, didn't you get a free cat when you signed up for Metafilter?
posted by AFABulous at 3:44 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]

Did she mention that she saw people get shot and just not mention that one of them was Tupac? Because I realize that the '90s were more violent than now, but it seems like that's something that would come up if you were describing your Vegas vacation!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:48 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

Until this afternoon, it was the fruitcakes that we didn't distribute this winter. (We make excellent fruitcakes, without candied fruit.) They actually looked fine, as one might expect from the slightly floury baked alcohol that they are.

Now, if Barry got in there, it's the wrongest. Barry is the robot vacuum and he is not allowed in the kitchen, and his little wheels can't usually get up the lip into it.
posted by cobaltnine at 3:49 PM on April 15

She never said a WORD about seeing ANYONE get shot in Vegas EVER.
posted by Etrigan at 3:54 PM on April 15 [22 favorites]

Giant roaches. I only see one skittering away if I turn on the kitchen light in the middle of the night, but I know they're there. Here in Florida we call them "palmetto bugs", but we know they are giant roaches. The Roach Motel hasn't been built that could hold one of these.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:57 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]

There's no way to narrow it down to just one thing wrong in our kitchen. It's pretty much everything in there. We bought this 150 year old house ten years ago in a basically derelict and uninhabitable state and moved in anyway because we were afraid to leave it unoccupied in a slightly marginal neighborhood. At that point, it didn't really have a kitchen to speak of so I had to make one quickly. We had asked the previous owner (really the late owner's creepy son) to get rid of everything in the kitchen because it was too gross to even touch but that left us with an empty room painted a horrible 70's green with a rusty sink in the corner.

I spent first week there getting cabinets, sink and a stove from Craig's List, a fridge from the Sears scratch-and-dent outlet and eight feet of counter from Home Depot along with assorted plumbing fittings. I stuck the cabinets along one wall, connected the stove to the gas spigot, set the counter on the cabinets and cut a sink sized hole in it, plumbed the sink, set it in the counter and caulked around it and called the whole mess a kitchen. The whole thing cost about $900 and took less than a week to assemble.

We said, well that will hold us for the next six months until we get a real kitchen designed and built. That was in August of 2007. Since then we've had two bathrooms built along with all new plumbing, a new furnace installed, all new wiring throughout the house, a new 40' porch on the side of the house to replace the one that was about to fall off, put a roof on the garage, had the bricks repointed and the back wall of the house rebuilt, the concrete in the side and back yard replaced with brick, new stone front steps, a new membrane roof on the garage and floors refinished but a decade later we still have that same fucking kitchen that was supposed to last for six months.

We do have a design that we had done about five years ago with some nifty 3d renderings of a lovely kitchen with a peninsula with a sink in it, fancy cabinets and a gourmet stove. I have no idea when we can assemble the cash to make that vision happen so right now we're still stuck with that crappy one-week kitchen. We haven't even painted over the horrible lime green walls because keep thinking, "we're going to gut the room anyway so why try to fix anything now?"
posted by octothorpe at 3:58 PM on April 15 [10 favorites]

The goddamned LAMINATE FLOOR IN THE KITCHEN. Which is a bad idea to start, but there was at some point clearly a leak, or is a leak, that nobody can find (and might be rain-related but it's LA so this is very hard to troubleshoot - I suspect it was the old dishwasher that was eventually replaced, but not before the damage was done).

The floor is beyond ruined and when we moved in I pointed to the very mild-at-that-time damage and wrote on the lease and pointed to it as I said "you have or had a leak in here and the floor is ruined and isn't going to get better, you understand that?" and he said "yeah" and a year later he came to check the house over before our predicted El Nino and I pulled the rug back that I had to put over it and said "you see this, right? you see what's happening here, I'm going to keep putting this rug over it but you are going to have to replace this eventually" and he said "yeah" but one day I'm going to stumble over what is now a series of potholes underneath a rug in my kitchen floor and bash my brains out...

...on the fucking tiled counter that is never ever clean because why does anyone ever think that's a good idea?

(Also, both bathrooms' counters are about 28" high. They're like playhouse bathrooms. My husband is 6'2" and I am 5'10" and it's impossible to shave or wash your face or spit toothpaste without getting everything everywhere because we're bent completely over and still barely getting our faces in the sink zone.)
posted by Lyn Never at 4:00 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

I'm trying to get "kitchen reno" worked into Folsom Prison Blues' "But I shot a man in Reno / Just to watch him die," and nothing's working. So I'm throwing it out here, maybe one of you can succeed where I've failed.
posted by ardgedee at 4:01 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]

didn't you get a free cat when you signed up for Metafilter?

I inquired about that when I joined, but because I don't own a scanner they wouldn't give me one.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:02 PM on April 15 [23 favorites]

I don't know what to say, Etrigan! That certainly beats my story about how my grandmother never mentioned that she went to high school with Ava Gardner.

I don't think there is anything particularly weird in my kitchen right now. I mean, I have various craft supplies on my kitchen table, because I live in a tiny, tiny apartment, and it doubles as my desk. But nothing else. Knock wood. This is the nicest kitchen I have ever had, and it is blessedly free from vermin.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:04 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

The extractor fan that the previous owner installed but didn't frigging actually connect to the outside so it's just a big useless silver thing that we occasionally hit our heads off. Also the damp smell because they also installed the cupboards against bare stone walls instead of plastering them first. Also the dead plant on the windowsill that I should probably throw out. And a fruit bowl that's the bottom half of a toiletries gift set holder. And the Shit Drawer wherein live the tape measures and pens and mystery keys etc that has got jammed shut by something or other. What isn't there is a dishwasher which I bemoan every day in life.
posted by billiebee at 4:04 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Etrigan, not to be rude, but is your mother a reliable narrator? This whole story seems... odd.
posted by lazuli at 4:07 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Our electric can opener which doesn't work right but we only noticed this after the warranty had passed and everyone is being really passive aggressive about it and so we continue to use it, well other people continue to use it, even though it only sometimes works and sometimes messes up and jams and is a piece of shit. I glare at it while I use the hand crank can-opener which I've had in my possession for more than 15 years and does the job just right.

I like to open other cans in front of it and then end the action with, “HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT ELECTRIC CAN OPENER!?! HUH WHO'S BETTER THAN YOU, THAT'S RIGHT HAND CRANK IS BETTER, SUCK IT!”
posted by Fizz at 4:08 PM on April 15 [8 favorites]

I'm sitting outside in the kitty kompound watching the two young monsters flount about. Dinner tonight is a onion, orange bell pepper, garlic, mushroom and asparagus stir fry accompanied by a cheat version of sangria (cheap red wine with orange juice and a touch of honey.)

I just watched my wealthy neighbors pull into their drive, pulling their boat; must have been a nice day out. Their place is on the market: listed at 339k. I live across the street in a nice singlewide trailer that was worth 30k when I bought it. I'm keeping the neighborhood real...

The most wrong thing in my kitchen are the cabinets. They are made of pressboard (not even good enough to be particleboard.) The covering is the thinnest possible plastic film. No. Not even as thick as contact paper. The film is wearing off at every door knob where my fingernails have touched it. It's so cheap that I don't think I can successfully get paint to adhere for long.
posted by mightshould at 4:09 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

A pair of cardinals is at the bird feeder; discussing the day's events. Both are eating away and every now and then Mr C interrupts Ms C to give her a seed. So helpful! She wasn't eating seeds or any such thing already...
posted by mightshould at 4:13 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

We have a Nipper atop the fridge.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:13 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]

Etrigan, not to be rude, but is your mother a reliable narrator? This whole story seems... odd.

Well, he was shot at an intersection on the Strip (or near it). It's not impossible that she was there, nor that she didn't tell me about it at the time (we're more of a "call every six months and catch up" sort of family); I'm just boggled that it hasn't come up ever before.
posted by Etrigan at 4:19 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]

The vinyl floor in my kitchen is sticky when it's clean, so fuck that noise, I've cleaned it maybe three times in the 28 years I've lived here. I think my brother cleaned it once when he was here doing some other work on the house for me, but I don't remember for sure. When it's my time to go, I'm planning on stocking the house with thermite and having a Viking funeral, sans boat.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:31 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

The most wrong thing:

We have dark mottled granite countertops, probably because the lady who built the place wanted them to always seem clean. She was right- you really can never tell when they need wiping and if you came into our kitchen you'd think we are neat/clean people. BUT- only one of us is a habitual counter-wiper and cleaner-upper and the other only wipes when he sees something so that means the wiper is always thinking she can put something on the counter and then it turns out the counter is covered in invisible damp coffee grinds or spilled salt or aaaaaagh.

An easy question, for once. That would be the frozen, and obviously very dead, squirrel in the freezer (don't ask).

We had a very dead, very large, grouse in our freezer for TWO YEARS- it felt like even longer- because it rammed into our window and died very prettily and someone thought it would be a shame to "waste it." .
posted by charmedimsure at 4:36 PM on April 15 [16 favorites]

We have a drawer located between the dishwasher and the sink for which we commissioned a stainless steel liner; it's our compost collection point. It works great, except when newcomers to the kitchen attempt to help with food preparation or clean up and mistake it, thanks to its location, for a drawer full of cooking tools or silverware. The expressions on their faces when they open the drawer and find that it's full of vegetable cuttings, coffee grounds and other pre-compost matter are often hilarious. It's even better when they open the drawer and get buzzed by a fruit fly, which happens now and then.
posted by carmicha at 4:36 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Earlier today the most obnoxious thing was that there was no beer in the fridge, but I managed to remedy that.

The kitchen's too small, but more annoying is that people are always leaving cabinet doors open.

By "people," I mean "me" (like 90% of the time the doors get left open).
posted by audi alteram partem at 4:39 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

My best friend gave me a set of Axis of Evil fingerpuppet magnets when I graduated from college, so I have finger puppet magnets of Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, and George W. Bush on the fridge. George W. Bush is currently holding up the thank you note I got from Planned Parenthood for donating in honor of Mike Pence, which makes me pretty happy.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:42 PM on April 15 [17 favorites]

The previous owner of this house was a DIY-er, and, er, should not have been.

My father referred to this guy as "The Phantom Handyman."
posted by carmicha at 4:50 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

No pets in the building sadly. It's a nice apartment, but it's old and mice seem to be a fact of life around here.
posted by dismas at 4:54 PM on April 15

Before I took the doors off the upper cabinets, it was that their bottom corners were right at my forehead level. Now I have open shelves and no forehead bruises. The worst thing is the window, which is a piece of shit that has a crack I could stick my thumb through if not for weatherstripping, and which will be replaced circa the twelfth of never because this is a historic building and the window faces the street and fixing all the windows in these five co-op apartment buildings is literally a two-million-dollar project.

Thanks for this thread, it has made me realize that the broken hinge on one of the remaining cabinet doors is something I can just.... call maintenance about. WHOA GAME CHANGED
posted by clavicle at 5:03 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

So having a Nipper is actually no big mystery -- The wife's uncle worked for a TV & electronic sales & repair shop most of his working life, & that was part of a sales display in the 50's that he brought home when it was replaced, & we inherited it. The plaster ones from the 30's are valuable -- ours is molded plastic & can be found at the usual places one seeks things such as Nippers on the cheap.

Here's the part that was weird until I figured it out. When we first put Nipper up there, we faced him as shown in the photo, sort of looking left. A week later, he'd been turned to the right, like 90 degrees. No one in the house fessed up to moving him, & it would have been some effort for the kids at the time, as they were small, so. I turned him back to the left. A week later, I looked up again, & WHAT THE... he was turned right again! For a second time, everyone in the house denied culpability, though my suspicions were not assuaged. Someone was messing with me, or so I thought.

Finally, about three weeks later, I walked into the kitchen while the washing machine (which is just about 3 feet from the fridge) was on spin cycle, & the whole kitchen was shaking. That old washing machine really shook up the whole house. Anyway, I looked up at the top of the fridge & could clearly see that Nipper was vibrating right along with everything else in the kitchen, & due to whatever sympathetic wave the thing was throwing up the height of the fridge from the floor, was ever so slowly rotating rightward over the 10 minutes or so that the washer spun.

Faith in family restored, I called therm all in to witness "The Phenomenon."
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:05 PM on April 15 [15 favorites]

In non-kitchen-or-Tupac-related news, I am finishing up Halt and Catch Fire, which was a really pleasant surprise. Now I need to find a new show to binge watch, or else a really engrossing audiobook, because I'm about to start a new knitting project that isn't going to allow me to read books or surf the interwebs.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:10 PM on April 15

The blinds on one of my kitchen windows just up and fell out of the window...uh...long enough​ ago now that I actually can't remember. More than a year, less than two years, let's say. The whole blind apparatus just snapped and fell down, unprovoked. It happened during a week when I was extremely busy and my apartment was a mess. Since there's a direct line of sight between the neighbors' living room and my bed through that window, and also I don't wear pants indoors, I taped some paper up in the window to cover it, figuring as soon as I straightened the place up I'd ask my landlord to fix the blinds.

And then completely forgot about it. I never opened those blinds anyway since it's a creeper window, so I hardly ever even notice that there's paper there.

And yeah, I could ask my LL to fix them now, and really should, but "oh hey the blinds broke over a year ago can you​ fix them" is...weird.
posted by phunniemee at 5:24 PM on April 15

posted by languagehat at 5:24 PM on April 15 [10 favorites]

Anyway, one of my kitchen​ windows is covered in paper and that's pretty dumb.
posted by phunniemee at 5:25 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

The smallest burner on our stove, on low, still gets too hot to cook rice on without it boiling over madly, so you have to keep the rice pan half off the burner, remembering to rotate it part way through cooking to make sure it doesn't stick horribly on one side. Most of the drawers have a tendency to come off their rails and one just doesn't shut all the way. The sink faucet is so low that I can't get my large stockpot under it. Yes, it's a rental. Sigh.
posted by skycrashesdown at 5:26 PM on April 15

A long-expired epipen. One of the kids asked me why. Because it is exactly the same diameter as a 12 gauge shotgun shell. She shook her head at me and put it back on the windowsill.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:29 PM on April 15

I realize this is skewing a bit from the original question, but based on some of the previous comments I'm hoping it'll be within acceptable parameters.

Some background: I got interested in cooking about 16-18 years ago - not super-gourmet fancy capital-C Cuisine or anything, just sort of everyday competence. This came about for a few reasons: (a) After growing up in a house where an emphasis on anything beyond bare maintenance-level grub was decidedly missing, I discovered liked really good well-made food; plus (b) I became a single parent and needed to be able to provide healthy meals for my child; and/but (c) I sure as hell couldn't afford to dine out in upscale restaurants all the time or otherwise have someone else provide me with quality fare. So with the help of a friend who had been an honest-to-god Chef, a couple of decent cookbooks, and the 90's-era Internet, I started developing kitchen skills. I discovered I quite enjoyed cooking, which led me to more recipes and more expertise, and an increased variety of (and appreciation for) savory comestibles.

Since that time I've lived in a variety of places with all manner of kitchen areas. Some were okay, many were not; and lately I've become more and more aware of how seriously horribly-designed the vast majority of kitchens are from a functional perspective - if you can dignify them with a word like "designed", since a lot of them tend to look like the merest afterthoughts grudgingly shoehorned into the dwelling's blueprint. It drives me fucking mental, because it's not just a matter of money/cost or even (except for a few notable examples I've encountered) simple shortage of square footage, but rather due to a fundamental lack of understanding of such things as usable counter space or cabinets/doors that won't open fully or corners that are inaccessible and therefore wasted. Kitchens seem to be designed by clueless architects who apparently have never cooked a meal in their lives and/or who seem to think that people are more impressed by bathrooms you could hold a party in (and yet, somehow, are equipped with tubs that humans of standard height can't stretch out in; but that's a rant for another thread).

Case in point: my current kitchen has NO stove hood filter/fan whatsoever. None. Even cooking bacon sends the hall smoke alarm into a tizzy, and I'm constantly fighting a battle against Greasy Film Grunge all over everything in the kitchen, dining area, floor, and adjacent living room. Anything that requires actual searing is simply out of the question; I have to wait until the weather's nice enough to grill it outdoors (and don't get me started on the rarity of covered outdoor spaces!!).

Then you get into not even minimally-realistic cabinet/drawer space, bad logistics leading to things like being unable to open X unless Y is closed even though having both X and Y open together is a frequent necessity, lack of outlets for countertop appliances, on and on and on and on. And yet rapacious landlords have the goddamn balls to keep jacking up rents to the market's absolute straining point...

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick. I need a massive drink now.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:33 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

The stove is against cabinet doors, making them useless. I think there is litterally a bag of rocks in there from previous tenants.

The countertops aren't quite leveled , so water pools from the sink (no dishwasher) against the back splash. So we have to be careful about that.

My rice cooker though- that thing is a power house. It cooks rice, rice dishes, steams, makes yougurt, outmeal, is a dish warmer, also is a slow cooker. It also cooks other grains really well and one pot dinners . It was like 30.00 usd and is used frequently. I cannot recommend it more to people.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:47 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

At one time BUT NO LONGER THERE (given away as a prank gift to a family friend) I had ... an avocado slicer.

The idea was that I am a bit of a kitchen klutz and perhaps this would make avocados safer for me.

This failed to be the case.

I do NOT recommend the avocado slicer.
posted by hilaryjade at 5:48 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

Surely it must be lids without containers and containers without matching lids.
posted by smoke at 5:52 PM on April 15 [11 favorites]

hilaryjade, I got one as a gift but I haven't used it yet. Now I'm afraid.
posted by AFABulous at 5:55 PM on April 15

My kitchen is kind of a nightmare, and I'm convinced it's slowly killing me and my girlfriend.

my current kitchen has NO stove hood filter/fan whatsoever. None.

I don't know, I've never had a kitchen with a stove hood/fan, and my current kitchen is no exception. I mean, technically there's a hood over my stove, but it's not actually connected to anything, so at best I could just propel smoke to the ceiling slightly faster. It doesn't seem to make everything gummy, or maybe it does, but I wouldn't necessarily know, because the other problem in my kitchen is the lighting.

There's some sort of mount for a lamp on the ceiling, but there's no lamp on it. So we have a desk lamp on the counter and a floor lamp against the wall. Those were the only places with room for lamps. As a result, the lighting in the kitchen is very pretty, but it doesn't illuminate the stove very well. The aforementioned hood does have a lightbulb in it, but there's no cover (so it's just an exposed lightbulb, which seems dangerous given all the grease and whatnot), and I don't think it's even plugged into anything anyway. Sometimes I'll have to take a pan off the stove and walk over to one of the lamps just to get a good look at what I'm cooking.

Aside from that, the countertops are made out of some sort of laminated something, which I know because there's a joint where water has seeped in and caused everything to expand upwards, creating a vaguely vaginal opening that exposes the swollen fiberboard underneath. They get stained. Chances of mold are pretty high.

Cupboards and drawers seem to shed fiberboard onto things. My girlfriend says it's not a big deal, but I'm always noticing little bits of stuff. Or, I guess it's not that it isn't a big deal, but she's always pointing out that this was the only place we could afford at the time.

Also in my kitchen: one of those wall-mounted heaters that you see all over California, except I think mine shares a vent with my neighbor's, because I can always hear him through it, and man is that guy loud. I recently figured out that he's a total brogrammer, which makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure which is worse: hearing his super loud music all the time, or hearing him burping all the time. My girlfriend has suggested he might have some sort of digestive problem. He's a nice guy when you talk to him, but he plays his music so loudly that he doesn't hear us knocking on the door to ask him to turn it down. The landlord occasionally sends out an email reminding tenants to be respectful of their neighbors, but those haven't done much.

Don't even get me started on how the faucet came detached from the rest of the sink, so you have to be careful not to knock it out of place. Or the weird stains on the fiberboard underneath the sink. People always say "owning a house is terrible! It's much better being able to get your landlord to take care of stuff!" but that assumes you actually can get your landlord to take care of stuff. If I told you how much we're paying for this place, it would cue a whole bunch of comments about how much better it is to live outside the Bay Area, and I don't think I could deal with that right now.

Anyway, like I said, at least the lighting in our kitchen is pretty, if not practical.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:02 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

Don't get me wrong, I actually like our apartment for the most part. But that kitchen, man.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:11 PM on April 15

my current kitchen has NO stove hood filter/fan whatsoever. None.


And where to start with the wrong weirdness of this kitchen?

- I have over a gallon of maple syrup in the fridge in four different containers because they are different flavors
- I have to tell guests "That is not a huge bag of weed in the freezer, it's just balsam. I don't suggest trying to smoke it though it will smell lovely"
- Every time I turn on the oven it smells like mouse pee. I finally got sick of this, cleaned out the whole inside and tore the back of the oven apart with a wrench and a screwdriver only to find the (former) nest was in a place I couldn't easily get to. I live with it.
- someone gave me a little plastic lifelike model of a stomach and I keep it in the kitchen
- I keep a lot of my dry goods in peanut butter jars. I eat a lot of peanut butter.

I mostly like my kitchen but it is somewhat eccentric.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:14 PM on April 15 [8 favorites]

My refrigerator is by Hotpoint. My stove is by Frigidaire.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:19 PM on April 15 [33 favorites]

There are many things that annoy me about my kitchen but right now it's the out of control house plants in the windowsill. I fully expect one day to come home to this.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:21 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

My electric range and non-vented hood are original equipment. Our house was built in 1964. I can still get replacement burner elements but parts for the hood are non-existent. The activated-charcoal filter isn't so active and the light switch wore out so I turn it on and off by screwing the bulb in and out.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:24 PM on April 15

I'm jealous of the vagina counter. I want one.

In our kitchen, the dishwasher and the stove are next to each other but at a right angle. That means opening the dishwasher door blocks the space in front of the stove where you stand to cook. Want to grab a clean dish from the dishwasher? First you have to ask the person currently in the midst of stir-frying to move. It's an annoyance every time we cook.
posted by medusa at 6:32 PM on April 15

Two things that were in my kitchen until 5 minutes ago, both given on separate occasions as presents from a family member who would never use them because they don't drink.

A ridiculously huge church key supposedly made from a chunk of a wine barrel. It's nearly a foot long and must weigh close to a pound. Stupidly impractical, especially in my tiny house. Used once at a party only as a laugh. I much prefer my small, rusty, old-fashioned Storz Beer version, although the pointy end is mostly, um, pointless these days.

A sort of hand-puppet shaped figure made of flannel with a hollow, hard-ish head reportedly designed as a decorative cover for a wine bottle. Never used. Not sure if it was to keep dust off the bottle (wine bottles in my house aren't around long enough), to hide cheap-labeled wine (admittedly there is some of that at times, but even though my palette might care, my sensibilities certainly don't), or to just look pretty (it's not pretty).

Both are now in the trash (why have I kept them for so long???). Less junk around the house - thanks MetaFilter!!
posted by ClingClang at 6:53 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

You'd be forgiven for thinking an avocado slicer is a unitasker, but slice a hardboiled egg with one and then get back to me.
posted by clavicle at 6:57 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

We may or may not still have a dead, frozen warbler in the freezer; I'll ask rtha.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:01 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

I need to replace the blinds in my three bay kitchen windows. They're the original window treatments so they're 20 years old, and they got all warpy a couple of years ago. I just keep them rolled up at the top all the time. It's really only a problem in winter when the big tree in front of the windows loses its leaves and you can see inside from the street.
Today I made a huge batch of baked beans and a chocolate-cherry cake to take to Easter dinner tomorrow. The lack of window blinds didn't seem to matter... I'll get to them eventually.
posted by bookmammal at 7:02 PM on April 15

The worst thing in our kitchen is the ice-maker in our Frigidaire refrigerator. It fucking sucks. Constantly shoots ice cubes down in to the freezer instead of through the ice chute, gets clogged all of the time, and even though the filter is brand new it still occasionally produces ice with mysterious black chunks in it. I hate it with my life.
posted by saladin at 7:09 PM on April 15

This guy. He farts a lot.

And also sheds.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 7:13 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]

I think we got rid of the frozen warbler a few years ago, but it's been a while since I did a thorough freezer-cleaning, so it might still be there.
posted by rtha at 7:15 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]

The coils on my electric stove are never exactly level, so the oil flows to one side of the pan, and after many years I've now just gotten used to rotating the pan as part of my stirring/sauteeing technique so the oil gets everywhere.
posted by escabeche at 7:20 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]

There's a squawking/squeaking noise that shows up some nights, from just outside the kitchen window. I think the source is located somewhere on my LL's DIY fire escape. (Yeah, one summer, I woke, groggy and desperate for coffee, went to make it, found him standing outside my second-floor window welding this fire escape together, strip by strip. (Initially, wasn't clear quite what it was, turned out to be that.) It looks *ok*, but if there were a fire, I'd still probably hurl myself out the front window.) I know the sound's not from pigeons. I pretend it's pigeons. I told him about it, did my due diligence.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:25 PM on April 15

You'd be forgiven for thinking an avocado slicer is a unitasker, but slice a hardboiled egg with one and then get back to me.

You could also run it around a skinned mango.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:26 PM on April 15

In our kitchen, the dishwasher and the stove are next to each other but at a right angle. That means opening the dishwasher door blocks the space in front of the stove where you stand to cook.

This situation provides a daily irritation at the apartment we rent in SLC during the winter. Moreover, the handles interfere so you can't open or close the dishwasher without leaning on the stove to push it out of the way so the handles clear. I pretend I'm a hockey player delivering a hip check. Last year the management company updated the unit, e.g., they added granite countertops and the like, but they did not fix this fundamental flaw.
posted by carmicha at 7:30 PM on April 15

I spent a ton of money getting a new kitchen 2 years ago; well, it's the same kitchen, but there are all new cabinets (and on both sides of the room!), and a new fridge, and beautiful engineered quartz counters, and the horrible white ceramic tile is gone. It's beautiful.

But I didn't get a backsplash put in. And apparently the faucet is a little too close to the window over the sink. So now I have a rag hanging off the windowsill, blocking the spot where I keep splashing water while doing dishes and ruining the paint. The kitchen looks great -- except for the stupid rag on the windowsill.
posted by suelac at 7:35 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

It's a tossup between the packages of "miracle noodles" in the back of my fridge that my daughter bought last summer and has not attempted to prepare, and the extra-dribbly Mr. Coffee carafe on the thrift store coffee pot I got a few months ago. I understand that dribbly coffee carafes is enough of an issue that there's even an AskMe about it, but I have not had this level of dribbliness with any coffee pot I've ever owned, which is a number in the dozens at this point.
posted by drlith at 7:37 PM on April 15

The avocado slicer was not even an avocado slicer for me, much less an egg and or mango tool.

My attempts to use it left me with a heaping mess of semi-smushed avocado and a pit stuck in the pit remover.

My husband couldn't even help me with it because he was temporarily disabled due to helpless laughter.
posted by hilaryjade at 7:39 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

So, well, this isn't the kitchen that we're currently using, since we were living in a trailer in a temporary-as-in-four-years-with-two-large-dogs kind of way while we got our actual house sorted. Which is not something that I would recommend. Said trailer is an actual trailer (as in wheels and not a single wide, which would be LUXURY!) and as such is sitting on the tires that have been slowly deflating the whole time we lived there.

Now trailers aren't built for continuous occupation, which is why it's illegal, and at the end of our time in the trailer things slowly started failing one-by-one as the move-in date for the house remained perpetually two months away.

As the lights failed one-by-one the trailer became darker as the days got darker. Our eyes adjusted to the lower light.

This is fine.

And then the blackwater outlet clogged, which might have had something to do with the fact that part of the construction involved tearing out the drain field for the 1970s-era illegal dairy barn septic system that was probably installed in the 70s shortly before the farm went tits up.

Fortunately, we already had a chemical toilet for the construction crew. How lucky is that?

This is fine.

And then one day I noticed a powerful ammonia smell. So I opened the trailer up to let it drain out.

This is fine.

Turns out that that's what happens when an RV fridge fails. And it turns out that RV fridges are really expensive to replace if you're going to be moving into your new house Any Day Now®. But hey, we've got a ton of marine coolers and the neighbor has a couple of ice makers.

This is fine.

But somehow, because it was just going to be a little while longer and staring at the finishing line of this mold-encrusted marathon of squalor put us into survival mode just to make it through the day. We never got around to cleaning the food out of the dead refrigerator.

This was not fine.

This was also in November and I haven't opened the fridge since. This is the worst thing in my kitchen.

A coda: The blackwater eventually started draining again for reasons no one can explain. So that was a definite improvement. The county condemned the dairy barn and it's now got a big red DO NOT OCCUPY sticker on it. We got legal occupancy of the house in late December. We're now much happier and healthier and learning about how to live in a space where two people can stand up at the same time.

The dogs are learning to live with the cat who has retired from pest control duties and moved into the house. He still goes outside to shit so that really reduces the litter box chores.

Our dwelling no longer rocks back and forth on its suspension when they test fire the artillery at the base.

The worst thing in our kitchen is currently an open bag of lamb milk replacer which reeks cloyingly and floats everywhere in powder form and adheres in liquid form as the protoplasmic flesh that flowed blackly outward to join together and form that eldritch, hideous horror from outer space, that spawn of the blankness of primal time, that tentacled amorphous monster which was the lurker at the threshold, whose mask was as a congeries of iridescent globes, the noxious Yog-Sothoth, who froths as primal slime in nuclear chaos beyond the nethermost outposts of space and time.

posted by stet at 7:44 PM on April 15 [21 favorites]

... smallest burner on our stove, on low, still gets too hot to cook rice ...

You need a heat diffuser. I'm fortunate enough to have a small burner and an aluminum pot that works very well for rice, but I use my diffuser for lots of other things.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:51 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

Two things about my kitchen besides the fact that it is small and lacks decent counter space. The refrigerator has the door opening on the wrong side. (Freezer too.) I know it is trivially easy to change it and almost daily I threaten myself that today is the day, but not yet. When you open the refrigerator, it blocks off the rest of the kitchen. Two, is what is inside the 'frig. My children refuse to take the last serving/amount of any condiment or anything else in the frig. On principle, I refuse to finish it for them and get stuck with having to rinse out the container and bring it to the recycling. So, in my frig sits many condiment containers (two ketchup and 3 mustard!) with one last amount. My daughter has avoided it forever by growing up and moving into a place of her own. My tactic with my sons is to not buy more of the condiment so they have to use the last bit, but apparently eating a plain burger is better than one with condiments that need to be rinsed and discarded.
posted by AugustWest at 7:52 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Probably this Egg Separator, which was given to us by a friend. I never use it, I just use the shells to separate eggs, but this thing is made such that the yoke stays in the cup and the white stuff comes out of his nose. It's gross.

I also have this cookie jar, which I kind of like.

Other than that, I kind of like my kitchen. We designed it ourselves so we got most things right and there aren't a lot of crazy WTFs like you sometimes find in old kitchens.

I guess the weirdest, dumbest, most obnoxious thing in my kitchen is usually me.
posted by bondcliff at 7:55 PM on April 15

I am super fucking proud to say that we are cleaning out all unnecessary clutter and I no longer have any tools I don't actively use in my kitchen. WOOOOOOOOOOOO! The laminate flooring does suck though. And my grandmother went to school with Ricardo Montalban, but that is another story for another day.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:04 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

this thing is made such that the yoke stays in the cup and the white stuff comes out of his nose

Ew ew ew ewwwwww whyyyyyyyyyyy?
posted by lazuli at 8:12 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Because my friends and I are all twelve years old.
posted by bondcliff at 8:14 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]

A friend once gave me a nutcracker that was designed as the bottom half of a naked woman. It took me entirely too many moves before I finally got rid of it.
posted by lazuli at 8:16 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I don't really know why we keep it since we never use it. We also keep in on the windowsill, so it's on display. It's not very obvious what it is and occasionally people ask and it's kind of fun watching their face go from curiosity to horror.

I guess that's probably why we keep it.
posted by bondcliff at 8:18 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Probably our collection of plastic dinosaurs. This pterodactyl lives on the wall and occasionally holds aprons, these two goofballs are up on a high ledge against the stairs. There's also a stegosaurus on a shelf in the living room, directly adjacent to the kitchen.

I keep threatening to make the dinosaurs seasonally appropriate clothing, or position them in Chuck Tingle style tableaux with each other, but it hasn't happened yet.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:20 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Somewhere I have a device that scrambles eggs within their shell. It's basically one of those spinny, flex your arms and it spins back and forth on 2 strings toys but for eggs. I got it off of kickstarter and was pumped to not have to dirty a bowl to make eggs/egg sandwitches. I don't think I've even seen, let alone used, it since the day we got it in the mail. I'm assuming it's in our kitchen though it may well be lost in the last 3 moves we've done since then. May god have mercy on my soul.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:53 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

Two, is what is inside the 'frig.

My husband's most constant proof of his love for me is his not only taking my haranguing about the proper positioning and placement of items like the salt and pepper shakers or pots, which I'm extremely fussy/precise about, but also that those harangues are coupled to the fact that I'm notorious for putting back the empty containers of . . . well, everything, back in the fridge. So awful a person, even, I'll take out empty containers, realize they're empty, and put them back. I don't know how many times he's been disappointed by empty take out containers or milk jugs, and jeez, there's no disappointment quite like food disappointment, but he bears it well and with grace.

I have no idea how he does it, because if he did that, it would drive me crazy.
posted by barchan at 8:56 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]

Two of the dogs are still shedding, and honestly it's so dispiriting to vacuum and then it's just as bad again an hour later that, unless company, we clean it up once or twice while they're shedding and then do a proper clean when they're done. Anyhoo, when they shed it's like this, except that's one dog shedding at maybe 50\%.

So: a dust yeti or two.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:57 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

We have Scrabble tile magnets on the fridge. For a while they said sort of normal things but right now we have "wigloop," "souper bowl," "quizlet," and "cherry r mantis" (the remains of merry Christmas).
posted by ferret branca at 9:00 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

There is a shocking variety of deceased wildlife in Metafilter's freezer.
posted by janell at 9:14 PM on April 15 [23 favorites]

Ugh god it's the irritating inch gap on either side of the freestanding cooker, which sits between bench/cupboards, into which various bits of food fall and are impossible to remove.

Also the cooker itself which has a great oven but an electric stove where the same position on the dial translates to a wildly different temperature on each of the four burners
posted by Panthalassa at 9:59 PM on April 15

Chocolate covered salmiakki, given as a guest gift by someone living in Finland. Personally, I like Salmiak, which is black liquorice with ammonium chloride, enough to swap chocolate for Salmiak with a Dutch mefite a while back, but covering it in chocolate is strange.

The unfortunate consequence was that the toddler saw it and absolutely wanted a piece of the chocolate. After 15 minutes of trying to say that this was not normal chocolate, I finally gave in. I feel bad about how funny I still find the expression of "what have I done" that crossed the child's face on the first taste.
posted by frimble (staff) at 11:11 PM on April 15 [18 favorites]

A plastic litre bottle of cincalok or fermented krill. Bought from a stall in Malacca where the stall owner warned us to open it carefully lest it explode and spray fermented krill all over the kitchen. We nodded, smiled and promised to be careful, wrapped it in several layers of plastic and put it at the back of a cupboard and since then have been too scared to open it.
posted by tavegyl at 11:38 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]

Above my sink are two cabinets that have doors that open upwards (like garage doors, I guess). At one time I assume the hinges had a mechanism that would hold them in an open position, but that time is long gone. Now if you want something from either of these spacious and convenient cabinets, you have to hold the door up with one hand while getting the item with the other. This obviously leads to problems because the cabinets are not well organized. The organization isn't my fault, though, because it is really hard to put the dishes back in there from the drying rack using only one hand. The whole thing fills me with a blind rage on a daily basis.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:39 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]

The entire kitchen, really. It's built into the recessed area that used to be where a full- or queen-sized murphy bed once folded into, apparently (as per the building manager, and the apartment building used to be an SRO decades ago, so it's not impossible); as a result, everything is just slightly too small, which ranges from minorly awkward to occasionally infuriating:
-The tiny gas stove has four burners (yay!) but the oven can't fit a full-sized cookie tray (booo!) and you certainly can't use more than two burners at once unless all the pots or pans are tiny.
-The cupboards are _slightly_ too shallow for my plates, so the doors don't close if I store plates in there. (Bigger things like mixing bowls? Definitely not!) I do have a nearby set of cinderblock shelves I put up that can take some of the too-wide things, but space there is limited too, since overflow books and art supplies keep expanding onto more shelves.
-The sink is about half as wide and deep as a sane sink, so there's very little vertical space between the faucet and pots or pans, and larger pots, mixing bowls, etc. don't necessarily really fit except at weird angles. Actually filling the sink and soaking things is definitely not possible.
-The countertop is about as big as the tiny stove. Any countertop appliances are Right Out, so no mixers, rice cookers, crockpots, toasters, etc.
-Oddly enough the fridge is full-sized, though, so there's that?

Seriously though I want a kitchen designed for average-sized adult humans.
posted by ubersturm at 1:37 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]

There are many things that are infuriating about my current rental kitchen but the thing that always gets me is that the draining board (the sink and the draining board is one metal unit) has been installed level and not slightly tilted so nothing actually drains into the sink and just pools under the dish rack.

Mind you, at least we have a draining board. The last rental flat had a circular sink (aaaaaaaargh) and no draining rack, requiring an diy dish rack hack of a plastic storage bin lid underneath the dish rack so we could actually dry dishes without warping the counter.
posted by halcyonday at 1:37 AM on April 16

I can't have certain drawers/cabinets and the dishwasher open at the same time which messes with my time-honored dishwasher-emptying technique of opening all the cabinets and drawers and not closing them until I'm done.

I also made the mistake of buying a big bag of frozen chicken breasts that cook up all spongey and gross. This bag has been taking up valuable freezer space but I somehow can't bear to throw away, like, 4 pounds of chicken that I don't ever want to eat.

For a while the worst thing in my kitchen was the automatic coffee maker that got clogged with lime from the hard water here and took hours to "brew" (i.e., make a lot of noise, release a lot of steam, and dribble maybe 1/4 of the intended water over the grounds). Because I am a stubborn/ascetic SOB (see chicken breasts, above), I used the workaround of turning the coffeemaker on so the hot plate was on, but then boiling water on the stove and pouring it over the grounds. I am lucky that my girlfriend a) loves me and b) has sense, because she bought me a new coffeemaker for Valentine's day, one that has a delay timer and an automatic shutoff and everything, and it is wonderful.
posted by coppermoss at 2:55 AM on April 16

Olives. Olives in bowls, olives in jars, olives in buckets, olives in washing baskets. Olives in salt, olives in water, olives in brine, olives in vinegar. Pricked olives, smashed olives, slashed olives, whole olives. Green olives, black olives, and all the colours in between.

So many olives.

There are more on the tree, but I think I've got enough.
posted by kjs4 at 3:35 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]

Usually, me, but it's a kitchen in a house in Japan, so, yeah, the tiny grill for cooking fish that fits under the stove that's pretty much standard in any Japanese kitchen. We've used it once (I think I made foil wrapped garlic bread in it. It didn't work). And the stove is kind of dumb. The left gas burner just shuts off from time to time. It's all modern and stuff, so the gas shuts off when that happens, but lord, it's annoying when you're trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich and you didn't notice the fire under the pan went out a couple minutes ago.

On the other hand, we have that awesome trap door in the floor storage thing in our kitchen. It's just about a two foot wide cube, but it's awesome, and under the center of the house. In the winter, we can keep beer in there, and it stays right about at perfect drinking temperature, which is nice.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:01 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]

I have a consumer unit, all the breakers for the house and the electricity meter in behind some drawers that are part of the cabinets in my kitchen. When I want to read the meter I have to lift the drawers out and shine a torch in there...
posted by emilyw at 5:01 AM on April 16

Chocolate covered salmiakki, given as a guest gift by someone living in Finland.

That's not chocolate covered salmiak, that's chocolate filled with soft salmiak goo. For salmiak that's actually covered by chocolate, not just enclosed by it, you should talk to someone living in Iceland.

(There seems to be a typo on your packaging, btw. Here's what it's supposed to look like. Counterfeit or valuable first-edition misprint?)
posted by effbot at 5:01 AM on April 16

Our friends have a reputation for finding exceedingly useful and obnoxious wedding presents, like the Salamanzar bottle of champagne which, while very nice champagne, had to be consumed in one sitting and didn't fit in the recipients' refrigerator. When we got married, they got us a whole Jamon Serrano and a countertop deli slicer.

The ham is finally gone, but we still have the slicer. I actually get a lot of use out of, but it is the most obnoxious thing in the world to clean. None of it can go in the dishwasher. The base of the unit has a lot of weird crevices and hidey holes for bits of meat to hang out in. It requires two (yes, two) different lubricants to continue to function properly. The power cord is also weirdly short, which means there aren't many places I can actually set it up comfortably.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:45 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]

Textured cream-colored laminate countertops. Whyyyyyy?
posted by jferg at 6:54 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]

The drawers that are not wide enough to accomodate a utensil tray. And the ironing board built into the wall. (My apartment was built in 1921, but in 2017 I refuse to even own an iron)
posted by agregoli at 7:01 AM on April 16

Our kitchen is not meant to exist (I live in a modified industrial loft) and all thr parts are scavenged and handmade. This is mostly fine, except for a few things:

-- The sink has two pipes and both connect to the same exit, and so does the bathroom sink. The ubends are connected to each other, so gravity doesn't always function how you'd want it to.

-- There aren't enough outlets so I can't have an electric kettle (all the small appliances share an outlet so nothing can be permanent) so I'm boiling water for tea on the stove like some kind of caveman. The new stove burns a little too high and we've melted the whistler off two kettles now, and it turns out you absolutely cannot buy a replacement whistler for any amount of money that fits our kettle, and the ones you can get are also made of plastic. So in addition to boiling water on the stove in twice the time, I have to stand there and watch it because there's no auto shutoff and I can't hear when it's done if I'm not in the kitchen.

-- Our lights above the counter have a short, so until we get someone to look at it we have an awful clip on light that makes a constant "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" noise that, naturally, is something I can totally hear

-- There's the tip of an old iron nail that sticks up right dead center on the floor in front of the fridge that I keep forgetting to do something about (too big to pound in or pull out-- I'm thinking sugru but I have to get buy-in on the concept from the roommates)

-- The worst, which is that the counter is a ballast stone from a ship which is at 42", about level with the top of my elbow. I have to do prep in the living room if I want precision. Plus... it has a rough surface and how do you even clea that? I use either borax to scrub into the edges or mix up gak/putty to push in and remove the crud.

The weirdest thing we have in the fridge is my roommate's meat share which takes up 90% of the freezer. I have no problem with this, it's just amazing to me because I couldn't even Tetris it smaller. We talked about getting her a chest freezer for Christmas, but.... outlets.
posted by blnkfrnk at 7:18 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]

Is this the point where I share that I know the Vegas ER doc who gave Tupac chest compressions? Quoth he: Tupac is not in hiding.

I'm fighting against my SO purchasing a spiralizer. He does exactly .05% of the meal prep.
posted by eulily at 7:24 AM on April 16 [9 favorites]

You don't need a spiralizer. You can make fine zoodles with a regular vegetable peeler, just not curly.
posted by blnkfrnk at 7:26 AM on April 16

Thank you, that's what I'm telling him! But he might hear it better coming from you.
posted by eulily at 7:30 AM on April 16

Glad to be of service. A spiralizer is nice to bave but I really never used it enough to justify it. Maybe second hand.
posted by blnkfrnk at 7:37 AM on April 16

You don't need a spiralizer. You can make fine zoodles with a regular vegetable peeler, just not curly.

You can also buy premade zucchini noodles from Whole Foods, the discovery of which made me so much happier than I had been fighting with a silly spiralizer. (I didn't have a fancy one, though.)
posted by lazuli at 7:39 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

A rusty intertwined-vines design fruit bowl, usually containing bananas, currently an unopened bag of small kiwi fruit, formerly several large onions for convenience. My friend found the latter hilarious and insisted on pantomiming a whole "Would you like some fruit?/I'll have an onion, thanks!" sequence complete with gif-worthy mock-heroic chomping.
posted by comealongpole at 7:57 AM on April 16

This week I found out, via an English friend, that in the UK it's possible to hire a man to come over to clean your oven. He'll disassemble it and get all the gunk out and leave it looking like new. That man is not in my kitchen, sadly.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:59 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]

The chickens. Who believe they are dogs and sneak in at every opportunity. And then proceed to eat cat food.
posted by Cocodrillo at 8:05 AM on April 16 [9 favorites]

The small appliances. I'm staring at a food processor, a stand mixer, a blender, a vacuum sealer, and accessories for four Instant Pots. I'm afraid to turn my head because I'd then see everything else that's crammed in here and spilling out into the open-concept dining area.

We have a good-sized kitchen, but it's getting to the point where no kitchen can hold me.
posted by veggieboy at 8:11 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

In the house I just sold: the entrance from the side door, because some idiot (NOT me, for once) thought they needed a cabinet next to the sink more than they needed enough room for an adult human to enter the kitchen, let alone carry a box into the house.

In the house where I'm staying now: the fact that every cupboard and drawer is filled to bursting with Stuff. My friend is a tremendous packrat who will be able to throw a seven-course dinner in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.
posted by shiny blue object at 8:14 AM on April 16

Right now, it's me! I bought a bunch of stuff to cook Easter dinner with (including chunks of lamb, which looked great at the time!) and then got promptly crazy fucking sick, to the point where I can't even really focus on figuring out how I'm going to cook the lamb. So my kitchen is me coming in like a zombie and opening the fridge and staring at the food as though I will figure out how to cook it through magic and then leaving once the staring reveals no details to me.
posted by corb at 8:22 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]

Not my kitchen, but rather my neighbor's: right now, that would be a naked dude. Looks like he's home alone today... and he's really happy about it! (Sorry; it's just so weird—and oddly relevant.)
posted by heyho at 8:33 AM on April 16 [11 favorites]

Why do we have three (yes, three) large casserole pans. We never under any circumstances use more than one. Can we donate them? Nooo...gotta keep 'em.

Why are so many useful things under useless things?

Also, I used to have a full size professional grade bicycle work stand in my very tiny kitchen. It's now in the garage.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:45 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

The garbage disposal still in its packaging that my building forbade me to install despite being nothing in the condo bylaws saying that I couldn't and their being legal in NYC since the 90s. The member of cheeto voldemort's cabinet who owns the penthouse has one; I'm not sure if it was him or the former owner (who holds the leash of our governor and recently left his 3rd wife for one of his daughter''s college classmates) who installed it.

When my super saw the box, he told the contractor not to come back and neither of them bothered to tell me this.

Limeonaire, they make led bulbs to fit the recessed cans.Pricey, but use less wattage and last longer than incandescents or cfls.
posted by brujita at 8:51 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

My kitchen is probably the favorite part of my house. The most annoying thing is probably the three small dogs underfoot (they do an amazing job of keeping the floor clean of food crumbs, but I think they add more fur than they eat food so it's a net negative). Plus , my blind dog often gets accidentally kicked, and makes me feel horrible. Her favorite place to sit is on my feet, so she's partially to blame.

Next to my kitchen, however, is a weird entryway-type room between the kitchen and the back porch. It has a bathroom off of it to one side. I don't know what the original purpose is. It's too open to be a mudroom or a foyer, but too small to be any sort of living space. Plus, other than the light/fan switch for the bathroom (on the outside of the bathroom, why not) there are no electrical outlets. A breakfast nook would be cute, but right now it's where I have the litterbox and dog peepads set up.
posted by Fig at 8:59 AM on April 16

#1: Blue Corian.
#2: Large burner that won't electronically light.
#3: Chair rail where the fridge goes. I mean, really?
posted by infinitewindow at 8:59 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

Our house was a foreclosure, so before we moved in there was a fair amount of work to made it clean and pleasant to live in. My partner went over one day to work on the kitchen and started with cleaning out the fridge. When he was cleaning the temperature dial he kept getting little black flecks and hearing a crackling noise. Upon closer inspection he discovered that the entire inner fridge was coated with dead insect casings. I found out when he called me up to tell me that he had gone ahead and ordered a new fridge.
Also whoever owned it previous painted the kitchen with the same dark red paint as the outside of the house. I think it doubled in size when I repainted it white.
posted by florencetnoa at 9:15 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]

So in Italy when you rent an unfurnished flat, there's only bathroom fixtures and radiators that have to be provided by the owner; it's BYOKitchen. Because I am a thriftser at heart, we have a groovy set of 60/70's solid wood French's mustard yellow and white Formica cabinets. Filling in the gaps are some white IKEA cabinets I found dirt cheap. And this brings us to the currrnt weird thing in my kitchen.

We found a built-in dishwasher on offer at a third of its normal price and snapped it up. We proceeded directly to IKEA to get a new sink cabinet and a matching front piece for the dishwasher. But they gave us the wrong hinges for the front piece and when we went back a week later, they told us they were no longer selling that hinge nor any hinge for third party dishwashers. Arrggh. So we set it up without the front piece and set up an eBay alert for the hinge, which always went for astronomically high prices.

So there's this odd jury rigged sink/dishwasher cabinet bit that's about to be fixed because IKEA started making the hinges again sometime this past year.

Also aggregate marble flooring which sucks because it's impossible to tell if you've swept everything or not.
posted by romakimmy at 9:16 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]

I don't know and THAT's what drives me nuts.

It's not the amenities - all I need is one burner (two is better), a sink, a small pantry, fridge, and cutting board. I get along great in hotel kitchenettes. In fact, that's my travel hobby now. I lived for years in a submarine - I'm good at having to turn a simple recipe (or chemical analysis procedure, same thing) into a time-space-and-resource-constrained pert chart procedure of when I can have something on the counter top and washing and putting away immediately.

But THIS kitchen actively fights me. If I open the dishwasher door, it blocks the cupboards where the dishes go. The cabinets are too low, so I can't open the top of my coffee drip machine without pulling it out to the edge of the counter-top. While it's open, it prevents opening the cupboard behind it. THIS kitchen is sentient and malevolent. It knows what I want to do, and gets in my way intentionally.
posted by ctmf at 9:30 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]

It's either the dead plant on the counter or the books in the refrigerator.

The plant --- living at the time --- was gifted to me last summer, by a snide jerk; as they're a relative, I was forced to take the damn thing to keep the peace in the family. I set it on the counter and have done nothing to it but watch it die since then, wishing it was the jerk who foisted it on me.

How the books (three of them, all fiction) ended up in the refrigerator, I have no idea.
posted by easily confused at 9:40 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]

The stupidest thing in my kitchen, currently, is a fat and noisy carpenter bee who came in the back door and can't seem to find it again. The second stupidest thing is Avon the dog who hates all buzzy things and is trying very hard to catch said bee. She is having no luck, but keeps trying even though she is literally bouncing off the walls. The other dog, Stringer, is sitting by watching her with what appears to be dogly amusement. I am here with my iPad and cup of coffee, so it's just a pleasant Sunday off for me.

The stupidest non-sentient thing in my kitchen is the fridge, which while having the appearance of being normal fridge size, is somehow about 25% smaller on the inside than any fridge I've ever used or owned. It's like a reverse Tardis. I can't figure out where all the space went.

Also realizing that I could steam veggies, and make lentils, grits and oatmeal in my rice cooker is the day I realized that the only real problem with single-use tools is your inability to think about other ways to use them.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:57 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]

Oh all right all right. The kitchen is where we live because we live for food (more than through food). So...from mild to serious:
1) the ceramic stovetop-stove is actually in use all the time. Which results in a regularly burning-out of the thermostat-and-electricity-to-heat-translating thingies that are situated in the inside, linked to the turny-buttony-switches. I had a dude here several times to replace them and now I looked carefully where he ordered them and the next time around I'm going for it myself, but honestly, it seems like Electrolux Home is producing stuff for people who actually only use any of it, like, once a month or so.
2) we do have a number of surfaces covered with Thanks-Previous-Owners-type-of diagonally applied or otherwise pretty hideous terracotta-or-stone-imitation tile-type of stuff, Nemesis of dropped cups, which also develops gray traces where the aluminum Presso coffee maker is standing. But the brownish brick-pattern tile along the wall behind the stove is actually much easier to clean than plain white glazed tile, so we've been keeping it.
3) our beige, and now yellowing vinyl floor, where we'd like to have some sturdy modern-style linoleum instead, which we will SO get soon.
4) getting to the really nasty stuff: cabinet doors. Some cheap fiber material, covered with a whitened-wood-imitation plasticky outer layer which doesn't withstand ordinary-length fingernails where-and-whenever one tries to grab one of the fake-baroque brass baby-door-sized handles that tend to trap and crack my fingers (and also I don't talk so good). We will replace the cabinet doors. We've been talking about this for 15 years. I am voting for dynamite as a first step.
5) what's behind those doors. The cabinets are several-times refurbed, otherwise solid, kitchen cabinets with no manner of sliding or revolving or turntabeling accommodation, so every time you try to find one of the really useful (cast iron) items back in the corner, you have to actually dive all the way in and past all the other crap we've accumulated and are using all the time, risking herniated disks and blown gaskets.
6) what's under the s(t)ink. To accommodate a hypothetical dishwasher, one would have to actually cut through some otherwise-solid-refurbed-cabinetty floors and walls and why o why hasn't anyone thought of that before putting in the (slightly too flimsy but stainless steel) tabletop-con-sink and all the plumbing. So yes, we do not have the dishwasher. We do have
7) dishes. They sneakily and despicably mate at night, multiplying in bunny-like patterns; they are smelly and standy-in-the-way-y, and no amount of hot water and axle grease puts a permanent stop to their re-emerging.

We also have a rather ugly, brown, Swedish corner cabinet from the previous owners. There's Whisky on top of that cabinet, and assorted glasses inside. We do cook some excellent food almost always. So something is good in our kitchen...
posted by Namlit at 10:14 AM on April 16

These things. What are these things? They arrived in my vegetable box delivery and I have no idea what they are or what to do with them. Suggestions gratefully received! (They're a little smaller than my fist.)

Other than that: my cooker, which is just so, so bad. Will the food be vaguely warmed around the edges? Will it be totally incinerated? WHO CAN SAY! Every meal is a magical adventure! We can't change it because this is a rented house, but we hope to move to our own place some time this year and 'oven which can actually cook stuff' is #2 on the list. #1 is 'decent shower.' I can compromise on stuff like intact roofs and absence of roving wolf hordes.
posted by Catseye at 10:33 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

The sink is unclogged! I AM A MINOR PLUNGER GOD!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:34 AM on April 16 [16 favorites]

Catseye, those look like sunchokes to me.
posted by heyho at 10:54 AM on April 16

Catseye, I can't be positive, but I think they might be sunchokes?
posted by Secretariat at 10:55 AM on April 16

When I bought my 1926 flat, in 2015, there were a number of problems. The bathroom (in its entirety) was a problem. Every single wall and ceiling being Artexed, up until and including the wiring harness inside the dining room ceiling lamp hole being coated in it -- and I hate textured walls with a burning firey ragey sort of hate -- was a bigger problem. The biggest problem, however, was the Random Kitchen. Built-in appliances with cream doors and dark walnut laminate countertop/backsplash/fridge surround (obscuring the original stove builtin for no damn good reason), ok, these are tolerable...but then there was the window where one half had a busted seal that creaked ominously any time there was steam in the kitchen, and the aluminum condensed every single potential molecule of humidity and dripped it onto the windowsill, that was molding the window seal and rotting the windowsill. One entire cabinet -- leaving me with four remaining cabinets, one of which has the sink plumbing and doesn't even count! -- was lost to the exhaust fan vent, because apparently cutting a hole in a shelf to run the vent through isn't a thing mortals can accomplish, and the exhaust fan doesn't even have the common decency to vent outside, it just goes straight up and the vent is aimed so the air hits you in the face again. But the worst of all was the dank, dirty-olive colored Artex wall (including textured electrical conduit running up the wall to the world's least useful electric outlet) with a random purple rectangle. Because I'm a DIY'er, friends, for better or for worse (mostly it's for the better, but this is subject to change without notice), and because I hate Artex, and because I hated that horrible olive-and-purple wall, I plastered right over the sucker with some stuff designed to let you obliterate the Artex horrors of the past, and that was all fine, except for the part when I was prepping and discovered that the random purple rectangle was not just really thick paint but some sort of plastic hideously fused with the wall and I had no hope of getting it off. So I plastered over that too. But getting it all sanded down smooth was ... ugh, that purple rectangle would not die. I, the painstaking newbie, learned in the plastering arts from The University of YouTube, carefully got two layers of plaster over it before sanding, and (a) you could still see the edges and (b) you could still see the PURPLE. I had to put three coats of white over that to prime it before I could paint my kitchen the cheerful yellow it deserved...and you can still, ever so barely, see the outline of that stupid rectangle.

I narrow my eyes at it every time I see it. I know you're there. I have not forgotten, stupid purple rectangle. Some day, the reckoning will come.
posted by sldownard at 10:55 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]

At least, two of us think so.
posted by Secretariat at 10:56 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

And if they are, here's what you can do with them.
posted by heyho at 10:56 AM on April 16

The hideously ugly wallpaper border that was there when we moved in! I was always going to get around to it but I never seem to, and now I forget to notice it most of the time but every now and then someone mentions it and I see it afresh and I'm like ARRRRRRGH SO UGLY.

I have this same border. When we moved in, my best friend said, "Well, you're going to want to get rid of that." Fourteen years later...
posted by Orlop at 10:59 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

Sunchokes! Thank you! I will make them into soup.
posted by Catseye at 11:04 AM on April 16

I am pleased to note that I am not the only raving loony who named his Roomba. I think a nice one of these threads would be one where we all share the named inanimate objects in our lives with explanations or mysteries, as they deserve.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:10 AM on April 16 [12 favorites]

Once I moved the washer/dryer onto the back porch, just off the kitchen nook, then there is barely room, in fact, only half room to open the back door. So the catbox...
posted by Oyéah at 11:14 AM on April 16

Oh - And I forgot to mention the ceiling-mounted light - the only one in the kitchen, so that whatever you're doing you have to work in your own shadow. Massively moronic design. The very day I moved into the apartment, I bought under-cabinet LED lighting (which I will be damn sure taking with me) that properly lights the sink and countertops, and mounted a flex-neck lamp near the stove. It may still be a shitty kitchen, but at least I'll be able to slice veggies without blindly cutting my fingers to pieces.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:30 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

The very stylish but ultimately stupid cabinet pulls that prevent you from opening corner cabs all the way. Drives. Me. Bonkers. Also the cabinets are VERY VERY TALL but don't have a lot of shelves? So uhhh lots of wasted space and also I am five feet tall.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:32 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]

1f2frfbf, I think you might want to go read the ur-comment of anthropomorphic household robots. Linking is too hard on my phone but search for 'Shelby' (the robot) and 'nattie' (the MeFite) on the blue.
posted by janell at 11:58 AM on April 16

Weirdest? 17th-century vegan gluten-free gingerbread dough. I'm not kidding.
posted by jocelmeow at 12:31 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]

I'm not really a fan of the ultra-generic granite counters that came with our little McMansion. I'm almost embarrassed, but not quite enough to prioritize changing them over other household projects.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:10 PM on April 16

janell: Thank you for that. I now not only feel less loony, but also know the name and history of the "weird, fast-growing trees with the cool flowers" that my wife has unsuccessfully been trying to propigate from seeds we collected three years ago at our old house.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:31 PM on April 16

Here in Florida we call them "palmetto bugs", but we know they are giant roaches.

Indeed. And they can fly. From the Orkin website:

A cockroach species commonly called a “palmetto bug” is the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). Adult American cockroaches are large and winged. Their coloration is dark brown with a cream-colored prothorax that has dark markings that resemble sunglasses. American cockroaches prefer damp conditions and often are found in sewers, woodpiles and mulch. They will fly to lights. This particular behavior is disconcerting for homeowners who encounter a large roach that flies near their face when entering doors with lights nearby in the evening. Another large species that may be called a “palmetto bug” is the smokybrown cockroach. The adults are a dark mahogany color and winged as well. They lack the sunglasses markings on the prothorax and are slightly smaller.
posted by Splunge at 1:36 PM on April 16

OMG, Orkin. Hide your heads in shame. There is ONE CREATURE properly called the palmetto bug, and that is the Florida woods cockroach, the only roach native to this land. They do not fly. Their wings are too stubby to allow them to get air. Instead they schlub along noisomely and get their horrible oily exudant all over everywhere. If you smash one, the awful musk will clear the room. The problem is, it smells perfumey and almost pleasant, and the cognitive dissonance gives you the shuddering Cronenberg heebeejeebs. The American cockroach flies, and it will fly at your face if it is in a stupid panic (they're always in a stupid panic because they suck), but it will not either fly to lights; the ones that act like moths around lights are the newly arrived Asian roaches. These ones, thankfully, are relatively small, almost attractive almond-shaped deals. It's hard to say which of the many roaches that afflict Florida kitchens is the weirdest/worst/dumbest/most obnoxious, but the American is probably the most common and therefore the most PTSD-inducing, and the one most commonly misnamed a "palmetto bug." Obviously, DO NOT CLICK THESE LINKS. But should you wish to browse our selection of roaches, here is the catalogue:
posted by Don Pepino at 2:13 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]

I'm not really a fan of the ultra-generic granite counters that came with our little McMansion.

We had our old pink 60's-era buckling, peeling, warping formica replaced with back granite tile about 8 years ago & JESUS H CHRIST that shit is hard. We broke half the dishes in the house before we figure out precisely how gently we had to set stuff down. I dropped a 12" skillet on it from a foot up & you can't even see a scratch though, so it has its merits.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:34 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]

our counter space is so tiny, we have started to open the dishwasher and put ingredients there while cooking.
posted by calgirl at 2:39 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]

Above our sink, high up on the wall over the window, is a recessed electrical plug

In case you aren't aware, that's for the kitchen clock—a holdover from the days when you didn't have a half dozen or so kitchen appliances with built-in clocks.
posted by she's not there at 3:14 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]

An easy question, for once. That would be the frozen, and obviously very dead, squirrel in the freezer (don't ask).
posted by Wordshore at 3:13 PM on April 15 [6 favorites +] [!]

Don't ask?

Aren't you the one that posted that Ask re what to do with 18 pounds of apparently ill-gotten cheese without immediately offering an explanation?

You need to stop doing this.
posted by she's not there at 3:24 PM on April 16 [21 favorites]

Above our sink, high up on the wall over the window, is a recessed electrical plug

In case you aren't aware, that's for the kitchen clock

Thank you!! The last house I lived in had one of those in a breakfast-nook sort of area, and I always wondered what it was for.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:25 PM on April 16

our counter space is so tiny, we have started to open the dishwasher and put ingredients there while cooking.

My tiny kitchen is dishwasherless, but I do that with the silverware drawer and with chairs. Desperation, man. (The chairs are the worst, because if you zone out and attempt to sit down, well...)
posted by ubersturm at 3:29 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]

In case you aren't aware, that's for the kitchen clock—a holdover from the days when you didn't have a half dozen or so kitchen appliances with built-in clocks.

I know, and if I could find one, I'd happily put a fourth display of the time in my kitchen just to cover that stupid hole!
posted by Ruki at 3:47 PM on April 16

This morning I discovered a pair of sad, soupy zucchinis in a bag at the bottom of the vegetable crisper.

I had plans for those, once.
posted by mandolin conspiracy

posted by The corpse in the library at 4:30 PM on April 16 [12 favorites]

Updating to say that my 9-year-old daughter is the oddest thing in my kitchen. This conversation just happened:

9: The character's name is Maureen DeBree. She's a janitor.
Me: And what does 'debris' mean?
9: Cutting off the tip of the baby's penis.
[Stunned silence]
9: Oh, wait, that's de BRIS.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:38 PM on April 16 [19 favorites]

Oh - And I forgot to mention the ceiling-mounted light - the only one in the kitchen, so that whatever you're doing you have to work in your own shadow. Massively moronic design.

Argh, mine too. And there are no cabinets above the main work space, so there's nowhere to put an under-cabinet light. I've been toying with the idea of a gooseneck lamp, but it would have to be balanced on the stove, which seems less than ideal.

The overhead-only light problem was not a problem when I first moved in. Then the bulb burned out, and I couldn't find a replacement. So I posted on Facebook asking where one could find a 1200W bulb, and a safety-conscious friend pointed out that 1200 is a lot of watts, and was I sure the light fixture was rated for that many watts? It was not! Every recessed light fixture in the apartment had a 1200W bulb, and each recessed light fixture in the apartment was rated only for a 600W bulb. It was actually a relief to change them out in all the other rooms, as the 1200W had been exceedingly bright for general bedroom, living room, and dining room use, but losing half the light in the kitchen was sad.
posted by lazuli at 5:51 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

In case you aren't aware, that's for the kitchen clock—a holdover from the days when you didn't have a half dozen or so kitchen appliances with built-in clocks.

Some were even installed with special clock outlets, which have a small hook for hanging the clock.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:01 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

I'm sure there are other such specialized features but all I can think of are:

1) Clock outlets
2) Phone alcoves
3) The recessed TV holes my architect friend gets asked to design in fancy houses that almost immediately become too small for the new TV
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:41 PM on April 16

600 and 1200w light bulbs? Do you live in a football stadium? Your electric meter must be going crazy with lights like that. Wow.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:15 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

1) Clock outlets
2) Phone alcoves

There was a combo of these two, as well: phone outlets with one or two hooks/knobs for hanging a wall phone on. Usually seen on the wall in or next to the kitchen, installed at about chest-height.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:33 PM on April 16

So back between Thanksgiving and the first of December, there was a leak in the floor of my kitchen that involved ripping up part of the floor and the cabinet that housed our dishwasher and though we've had a functioning kitchen (stove worked, dishwasher worked), we were limited in counter space and avoided almost all big projects. (For example, I still owe batches of cookie exchange cookies.)

The reasons for why it's been so slow to get fixed and while we've been so tolerant of it are many, but it's been like this for so long that we almost got used to it. Until last week when they finally started ripping out the cabinets to replace everything and found the the foundation behind it was weak and gross and there were electric wires that nobody quite understood where they went and now the kitchen is not useful (except for the microwave and coffee maker, thank god) and there's a "plan" involving an electrician and more help this week that I'm not holding my breath on.

What I'm saying is there's a LOT of wrongness on my kitchen and this question would have set me off had I not had an awesome weekend celebrating my mom's 65th birthday; my siblings and our partners all got a house in South Haven, Michigan for us and my mother and father, and it was a wonderful time, and meanwhile, at home, our young ward both had a wonderful weekend AND vastly improved the living space that is not currently under construction with spring cleaning, and even though work is a mess, it's a mess where people respect my decision making and other abilities. So even though much of the world is a literal disaster and much of my apartment is too, there are very bright spots that I'm going to keep fighting for.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:45 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]

600 and 1200w light bulbs? Do you live in a football stadium? Your electric meter must be going crazy with lights like that. Wow.

I installed (well, I bought and stood around while a friend installed) dimmers on the living/dining room lights, and I almost never turn on the overhead lights in the bedroom or hallway. But the ceiling in this place is high enough, and/or maybe the lights are recessed enough, that they don't actually light up the place very well, at least in the way you'd want a kitchen lit up. I had that same reaction at the hardware store when I said the 600W bulb wasn't lighting up the kitchen enough but... it's not. I suspect a regular non-recessed fixture with a couple 60W bulbs would be brighter.
posted by lazuli at 8:27 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

But this also makes me realize I could go buy 300W bulbs for most of the rest of the place and probably save money.
posted by lazuli at 8:29 PM on April 16

I have a bottle opener made from a piece of a rusty Liberian AK-47, courtesy of my globe-trotting sibling.
posted by killdevil at 9:08 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

The light switch for ALL of the overhead lights that is across the room from the actual entrance to the kitchen. Smart.
posted by Swisstine at 10:28 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]

Our sink is installed at the very far right of the kitchen bench, which itself is inset into the wall. So there's a wall directly to the right of the sink (like, within about an inch of the sink's right-hand edge). This means there is nowhere to put clean dishes, unless you put them back on the left with the dirty ones, or dry each one as you wash it without putting it down again.

I would like to put a dish rack inside the cupboard above the sink, but under-cupboard lighting is routed through there, so I'd have to uninstall that first. And then when I think too hard about it and get to that point, burning the whole damn kitchen down and starting from scratch starts to seem like a better solution.
posted by lollusc at 4:27 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]

The previous owner of this house was a DIY-er, and, er, should not have been.

It didn't take long after we bought our first house for me to notice that "previous owner" and "pissed off" have the same initials.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:50 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]

Our formica countertops, along with being grayish in color, have a weird texture. Like, if you had silly putty and pressed it into your palm and then used the putty to make a mold for the countertop. It's a pain to clean. No idea who would think it was a good idea.
posted by mikepop at 5:58 AM on April 17

Our kitchen itself is wrong in many many ways. (One of them is how small it is.) But that in itself is sort of right because it motivates us to keep building towards the house we want, and that includes the kitchen of my dreams; roomy, stylish and mostly made from authentic materials from the early 1960's. All made from plywood, not particle board, and currently stacked on pallets.

If you want to know what Dutch kitchens looked like back then, and what makes my mouth water, here's a pic and another one of the type of kitchen I have in mind. Ours will just be larger than they usually were in the 1960s, because it can be. And because there's a lot more crap and appliances in kitchens nowadays.
It will be painted ivory with ice-blue doors. And all shall be well with the world.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:17 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]

The contents of our basement (refinishing project). We're in some Sanford and Son nightmare.
posted by Pax at 6:22 AM on April 17

There are many horrible things in my kitchen.

My geriatric cat (she's 18 this year) has decided the walk in pantry (which has no door) is the best place to shit. This is disturbing to everyone but her.

My niece has a dead siamese fighting fish (it's name was Horse) in a Christmas paper wrapped box in the freezer. I don't know why, it's just there. It's been there for 6 years now.

Also, I have a plastics cupboard where all the Tupperware and other assorted plastic bowls and wotnots live. It's breeding lids. Every time I open the door more fall out. One day I will clean that cupboard but that would take a very particular sort of mood, and I haven't yet found it (much like the bowl with the matching lid that I required tonight but which had become lost under the multitude of lids that fit nothing).
posted by h00py at 6:38 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]

Also, I have a plastics cupboard where all the Tupperware and other assorted plastic bowls and wotnots live. It's breeding lids. Every time I open the door more fall out.

Throwing away all of the mismatched, stained, and largely vestigial tupperware was the most enjoyable moment of our last big move. Starting from scratch is great, with lids that fit and everything stores neatly and tidily.

It won't last, but it is great for now.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:44 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]

Throwing away all of the mismatched, stained, and largely vestigial tupperware was the most enjoyable moment of our last big move. Starting from scratch is great, with lids that fit and everything stores neatly and tidily.

We call it "Tupperware bankruptcy". We also have sock bankruptcy, pantry bankruptcy (donate non-expired stuff to local food bank), and Costco Non-Perishable Staples Spree Day.
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 AM on April 17 [11 favorites]

There are so many things wrong in my kitchen. So many things. Most of them are within my power to fix once I get the time. Like the ripped up floor and exploratory holes cut by the contractor to make sure that the hot water heater malfunction did not reach far enough down that we have to pay our downstairs neighbors lots of money and abase ourselves because they just finished the perfect apartment make over. The crappy paint. The fact that the rack for hanging pots is in storage instead of mounted on the wall because somebody measured wrong and the reinforcing stud we had put in the wall when we had it renovated is in the wrong place. Also, the kitchen is just too small. But even that could be fixed. But there is The Smoking Man. The Smoking Man lives in one of the two units on floors one through three and thinks that standing in his kitchen and blowing smoke into the range hood is a good way to not cover his family's apartment with nicotine smudge. (I am assuming it is he. This is probably a good guess.) I get it. Smoking is a thing people will do in the privacy of their homes. Or, maybe even on the balcony at the risk of going in the window of a neighboring apartment. (I even used to do that sometimes. Mea culpa. But that was within local norms. And it was once in a while and not recently.) But all the range hoods in one stack of apartments are connected to one pipe and I am on the top floor so some smoke goes out to add character to the atmosphere of Tokyo, but the rest comes right in my kitchen. No. We are not going to do anything about this except run our kitchen fan a lot. For reasons. Mainly, we are the new people in the building. The Smoking Man surely moved in when the building was new.
posted by Gotanda at 7:07 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]

Many many things that are wrong with the kitchens here are wrong with my kitchen. Upon meditation, I think the worst is that the goddamn light switch for the (goddamn cheap-as-hell) overhead "track" lighting (that, no matter where you are in the kitchen inserts your shadow between you and whatever you're doing) is across the room from the door everybody uses to get into the house in the middle of the goddamn night. This is worse than the horrible white 1980s fakemarble tile floor that explodes dishes on contact and the no-exhaust-fan and the oven that incinerates everything you put in it and the thresholds that everybody trips over because they are stupidly too high (probably because they plopped the crappy 80s tile on top of whatever crappy 60s flooring they plopped in on top of whatever crappy 40s thing they plopped on top of the totally innocuous and why did they not just leave it alone original heartpine floor). The lightswitch is the worst thing not because I have lived with it for four years but because the same thing was wrong in the kitchen of the shitty little apartment I lived in for 15 years before this (that had only one functioning drawer because the beautiful original tile counter was missing all its grout so that water from the draining dishes flooded the other drawer and I never got around to re-grouting it the whole time I lived there and only did it the week I left to keep the evil landlord from replacing the counter with formica the way he replaced the original gorgeous bathroom fixtures and tile with Motel 6-quality bullshit because he is a fiendishly stupid asshole). Who the hell DOES it this way? WHY? (Is it because it's harder to wire an outside wall? I've noticed that most of my outlets are on interior walls--house is brick.)
posted by Don Pepino at 7:37 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]

Man, I'm starting to feel a lot better about our kitchen. (Especially now that the ant invasion is waning.)
posted by languagehat at 7:44 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]

Yeah, I feel kinda bad. The only thing wrong with my kitchen, really, is that my landlord told me a week ago he'd replace the old dishwasher with a brand new one BUT HASN'T YET. I'll show myself the door.
posted by heyho at 8:06 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]

And, my kitchen has no hot sauce in it at all. At all. The sriracha is all gone. I would buy more, but the old style regular sriracha has been replaced by "Japan Sriracha" at twice the price and I expect one fourth the heat. I went to three shops looking for Tabasco the other night. None to be found. This is getting dire.
posted by Gotanda at 8:07 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]

- a terra cotta garlic roaster. Not that I don't love roasted garlic, but it's easier and as effective to just wrap it up in foil to roast.
- a collection of ~100 corks from wine bottles, saved over the years with the intent of doing something creative and artsy with them. I have no idea what that would be. I am not at all a creative and artsy person.
- various flavored hot sauces. Too late I figured out that on the very rare occasion that I want something hot and with a bit of orange flavor, it's better just to take regular hot sauce and mix it with a bit of orange juice, and I don't need to have a bottle of orange-flavored hot sauce. Repeat for about a half-dozen other flavors. (Exception: bacon hot sauce, which I put on potatoes with some frequency.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:18 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]

We completely redid the kitchen two years ago, with ELEVEN overhead lights, TWO removed walls, tons more outlets, wonderful washes of natural light, and a great deal of satisfaction.

Cost a goddamn arm and a leg, but we had saved up for years and it was SO



The fridge door insists on slowly falling open, though, and that makes me crazy.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:46 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]

We just bought our first house. It's an enormous 1920 American Foursquare in excellent condition that was very cheap. It is my absolute pride and joy to work on its restoration as much as my meager budget allows. The kitchen is 14 x 16 feet-- huge! But there is not a single uninterrupted wall in the room: four doors on three sides and 8 feet of window on the fourth (they look out on the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I can forgive that). Fine. I can work with that. But there is really only one place to put the stove and that is right in front of a floor-to-ceiling bit of wall that is about four feet wide and projects 2 feet beyond the counter tops on either side of the stove. So there is no simple reaching to the side to grab ingredients or a utensil from the crock on the counter, I have to walk around the stove to step over to the counter to get what I need (at the moment I just use a baker's rack on wheels and keep it next to me). The projection can't be removed because behind the drywall is the second chimney in the house which is still standing outside the roof and travels down the enormous walk-up attic, both floors of living space and the basement. That's five stories of old brick chimney. It's not going anywhere. Next to it is the old laundry chute which would be fairly easy to dismantle had someone post-1920 decided it would make a fine hidden conduit for a bunch of electrical wires and gas pipes (and it is, but still...).

A friend of mine actually brought a couple of architects over yesterday to look at it because I love to cook-- it is my major stress relief-- and the lack of flow in the kitchen causes me a lot of anxiety to the point where I just won't use the kitchen. And she likes my cooking, thus wants me to cook and invite her over more. The bad news is that chimney is going to be there until it falls. The good news, according the the architects, is we can frame up a peninsula and create the workspace we want without knocking down walls or anything too invasive or spendy. Oh my first world problems...
posted by Heretic at 9:11 AM on April 17 [2 favorites] would have to be the entirely original 70's decor. Not the cool pop-art 70's, though. More "country 70's." Think dark wood cabinets with heavy molding, heavy black metal pulls, fire-engine red Formica countertop, and coordinating plaid wallpaper border trim. We're just too damned lazy to bother ripping it all out.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:14 AM on April 17

> - various flavored hot sauces.

Clearly you should send some to Gotanda.
posted by rtha at 9:31 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]

Eyebrows McGee: I also have a poster of poisonous and psychotropic mushrooms, because I think people should be at least a little edgy when I cook for them.

That's awesome, and a much better warning than the posters of Hot Peppers of the World.

bunderful: I have an unopened container of sour cream that's been in the fridge for well over a year. I have no idea if it's still edible - I suspect it may be and every time I see it I intend to research (or post on and see if I can use it. Then I forget until the next time I see it.

I have kept a large-ish Costco sized container of Kalamata olives, but ... I have never opened them. I also have a large container of strawberry jam, unopened, in the pantry. Both are outdated by years, which is probably a sign I should just chuck 'em. But what if they're still good (I ask as I sit at home, huddled up with some sort of stomach bug)?

dismas: I feel positively towards mice in principle - I think they're kind of cute, enjoyed Redwall and Mouse Guard, etc - but I guess not in practice!

To be honest, I feel the same way about beetlybugs and ants (both sizes, to remind you that yes, THIS IS A GIANT ANT). You're OK outside our home, but inside? You are an invader. Beetlybugs will be escorted outside, but ants and mice get no such second chance. Ants bring friends, and mice could bring disease.

thomas j wise: The previous owner of this house was a DIY-er, and, er, should not have been.


One of our first renovations was to rip out the laminate flooring, and get tiling installed. We also tore out the really poorly installed alcove .. desktop? The prior owners had a little home office over there when we toured the house, but when we removed the huge wooden platform, we realized the home owners' idea of "woodwork" amounted to "pound nail things into the walls anyway you can, because more nails is better."

That sort of skill pairs nicely with Cheap As Possible Cabinets, which mostly fit the given space, except where it doesn't, like the corners. Who needs shelves that go to the corners? Just be careful that you don't push anything too far back on shelves. And don't bother putting anything above the refrigerator, that's almost two feet of air space for storing ... really large things?

Best thing in our kitchen and beyond: my father-in-law, who has woodworking tools, plenty of time and doesn't like to be idle. Quick fixes: put some boards over those metal wire rack shelves (found in every. stinking. closet. in the house), so things stop getting stuck or slipping down

ActionPopulated: Probably our collection of plastic dinosaurs.

My son would say you still need more, and would ask why they're up so high where you can't play with them. Fun fact: every surface is a habitat, or battle ground, or sorting space.

Gotanda: And, my kitchen has no hot sauce in it at all. At all. The sriracha is all gone. I would buy more, but the old style regular sriracha has been replaced by "Japan Sriracha" at twice the price and I expect one fourth the heat. I went to three shops looking for Tabasco the other night. None to be found. This is getting dire.

Trader Joes and Whole Foods carried generic brands of Sriracha, if you get desperate. Or you can branch out and try some new brands. I'm fond of Cholula for a Mexican-type hot sauce.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:42 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]

Oh my god, I will fucking take a picture when I get home, but my roommate, a single guy who never has had company, has about 50 stemmed glasses. Some are martini, some champagne, different kinds of wine, etc. Also probably over a dozen glass beer steins. It takes up 3 cabinets, AND ALSO THERE ARE HANGING GLASS RACKS BELOW. Its so, so much.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:05 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]

I also have a large container of strawberry jam, unopened, in the pantry. Both are outdated by years, which is probably a sign I should just chuck 'em.

Among the jam cognoscenti (which does not include me, much as I might wish to claim it) vintage jams are sought after and highly esteemed.

My partner's sister sends us all kinds of preserves, but she generally cooks the fruit just a bit too long for the most complex flavors that develop only in maturation, yet my partner opened up a mango chutney ("of course you realize a person who gets poison oak as bad as you do really should not be eating mangos in any form?") dated 2003 to go with the Easter roast, and pronounced it ambrosial.
posted by jamjam at 10:11 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]

So, whoever the guy who flipped our house hired were just barely good enough to make it look o.k. but not good enough for it to be o.k. The thing is, it's almost all little stuff, for the most part it's nothing that's super bad or dangerous, just not o.k. enough that quality of life isn't as good as it could be until you fix it. And then, I just sort of get to grumbling because it was so easy to fix or do right, but there's just so much that it wears you down you know? There's a lot of those little things in the kitchen.

But the worst thing is all the extra easter candy that I can't quite completely resist. Like, I don't even really like M&Ms that much, but some sugar craving part of my brain knows that they're sitting there, all pastel colored and sweet.

The weirdest (at least in terms of unusualness) is the dried wild sumac berries I haven't quite gotten around to processing enough to actually use.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:12 AM on April 17

What's the weirdest/worst/dumbest/most obnoxious thing in your kitchen?

We moved into a house with a rather large kitchen, but counters are too narrow to add anything that resembles a new appliance from this century. There is a small electric oven that is installed, but in order to have a decent sized one, we would have to tear that whole side of the kitchen apart and remodel just to get a few extra inches of countertop, so that the oven doesn't stick out too far in ways that would be ugly and super annoying. We have investigated every possible option for making this work through a partial remodel, but nope. It's all or nothing.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:13 AM on April 17

I don't have a single drawer in my kitchen, and a 3x4square of butcher block perched on an ikea rolling cart for a countertop. The key point to note here is that the floor is not level and every once in a while if you drop something very heavy, the cart starts rolling across the kitchen. Kneading dough is a 2 person job... one to knead, the other to hold the countertop steady.

HOWEVER, the rest of the space is so optimized for me after 12 years, that they will pry my open shelving; ridiculously unregulated 1960's gas stove (it's very much FIRE ON) and my 11 ft ceilings out of my cold dead hands. (or raise my rent enough that I cannot afford it anymore)
posted by larthegreat at 12:13 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]

We have a giant-ass bag of chicken backs and feet in the freezer. My husband keeps swearing he's going to make stock out of it, but does he ever? No, he does not. So the bag keeps getting bigger because believe it or not, I sort of enjoy cutting up whole chickens so I do it more or less for the hell of it even though most normal people will buy chicken parts. Does anyone here need some chicken backs and feet?
posted by holborne at 12:24 PM on April 17

We have a tall, very narrow German fridge that I love and hate, which I've mentioned before.

Spiralizers were mentioned upthread … we tried spiralizing kolbassa Easter weekend and it was a disappointing failure. Though in favor of spiralizers, I will just say that kids will often eat 'yucky' foods once they've been spiralized.
posted by Kabanos at 12:57 PM on April 17

(spiralized foods, not kids!)
posted by Kabanos at 12:57 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]

Our stove is the wrong size for our cabinetry, as is the range hood. Because apparently the building super doesn't own a tape measure.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:11 PM on April 17

We have a tall, very narrow German fridge that I love and hate

German fridge as in "I brought it with me from my previous house/apartment, because why wouldn't I?" or just a fridge made in Germany?
posted by effbot at 1:48 PM on April 17

Once you grind those sumac berries, they go great with butter and popcorn or corn on the cob.
posted by aniola at 1:57 PM on April 17

The weirdest thing in our kitchen is now an Indian Stick Insect (Carausius morosus).

We took the kids to a place that has butterflies, reptiles, rabbits and various random animals while we were visiting my mum.

Somehow the stick insect found its way inside my shirt (I really can't work out how I didn't feel anything), and remained undetected for the two hours it took us to drive home from an Easter visit to my mum. Despite all the banging about I did in the meantime, this delicate insect survived pretty much unharmed for the entire journey. It was only when I felt a scratching against my ribs that I reached in and pulled out the five inch long beastie.

Luckily I used to keep them as a kid, so we know how to give it a good life. I'm buggered if I'm driving two hours to take it back. The weird thing is that we'd been talking about getting some stick insects, so now I feel like a thief.
posted by pipeski at 1:58 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]

holborne, try buy nothing, freecycle, craigslist, etc. (I could go on). Somebody will definitely take you up on that.
posted by aniola at 2:00 PM on April 17

German fridge as in "I brought it with me from my previous house/apartment, because why wouldn't I?" or just a fridge made in Germany?

German fridge that the previous owner bought and installed along with all the necessary rewiring. It's obviously meant for the European market (AEG), so not sure how it found its way to Canada.
posted by Kabanos at 2:02 PM on April 17

Aaand as soon as I read that, the Dutch commercial jingle started up in my head:
'AEG laat je niet in de steek'.
(AEG won't let you down)
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:05 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]

I found a new weird thing just this morning! There is a power outlet under my kitchen sink. Why.
posted by clavicle at 2:26 PM on April 17

Garbage disposal
posted by Burhanistan at 2:36 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]

One of my kitchen drawers will not stay closed - it constantly just sloooooowly slides open unless we take some sort of measure to hold it closed.

I would have made an attempt to actually fix it by now, rather than using temporary solutions... but when we first moved in, my roommate and I made up a ghost to explain it. Her name is Tiffany, she lived here in the 80s and died of an allergic reaction while trying to retrieve her epi-pen from that drawer. (We chose an epi-pen because the other options seemed too depressing, like she was going for a knife before being murdered; we chose the 80s because epi-pens didn't exist before then; and we chose Tiffany because, hey, 80s!)

This flight of fancy was a mistake, because now I can't fix the drawer because it would make Tiffany sad
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:37 PM on April 17 [18 favorites]

there are two, related:

The person doing dishes can have access to the (dishwasher, sink, trash can; pick two, painfully). They're all crammed in on top of each other. We got a compost bucket, finally (the landlord in our old building ?cancelled? the compost pickup which I'm pretty sure they weren't supposed to do but also we didn't have room for a bucket, much less our trash can there, so...) which is helping some.

When we viewed the unit a month ago, the landlords specifically said "there's a garbage disposal!" following up with "it's not very good, so you'll want to scrape your plates into the compost or trash". But when we got here, we noticed a decisive lack of garbage disposal. We asked about it: "The old tenants used to put banana peels down and clog the pipes, so we took it out." which, buddies, please, we are not people who will put a banana peel down the drain, we are just people who it hurts when we turn around 180 degrees with our feet pointing forward because that's the only way to reach the trash can from the sink, why did you put the sink there, why did you take the disposal out.

it's weird because the kitchen is pretty spacious, 16 feet by 11! I have no idea why the sink, dishwasher, and garbage cabinet are all shoved right on top of each other. It's fantastic for cooking in, but cleaning up afterwards requires two people or a lot of back pain.
posted by you could feel the sky at 2:42 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]

A jar of premium fermented shrimp paste. I have to have a smashed clove of garlic in a kitchen towel pressed to my face every time I open that sumbitch, but, guys? Guys. Guys! Homemade Red Curry paste! WORTH IT.

My 7y.o. daughter enjoys the smell, and likens it to "super-chocolate." No, I won't let her have a taste. I took a taste. A teeny little pin-head drop. It didn't leave my mouth for THREE DAYS. Everything I ate or drank tasted super meaty and awesome and aromatic, tho, which made Diet Mountain Dew even more entertaining than usual. (Coffee was unaffected and unimpressed.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:33 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]

ITT a lot of people who really need to look into how cheap new ovens are.
posted by 256 at 6:54 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]

Around $500 for a cheapie. Trouble is, it's, like, 498,004 on my list of stuff to spend money on to keep the house from falling down/burning down/floating away/being slowly consumed by voracious tribes of small animals.
posted by Don Pepino at 5:40 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]

Remy. He was named after the main character in Ratatouille, and we also call him Little Chef because of the movie plus he watches me cook. As you can see in the photo, sometimes he gets a little too close. He's not allowed on the counter but he gets past that rule by either getting in the sink (not on the counter) or whatever papers are there (again, not technically on the counter), or better yet, getting in some sort of box-like container (he follows the intent of the rule, if not the letter).
posted by cooker girl at 5:49 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]

The Oster blender carafe supporting the fallen shelf of my KraftMade cabinets.

Oster's carafe's are square, making them useless, as you've got to keep stopping to scrape out the corners.

The cabinets are barely above Ikea quality (and maybe not even that), with plastic supports and pressboard.
posted by JawnBigboote at 6:13 AM on April 18

What's the weirdest/worst/dumbest/most obnoxious thing in your kitchen?

*walks into kitchen looking for answer to question*

*sees identical post-it notes stuck on fridge, toaster, kitchen tap, loaf of bread, small beetle carcass, washing machine, tomato sauce residue on counter top, etc*

*removes one post-it note (from fridge)*

*reads said post-it note*


*doesn't get it*

*thinks about it*


*resolves to not post results of kitchen opinion poll to MetaTalk*

*walks out of kitchen*

*is suddenly concerned Amazon Echo is monitoring every move and reporting results to shadowy internet masters*

*thinks, "pfft, that could never happen!"*
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:10 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]

There is nothing wrong with the kitchen; there will never be anything wrong with the kitchen again; we are spending far too much time and money to ever be unhappy with anything about the kitchen so I HEREBY RESOLVE to be always content

posted by little cow make small moo at 1:03 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]

Well, it's not in the kitchen, but for wrongness in cat fur, there's slugs. Some cats get fleas, our cat gets slugs.
posted by aniola at 1:57 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]

The dumbest is probably my orchid which was doing happily in its position for a couple of months and then up and died over the space of two days
posted by solarion at 5:08 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]

In my kitchen, a whole bunch of crap from the bathroom rebuild that will never end (interrupted by vanishing builders, dishonest plumber, sudden need to travel, lack of cash related to travel) box-o-stuff to be sent to grandson, and the last bendy skeleton. Someone gave me a bag of bendy skeletons. One of them rode on my car antenna for a couple years. The final skeleton is on the strip lighting. In my fridge - margarita jello shots. Not very strong, but they are quite tasty.
posted by theora55 at 5:56 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]

Some cats get fleas, our cat gets slugs.

Knowing this is possible, I may never pet a cat again. The only thing worse would be if your cat got centipedes.
posted by she's not there at 6:04 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]

Little cow make small moo, you're right, it's too beautiful. Send it to me.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:08 PM on April 18

Well, it's not in the kitchen, but for wrongness in cat fur, there's slugs. Some cats get fleas, our cat gets slugs.
Cat just walked in with a slug on its back. Was a bit horrified but then I pretended it was a snake riding a horse & I felt better about it. - @cox_tom
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:19 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]

I have an orchid that is on day two of death throes as well.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:29 AM on April 19

Several people have brought us orchids instead of flowers for parties we had, mainly because they are in cheap abundance at the grocery stores now. So many dead orchids.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:39 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]

ITT a lot of people who really need to look into how cheap new ovens are.

Hmm interesting, bc ITT a lot of people who are renters. No oven is cheap enough to make me buy it for my idiot landlord.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:34 AM on April 19 [9 favorites]

Exposed wiring, and the exposed subfloor. With nails. You just walk in certain patterns, and you're fine.
posted by aramaic at 10:34 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]

Yeah, there's a few oddball parts of the US, apparently, where ranges are BYO (like fridges are in Los Angeles - I never needed my own as a renter in Texas), but otherwise landlords are often not down with you even swapping out theirs for the duration of the lease (and in an apartment, where would you store it anyway?).

When I've had sufficiently bad rental ovens I've invested some but not that much money in a good countertop oven, and you can buy really nice butane and induction burners now, but that is maybe not everyone's favorite idea.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:39 AM on April 19

Exposed wiring, and the exposed subfloor. With nails. You just walk in certain patterns, and you're fine.

Walk without rhythm and you won't... something, something.
posted by Splunge at 1:02 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]

Went in the kitchen and realized the trash can smells bad. It's too cold out to wash it outdoors, so it'll have to sit on the back deck a while.
posted by theora55 at 1:18 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]

I made you a picture.

Things to keep in mind while viewing picture:
X marks the spot where I could fall through the floor into the abyss if I misstep.
Tricolor brown shag carpet.
Cabinet space above and below microwave can't be used at all because, lol, washer and dryer.
Yes, you really do have to angle in if you use the door by the fridge/washer.
None of the doors on the cabinets I can use actually stay shut.
Fridge freezes or thaws things depending on mood. I've been looking at new fridges BUT have had trouble finding one that will fit through the back door. Have considered going way smaller just to have consistent fridge temps.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:36 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]

When we bought our house 10 years ago, we needed a stove and were short on cash, so we picked up a used 30+ year old fake woodgrain and beige enamel electric coil stove for $30. Since then, the entire kitchen has been gutted and modernized and all of the appliances replaced with fancy black-and-stainless steel models. Except for the stove. It still lurks there in its 1970's glory. Every so often we talk about replacing it as it doesn't match anything else, but it still works, so enh.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:53 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]

btw thank you whomever turned my link into a link; I forgot about it and then it was too late to edit when I returned, probably I was off staring at cabinet hardware in a daze or something
posted by little cow make small moo at 2:07 PM on April 19

who the hell puts shag carpet in a kitchen??
posted by AFABulous at 2:23 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]

My 21 year old marmie cat passed away about 5 years ago. Toward the end, the only two things she would reliably eat were her two favorite people foods, Haagen Dazs strawberry ice cream and angel hair pasta with red sauce. Her last little single-serve cup of ice cream is still in the door of the freezer, and her last nearly-empty box of angel hair is still in the very back of the cupboard. Neither one takes up very much room, and it just doesn't seem right to throw them out yet.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:33 PM on April 19 [19 favorites]

The person who flipped this house in the early 80s put shag carpet in ALL THE ROOMS and astroturf on the covered porch. (Bathroom has been renovated so no shag carpet there anymore.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:34 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]

(House originally built in 1880s or 1890s. My father purchased it in 1984 and has done the bare minimum to keep it standing. It would have been a lovely home at some point. Just none of the points where I've had to deal with it.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:37 PM on April 19

This flight of fancy was a mistake, because now I can't fix the drawer because it would make Tiffany sad

posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:41 PM on April 19 [12 favorites]

And after the exorcism: I think we're alone now.
posted by mochapickle at 3:34 PM on April 19 [12 favorites]


I hate this toaster so much but I think I keep it around to keep me humble?
posted by potrzebie at 3:37 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]

When I was 19 I was staying in a small hostel in a nowhere town in Denmark and learned the hard way that you don't microwave tin pots. We fled in the night.
posted by Beardman at 3:41 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]



And I enjoy burnt toast.
posted by pracowity at 4:13 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]

I sense a MeFi Toaster Trade coming on...
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:54 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]

My previous house, where I lived for 15 years, had a small galley kitchen, with the range set in a peninsula that divided kitchen from dining room. Above the range was a set of cabinets that were suspended from the ceiling, with a twelve-inch clearance above them. The presence of those cabinets meant there was no room for any kind of vent fan over the range, and in those 15 years I did a lot of sauteeing and stir-frying.

Of course, I would regularly clean the front and underside of the cabinets, but I managed to live in denial about the existence of the tops of the cabinets (out of sight, etc.). That is, until I was doing a pre-move-out cleaning. At which point I got up on a stepladder, investigated, and discovered that the entire surface was covered in . . . Well, imagine a thick glued-down layer of felt, densely saturated with sticky grease. Cleaning that off was the single most revolting chore I've ever done, on top of the fact the one-foot clearance made it almost impossible to get a good angle at it with the putty knife without throwing my shoulder out of whack.

My present kitchen, and any future ones, will have the upper cabinets firmly attached to the ceiling, as god intended.
posted by Kat Allison at 5:03 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]

who the hell puts shag carpet in a kitchen??

The late '60's and the '70's up until the first Regan recession, yo. Bachelor pads were a thing, a fully equipped and modern kitchen, where all the most up-to-date and swank kitchen appliances* matched in groovy earth tones like "crushed brick", "avocado", "harvest gold", "burnt orange" and "how brown can you get none more brown except for the other brown we sell dishwashers in."

You'd have LUXURY formica countertops, that sparkled, and you'd have sparkly wallpaper to go with. If it was super modern, there would be an overhead flourescent garage light in a tasteful fixture with an expensive, finely textured, plastic diffusion panel. Furniture made mostly of shiny tubes bent into unlikely shapes, with earth-toned fabric, maybe a bit of a pattern, maybe something shiny to match the countertops, but not so much it overwhelmed the earthtones.

You'd come into the kitchen to pulverize ice to fill up the earth-tone ice-bucket that lives on the drinks cart, and set up the electric fondue pot (also in a matching earth-tone, with fake woodgrain control panel), but you wouldn't cook or eat anything there, what are you, crazy? There is premium shag in here, three browns deep! I get folks spill their drinks, and Rug Doctor is now suddenly a thing that is in every supermarket all of a sudden, but cook, like, I dunno, ethnic delicacies like Swedish meatballs or spaghetti or pancakes? You crazy? Real swinging dudes buy takeout and eat it on the couch while watching TV.

(*stove, fridge, dishwashers and washer/dryer were all considered kitchen appliances. Sometimes blenders, ice-crushers and double egg-beater mixers, too. Laundry rooms/closets and pale white kitchen things with motors only became A Thing in the very late '70s, and not ubiquitous until the first Fiero drove off the lot.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:13 PM on April 19 [13 favorites]

I'd almost forgotten about the 6 br/4 bath house my friends bought and rented out to a bunch of us back when we were all in grad school, that had carpet in the kitchen, but at least ye gods it wasn't shag.
posted by drlith at 5:51 PM on April 19

My kitchen is not pretty but after reading this thread I don't care. Whoever did the remodel in 1980 had a practical streak. There are three areas of counter big enough to do things on and spacious cabinetry. You can have 3 people working in there and somebody else can get in and out with a glass of ice and water without disrupting.

The appliances are very basic. No light in the oven but it maintains a constant temp and the burners are flat. No dishwasher but the huge window they put in over the big double sink has a tremendous downward view of a dairy pasture with a mountain behind it. No garbage disposal but there is a cliff to throw poultry bones and other non-dog stuff off of and it is gone in the morning. No icemaker but that freezer will freeze a tray of the cold mountain well water in 22 minutes. Ice cream needs to sit out for a while before scooping.

The floor is old wood covered in something that is really easy to clean. The counters are fake wood and don't stain. The powerful fan over the range vents directly outside through the wall behind the stove and we've had a couple bears up on the deck sniffing.

So what's wrong? Mouse poop. The drawer under the stove where we keep all the flat things like cookie sheets. The cupboards adjoining the stove. The dish rack.

They got the paper packets of oatmeal. I put conventional traps out with cheese. Cheese gone. Last night they tore open a giant plastic bag of cereal. I put globs of peanut butter on the traps at 3 pm today and they were licked clean by 8. I hate the sticky paper cause then you got to break their necks with the back of the cleaver and the kids hate you for a day but I guess that's next.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:30 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]

"avocado", "harvest gold"

Oh god, I remember those. I also remember seeing big Mercedes sedans in those colors too. Makes sense, back then they were square and boring enough to be appliances themselves.

(Then at the opposite end of the spectrum you had cheap-ass bright orange Chevy Vegas and lime green Ford Pintos...but I digress. I'll save that for the "shitty American cars" thread.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:42 PM on April 19

Oh god, I remember those. I also remember seeing big Mercedes sedans in those colors too. Makes sense, back then they were square and boring enough to be appliances themselves.

Boring, you say?

The '70s were tasteless, but never boring.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:20 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]

70's movies may well have been tasteless, but they did not otherwise equate to real life.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:25 PM on April 19

The late '60's and the '70's [...] "crushed brick", "avocado", "harvest gold", "burnt orange" and "how brown can you get none more brown except for the other brown we sell dishwashers in."

I'm fairly certain those are all Neil Young records. Maybe one John Prine.
posted by pracowity at 11:54 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]

My favourite rental flat was my Des Res in West Kensington, complete with Harvest Gold kitchen (only problem with that kitchen was that the cupboard doors opened the opposite way than you'd expect and the floor wasn't completely level due to being a basement flat) and Pampas Green (v.important to not refer to it as Avocado as that was an entirely *different* bathroom suite colour.) bathroom suite (oddly laid out as most of it was the old coal cellar).

I loved that flat.
posted by halcyonday at 1:32 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]

My sink faucet is disintegrating and shedding parts of itself into the aerator.

Also, the bulb eater mounted above the dining table needs a fresh 12V, 20W sacrifice every month.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:21 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]

I hate the sticky paper cause then you got to break their necks with the back of the cleaver and the kids hate you for a day but I guess that's next.

We had reasonable luck with the battery-powered traps that electrocute the mice (rats in our case). Brand is Rat Zapper or something I think?

re: avocado bathrooms
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:31 AM on April 20

(We got rid of our avocado bathroom suite)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:32 AM on April 20

Update from my complaining earlier in the thread - still don't have a functioning kitchen but the unexpected-benefit-electric-work has been done, so now hopefully when we run the dishwasher, the microwave won't work at half-power and dim the lights!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:40 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]

At this exact moment back in the house/kitchen, that would be the slowly defrosting squirrel in the freezer as we wait for power to be restored. (Ironically it was the same squirrel's fondness for wire chewing that simultaneously caused the previous powercut and their demise).

RIP Nutkins (-2017)
posted by Wordshore at 10:19 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]

Her last little single-serve cup of ice cream is still in the door of the freezer, and her last nearly-empty box of angel hair is still in the very back of the cupboard. Neither one takes up very much room, and it just doesn't seem right to throw them out yet.

Damn it all, I have a *meeting* in ten minutes! You're gonna have to explain to my boss why I'm snuffling and red-eyed.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:35 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]

"how brown can you get none more brown except for the other brown we sell dishwashers in."

Then there's that shade of brown everything in state parks is painted.

When I was little, I remember we had kitchen appliances that came with extra metal panels you could swap out, so you could go from Avocado to Harvest Gold during a fit of insomnia and freak out your husband and kids in the morning.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:38 AM on April 20 [13 favorites]

Why was everything either woodgrain or leather-textured? Yay, life is amazing, we finally got a microwave! It's nearly as big as the washing machine and it's made out of walnut. I think bottom-grade refrigerators may be leather textured to this day. I think mine is.
posted by Don Pepino at 2:09 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]

Is it wearing stockings?
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:34 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]

The weirdest thing is my husband's collection of tiny models of creatures -- dinosaurs and the like -- on our kitchen sink windowsill. Fortunately for our marriage, I find them utterly charming. Second weirdest thing is the view out said window of a wooden fish hanging from our tree, a leftover from one of my husband's scavenger hunts for kids in our back yard. Yup, charmed by that too. He's a very adorably unexpected kind of Bear.
posted by bearwife at 2:55 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]

Bathroom has been renovated so no shag carpet there anymore.

Guess what is the answer to, 'what could be worse than shag carpet in the kitchen'?
posted by Splunge at 3:21 PM on April 20 [5 favorites]

Also, the bulb eater mounted above the dining table needs a fresh 12V, 20W sacrifice every month.

I had the same issue with the backyard light fixture. Two, maybe three, weeks a bulb. Then I put in an LED bulb. Still there many months later. Magic I tell you. Wizardry!
posted by Splunge at 3:28 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]

All three of our live-in landlords (they're brothers) either work or have worked in construction and contracting. So the entire house is "and next, we're going to tear out the ____ and maybe do _____ instead."

The thing about the kitchen that always throws me off is coming back after spending the day elsewhere and rediscovering that you have to turn the faucet handles on the sink CLOCKWISE to turn on the water. You know, the opposite of every other faucet everywhere. Maybe one of these days I'll ask them why...
posted by sibilatorix at 6:31 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]

I went to a party once in a house where the hostess's boyfriend had turned one of her kitchen drawers into a pull out butcher block. It was super cool. He had built in some sort of extra pull-out doohickey that stabilized it while you were pushing down on whatever you were cutting.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:06 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]

I've been in a few older houses with a similar gimmick - except it's always just a well-worn plank with no extra support beyond "the end not pulled all the way out". I've yet to experience one sturdy enough (and/or clean enough) for me to quite trust, though I thought the basic idea was kind of clever. I'd be curious to see one with the "extra pull-out doohickey" feature.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:49 PM on April 20

This weekend I'm removing the kitchen in our house to start the process of putting in the new kitchen. The plasterer comes in on monday, and the kitchen fitter starts on tuesday. I've already removed the wall cabinets and rehung them in the garage, and a fwe of the bottom cabinets are going to be move in under the workbech in the workshop (the person who lived here before us was a retired engineer who fixed planes in WWII I keep on finding amazing things in the workshop) so many things will be reused. It will be nice to rocket forward in time from 1978 (when the kitchen was originally fitted) to 2017. A minor bummer/bonus is that our current oven just packed in, so no more roasting until the new oven is in, but at least it happened when we actually have a new oven sitting in the garage and not having to rush out to buy an emergency oven.

The kitchen fitter we have is the same guy who has done a lot of work fitting the bathrooms and things in our house and while he is very good and precise, he is not fast so I think we're going to be without a kitchen for a month, but at least it will be nice when all is said and done. I see a lot of BBQ grilling for meals ahead of us now. Thankfully our grill has a side burner so meals will essentially consist of meat on the BBQ, starch on the side burner with veg in a steamer basket above it. Simple but it will work.
posted by koolkat at 12:59 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]

Sorry it's taken so long, y'all, but I have returned with photos of my roommate's inane abundance of glassware.

At the bottom of the cabinet set are 10 hanging slots each with 3 glasses, for a total so far of 30 various stemmed glasses.
cabinet on the left has about 20ish beer steins and a few more stemmed glasses (and a ridiculous amount of corks)
cabinet in the middle: 8 more stemmed glasses, a dozen more beer steins, and several, like, ceramic beer steins that look like really heavy mugs.
cabinet on the right has, say, a dozen and a half shot glasses, several mixing thingies, and between 15-20 more stemmed glasses.
bonus: along the counter in the back of the kitchen, he has this set of beer steins on display.

Stem ware: 59-63
Beer steins: 47, including the ceramic ones
Shot glasses: idk like 15-20

posted by FirstMateKate at 5:36 AM on April 21 [10 favorites]

I also just want to point out that the set of ayinger steins on the back counter are the only decoration he has put in that kitchen. He's lived there a long time before my partner and I moved in (he owns the building). He's pretty meticulously clean, so the kitchen is literally just that smoke-detector color on the walls, white cabinets, and dark grey granite countertops. Thats it. Nothing on the counters, nothing hanging up, no curtains on the 3 very large windows. Except, on the back counter, where he keeps an empty butter dish, coffee press, a steady supply of bananas, and the paper towels, he has those beer steins out for everyone to see.

It is of note that in nowhere else in the house are curtains, either. Occasionally when the sun is too much in his office or bedroom, he will tack up one of the felt moving blankets that he has on supply. In his bathroom, the bottom half of the window is covered with a towel. All of the walls are bare.
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:49 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]

My pantry shelf of ingredients for making homemade gin, with a growing array of exotic botanicals as I contemplate moving on from gin to things like fake Chartreuse. Basically the gin and a lot of liqueurs can be made just by steeping stuff in cheap vodka. It's fun, tastes pretty good and saves money.
posted by beagle at 7:38 AM on April 21

Seven years ago in preparation for moving into my own apartment for the first time, I bought a toaster oven for $1.50 at a garage sale. For months before my move, the toaster oven just sat on a shelf in my bedroom, since there was no space in the shared kitchen. One day, the house cat knocked it off the shelf; the toaster landed on its face and the door handle broke off. No big deal, I figured. I can just superglue it back on, and in the meantime you can just wedge a butterknife where the handle used to be and open the door.

I move to the new place and life is great and I make lots of toast but the butterknife workaround works great and I never get around to reattaching the handle. A couple years into living on my own, the adhesive holding the door on my aging toaster gives up under the strain of time and temperature fluctuations, and the door falls off. But it's not a huge problem--everything still works; you just have to balance the door on a butterknife when you're opening or closing it and then put a heavy jar in front to keep it from falling off mid-toast.

I move to a ridiculous larger apartment and get in the habit of training houseguests on my toaster's eccentricities--I let the my old college's aikido club crash on my floor in the middle of their annual roadtrip and feel both self-conscious and also pleased when folks returning for a second year remember how the toaster works.

My girlfriend makes fun of me, and I argue that it doesn't make sense to get rid of a functional toaster when I know that no one else would want it and it would just get trashed. But I start to plan a cross-country move, and as I pare down my possessions, I grudgingly admit that maybe it's time to think about getting rid of the toaster.

Then she named it.

Folks, I'm happy to tell you that Finn and I made the move from Wisconsin to Portland and that he still makes perfect toast every morning.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:14 AM on April 21 [26 favorites]

Then there's that shade of brown everything in state parks is painted.

Let's enter the wonderful world of standards! State park signage is, understandably, at the discretion of the states. A cursory flip through different states shows everything from Pantone codes (NY, PMS 1615) to prescribed paint mixes (ID, Columbia #08-600-05 Mahogany mixed with Columbia #08-700-XX clear semi-transparent oil alkyd U.V. protective stain, (50/50 mix)). Still, it's going to be heavily influenced by what the feds do.

Fed Std 595, EM7100-15 Sign and Poster Guidelines for the Forest Service… The NPS is rude enough to hide their new Sign Standards Manual, but here's the 1988 version.

I'm guessing you're thinking of either FS-595 20059 Brown Stain / Forest Service Sign Brown or FS-595 10233 Cocoa brown / National Parks Service.
posted by zamboni at 8:41 AM on April 21 [7 favorites]

At the bottom of the cabinet set are 10 hanging slots each with 3 glasses, for a total so far of 30 various stemmed glasses.

I laughed out loud when I noticed the slots for wine bottles above it are conspicuously empty.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:06 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]

FS-595 20059 Brown Stain / Forest Service Sign Brown does look close. On the side of a rough wooden plank, it looks like the brown that absorbs all other browns.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:27 PM on April 21

The wine bottle shelves on our buffet sideboard thing are full of various organic energy drink cans and Vitamin Water bottles.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:12 PM on April 21

An electric flat-top stove (non-induction). Goes against everything I believe in and find joyful, but apartment life, what can you do?
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:34 PM on April 21

As a one time employee of a state park (Tennessee State Parks: Underfunded, understaffed, but plenty of convicts to pick up trash with ample part-time teenagers to watch them!) we got our paint from State Park Headquarters somewhere in Nashville, likely mixed by folks who had never touched a pice of untreated wood. Color varied horribly, so we'd order at least 50 or so 5 gallon drums at a time, and mix them all together ourselves for a degree of consistency.

We also managed to get glass globules in 50 lb bags from the local Dept. of Transportation and use it to mix up our own reflective paint. I probably still have tiny ziploc bags (read: uncollectable, spreading piles on top of decomposing plastic) of those that I'd bring home for various ceramic experiments, still kicking around my parents' basement.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:08 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]

This painting above my cupboards, which belongs to the owner of this apartment. He lives in the Caribbean now, and is likely not moving back to the country, but I was under the impression this awful thing has some sentimental value to him, and I am too lazy to take it down and stow it away somewhere. I will sometimes stare at it and wonder what exactly is going on here. It haunts my every meal.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:13 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]

I know Art is Subjective and all, but wow, that's an ugly painting. I'd probably at least turn it to the wall, or prop something else up in front of it, so I didn't have to look at it all the time.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:05 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]

Well, maybe....The painting is there to add color to a basic black and white kitchen? Or it's the streetview symbol of his aspirational move pre-enactment.
posted by mightshould at 1:14 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]

It adding color is another reason why I haven't taken it down yet.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:40 PM on April 23

I Joined the Hot Dog Revolution. It was a birthday gift and damn right I use it
posted by avocet at 5:58 PM on April 24

I Joined the Hot Dog Revolution.

I note with horror it says "skinless" hot dogs - are Coney Island System weiners (not available at Coney Island), Maine red-hots, linguicia-dogs and Fanueil Hall Style sausage onna stick left out on an island, here?

We need some outrage, people. My NY System (not available in New York State) weiner has a desperate need to hold onto its Meat Sauce as hard as it can!
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:58 PM on April 24

I don't think I've ever seen a hot dog with a macho offroad tread like that before.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:08 PM on April 24

My mom got us an Eggstractor (as seen on TV!) because I have boiled eggs pretty much daily but I cannot figure out how to make it work.
posted by Bacon Bit at 1:59 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry, but I really do have to point out that you've joined the Slotdog revolution. Not the hotdog revolution.

Say it.

Say it with me.


posted by aramaic at 2:07 PM on April 26

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