At Uni I lived with five other girls, all of us very different but living harmoniously, mainly in the student kitchen where we honed our culinary skills before taking it down to our ‘cinema room’ (mouldy basement) to eat our dinner on lap-trays whilst watching ‘Friends’ (the original showing as opposed to the repeats on Comedy Central).
One evening, whilst watching a gripping episode of ‘Eastenders’, we heard thunderous footsteps down the stairs and then the front door slam. We called up to check on our housemate who was still faffing about in the kitchen (she still faffs) and she replied casually, “Who were those three blokes that just ran through our house?”
We had been burgled through an open upstairs window. Police were called, ID’s made – “three men, one wearing a baseball cap”. One laptop was nicked, but thankfully no-one was hurt. (Except possibly Dirty Den. Probably by a Mitchell brother.)
We were big on security after that. Windows locked, doors bolted and me being me, a final sweep of the house before bedtime. And by sweep, I mean literally, which takes me back to the whole point of this post…
To this day I find it hard to go to bed without everything being tidied up and put away. A cursory glance around the student kitchen before bedtime was always in order. And by ‘cursory’ I mean:
“FFS, can’t she put the milk back in the fridge?”
“Stupid bitch, can’t she wash her own plate up?”
“Silly cow, why can’t she ever empty the bin?”
We lived like – ..well, students really. Foil and cling film were luxury items so foodstuffs in the fridge were covered with um.. nothing. Or a spare plate. And the bin was a big issue for us
princesses girls, mainly because you had to go out to the back alley, ‘Coronation Street’ style.
Another housemate (she knows who she is), lived on cheese slices that come in those pesky see-through wrappers that camouflage themselves so well onto kitchen surfaces.
Now living in my marital home, it’s my house, my rules.
I can’t bear it if crisp packets are opened ‘upside down’. (I also can’t wear my socks inside out and don’t trust people who bite into the middle of sandwich triangles.)
I’m actually more of a ‘chocolate’ than a ‘crisp person’, but if I had to (oh, go on then) it would be:
As my kids grow up and the consumption of ‘Captain Birds Eye’s finest’ thankfully reduces, this pleases me because:
- I don’t have to accept the ‘Omega 3’ substitute with my online shop. I can’t imagine what Omega 1 and 2 were like, but 3 aint any better
- Not to blow my own trumpet, but I can make tastier goujons myself. (*blows own trumpet*)
- I no longer have to view the ‘freezer murder scene’ when husband has been on kitchen duty. Fish finger packaging clearly says ‘tear along perforation’.
I shouldn’t be surprised seeing as this is his approach to opening Amazon packages:
As a child, I remember the wire ties and plastic clips that my grandma used on her little plastic bags of foodie delights.
I often wonder if she would have swapped these and her beaded food covers for my current favourite, Covermate food covers – basically ‘shower caps for food’.
Big favourite in my house are clippits; ‘Bevara‘ if you speak Ikea. (Or ‘Ih-kay-yaah’ as the voiceover pronounces it.)
These get clipped on everything that is opened: flour, sugar, cereal, mouths.
I would love to display all my dried foodstuffs in pretty and practical air-tight glass jars but me being me, I like to know the ‘best before date’. Plus, if husband struggles to flip down all four sides of a Lock & Lock container (another storage favourite), then I’m asking for trouble with a glass lid and a fiddly metal clip.
Ziploc bags are a big favourite for packets of sugar, flour, raisins, etc. Help to avoid spillover or ripped packaging and keeps everything tidy. Plus they’re super useful in the fridge for sealing stinky stuff like meat, cheese and fish. Wrap it in cling film all you like, but it will never get re-wrapped to my standard.
That’s not to diss cling film – it’s fab stuff. I love it best for skimming the fat off my chicken soup and I have been known to use it to poach eggs.
With foil, there is only one choice – Reynolds. This was E.T’s brand of choice in E.T. when he was building his comms equipment to ‘Phone Home’. (Yup – I notice these kind of things.) It’s brilliantly thick and strong and it never does that annoying ‘concertina ripping thing’ that happens with wafer-thin foil if you so much as breathe near it.
Years later, when University had ended but the friendships continued, us girls sat reminiscing over old Uni photos. There was one of all of us posing like idiots in our hallway, probably off to some Student Union themed night. There on the banister was my housemate’s favourite Stüssy cap.
“I loved that cap. I wish I still had it, but I lost it,” she said wistfully.
If this was a tv series, you would rewind back to the scene where we got burgled and see the three blokes legging it out of our house, one deftly grabbing a baseball cap off the banister post as they went…