Kitchen quips and quotes to live by

Although my profession is being a journalist and a columnist, there are days when an old fashioned saying holds true.

To me, the term wordsmith conjures up the image of a blacksmith laboring over a hot forge and pounding on steel. There are days I feel the same as I labor over a keyboard pounding keys to write a column.

Writing this week’s column was one of those days when the term wordsmith applies, because I am watching the clock as the deadline approaches for when I have to submit a column to my editor.

After having done a weekly column for about 40 years, there are times when creative ideas to write about are elusive.

It was easier to write a column back when I first started writing. I always had my young sons, pets, and relationships to use as column fodder, but no longer. 

Over the years, I have learned that either thinking or doing something else while waiting for an idea to write about is the best way not to stress out.

While waiting for literary inspiration to strike, I started cleaning off my desk and tossing some old folders. One of the folders I was storing though contained some clippings I saved because I thought they were cute. So I took a few minutes to read some of them. Most of the clippings were about different signs found in kitchens or about cooking.

Anyone who knows me or has read my columns over the years knows I hate cooking and avoid doing that as much as possible.

My idea of the four basic food groups are canned, frozen, instant, and takeout.

As a Mother’s Day gift, my sons bought me a sign that said, “complaints to the cook could be hazardous to your health.” A photograph of that sign was in the folder.

They even made up a sign of their own and taped it to the kitchen door, “When the smoke detector goes off, it’s time to eat.”

To some that would just be a joke, but in the Drier household it was true.

The kitchen in the old farmhouse was very small, and the smoke detector was right outside the door. When all else failed and I was forced to cook, the meals that I made were generally done in the oven. Because the kitchen was so small, it didn’t take long for the room to heat up. That would set off the smoke detector. It so happened that the time whatever I was cooking in the oven was done was about the time the smoke detector outside of the kitchen door would go off.

When the boys heard the smoke detector they would come downstairs or from outside because they knew it was time to eat, or would soon be time to eat.

After the old farmhouse burned, the new house I bought had a much larger kitchen, but only because it had to come with the house when I bought it. 

Anyway, I thought the following clippings in the folder with their sayings were funny and appropriate to me:

“I love to cook with wine, and sometimes I even put it on the food.”

“I was going to cook but I couldn’t find the can opener.”

“Today’s menu is, take it, or leave it.”

“The kitchen is closed due to illness. I’m sick of cooking!”

And the next clip is my personal favorite: “My next house will have no kitchen. It will just have vending machines.”

That sooo sounds like a plan to me.

Bon appétit.

Mary Drier is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Huron Daily Tribune. She can be reached by emailing [email protected]