06 October 2008

Mastering the American Kitchen

1. Why is kitchen towel rectangular and not square?

2. How do I remember that one of the light switches in the kitchen is actually for the garbage disposal, which makes such a big-ass noise it tends to scare the crap out of me? When Bill Bryson moved back to the States, the garbage disposal was one of his favourite things in his new kitchen and he had plenty of fun experimenting with what it would and wouldn't consume but I think I will probably be more cautious.

3. Why does the "bagel" setting on the toaster only toast three out of the four sides of the two bagel halves? Do Americans eat only half a toasted bagel at a time? Or do they put both halves into one side of the toaster? Or is the fashion to only have three toasted sides?

4. Will I ever master the microwave, which looks sufficiently technologically advanced to launch small rockets? (Cf. my trรจs basic model, which still manages to do everything I ask of it.). The oven is the opposite--huge but with very few controls.
5. How hard is it to invent a kettle that doesn't need to sit on the hob? I know Americans prefer mud-flavoured coffee to tea but even so...

6. How nice to have a fridge approximately the same size as the ones we had at the Sandwich Shop of Dreams (in which I used to occasionally hide)--because I eat as much food as is consumed in the average sandwich shop on a typical day...

7. What is the purpose of American TV? (Other than making Brits feel that their own selection of televisual programming is actually not that bad?) Yes, I know, I do like a bit of Gossip Girl but given that that is on at 8 p.m. Eastern on Mondays, the chance of me being close to a TV at the right time is slimmer than Keira Knightley.

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