Monday, May 12, 2008

Putting the HANDY back in Handywoman?

I have recently realized that I am lacking several basic household essentials that would make my apartment, and subsequently my life, much more comfortable. The only problem is that I am one of the cheapest people on the planet so the chances of me spending any money to rectify the situation is slim to none. So I have improvised. Some improvisations have worked out alright while others could easily be filed away in the "domestic disasters" folder. But the good news is that I also don't have folders or organizers in my house because those would cost money so really, who's counting?

Improv #1: Hammer/Hot Pink Heels

My mom gave me a bunch of art from the time when her family lived in Tehran, Iran. It's cool looking to me though I suspect that actual Iranians would see them as an unholy trinity of Norman Rockwell prints, Sambo cartoons and fallen NASCAR driver memorial art. My mom also realized that I don't have "tools" around the "house" because they cost "money" so she kindly lent me some nails to hang these things from the wall. Once I got home, I realized that if I never shelled out the cash for something as simple as nails, I certainly did not own a hammer. No problem. Luckily I wear heels religiously so I got my hot pink stilettos out. Turns out that in the contest of hammer v. hot pink heels, hammer would almost certainly win every time. Hot pink heel had its' moments and the good news was that when I dropped hot pink heel out of frustration, it didn't cause as much seismic damage as a hammer would have. But a hammer would have probably gotten the job done with far less "never getting your deposit back" collateral damage to the walls. Hammer wins!

Improv #2: Level/Eyeballs and Good Intentions

A level is probably something I could never bring myself to buy. Because it's just a yardstick with a little liquidy stuff in the middle. And once you hang something level, you will never need it again. Until you have to hang something else which surely will be years from now and you will have forgotten all about how hard it is to do without a level or maybe even you will have lost or broken the level if you actually did buy one. So I decided to use the "that looks about right" method when hanging my pictures. I don't like to take things like perspective and where the wire on the back of what I am hanging actually is into consideration. So I end up creating a series of pockmarks and nail holes that kind of resemble machine gun spray when I hang pictures. This would probably not be an issue if I had a level. But my eyeballs are free and I almost always know where they are. So in this case: eyeballs win!

Improv #3: Casserole Dish/Decorative Copper Fruit Mold I Brought Leftover Cranberry Sauce Home In After Thanksgiving Dinner and Never Gave Back to My Mom

There's certain English foods that on paper (and sometimes visually) are disgusting but for some reason I love them and I miss them every time I come back to the States. Like Scotch Eggs. The idea of them is repugnant. However, if there's one on the other side of a pit of cranky vipers, I will just hope there's some anti-venom somewhere near that plate of Scotch Eggs too. So I decided that yesterday, I would make the Trashy King of Trashy Foods. I decided to make a fish pie. The American cousin of which would probably be what I have heard called everything from Tuna Skroodle to Mac-n-Fish-n-Cheese. Although, mercifully the recipe I know for fish pie does not allow cheese anywhere in the process. Unfortunately for me, I realized far too late in the cooking process that one more item on the long list of things I can't bring myself to pay money for is a casserole dish. Or disposable pie pans. Or a bread loaf pan of any sort. Ok, let me level with you. I own two cookie sheets and a broiler rack which all came in one of those "everything you will ever need in a kitchen" box sets. Which apparently is meant for people who will never need to make a casserole. So the closest thing I could find was the mold that I made cranberry sauce in for Thanksgiving last year. Not really anything like a casserole dish. But it was metal, held the ingredients together and did not self-destruct in the oven. So I would say it's a tie on this one. Cranberry mold gets points for all those things. However the final product was not so much casserole shaped as it was decorative scalloped holiday desert shaped. Casserole dish wins!

I wonder if I could get some sort of blogging sponsorship deal with Home Depot or Crate and Barrel. What am I saying? I'm a Big Lots girl and I will never change.

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