New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Chewing over

CuisineFiend's edible news.

New kitchen - caveat emptor, and don't expect a dream come true.

Fri, 4 November, 2016

My kitchen is taking shape. Cupboards - sorry: UNITS - are set up and installed, most appliances in place although not live, waiting just for the worktops to arrive. Am I excited? Do I like what I have so far? Is it my dream kitchen?

Yes and no.

Apparently the desire to get a new kitchen is comparable to religious zeal; and its attainment - the equivalent of paradise for the zealots. But as it often happens with paradise - it’s not all it’s made out to be.

First of all, so-called fitted kitchen turns out to be more of a misfit. The cupbo… UNITS come in regulation sizes; your space doesn’t. I have lost about two whole units’ worth of storage here and there because of my non-conformist wall lengths. Unless you’re in the Poggenpohl class or higher, the bespoke is a mis-spoke.

Secondly, when the c… units turn up, you’ll have completely forgotten what you’d ordered. Having discussed for hours the configurations and the widths, you’ll remember nothing of it when the kitchen arrives. Having given in to sales person’s (oooops: designer’s) persuasion that the Monte Carlo pull-out shelf (I kid you not) and the full height larder are the keys to your happiness, you'll think only WTF? when you actually see them. You won’t remember the details of your order when it becomes reality, so better make copious notes. Still, the best CAD or the most vivid spatial imagination will not spare you nasty surprises of the ‘NOT like I thought it would be!’ kind.

Dream? More like a nightmare...

Thirdly, you’ll shoot yourself in the foot so much you might be able to claim ESA. I’ll seriously struggle to fit any shelving in the utility room because I brainlessly okayed the doors layout - complicated, but my fault entirely. The fridge is not fitted tight enough into the tall bank of units because I confused millimetres with centimetres. Get your past modals dusted off, because you’re gonna could-have and should-have a lot.

In spite of the BEST efforts of the installers!

Next - you have to do your own research on everything all the time, because you won’t get to be sat down, shown samples and options and patiently expected to make your choice. You’ll be brusquely asked: ‘brushed steel or black nickel sockets?’ and expected to know precisely what they might look like.

Then there is the impracticality, the aesthetic over the functional. I’ve no idea where I’ll put the rubbish bin as it will look grubby no matter where - and no, hiding it in a cupboard (CUPBOARD! BLOODY CUPBOARD!!!) is not an option unless its door opens when I frown, hands full and grimy. Hanging tea towels? Fuggedaboutit. There isn’t a bit of WALL, either, where I could stick a calendar, a clock or a cork board for shopping lists: all around glossy units or my designer FEATURE out of splashback shards (cf. shoot, foot and myself).

On the other hand, you’ll learn some new vocabulary. Nogging. Bezels. Footing. Manifold. Pipe overlay. Stud wall. Not sure if I should pepper my conversations with the above and doubt it will make me sound like Stephen Fry, but all knowledge is good knowledge.

And that, of course, is not the only good thing. I’m sure I’ll be ecstatic about most things and quickly gloss over the issues, especially the ones I’m to blame for. But there’s a lesson: it ain’t paradise. It’s just a kitchen and what’s cooking in it is all that matters at the end of the day.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Recent blog posts

Wed, 30 December, 2020 2021: Have a Better New Year

Mon, 14 December, 2020 Merry Christmas!

Fri, 31 July, 2020 Fiend on Film

Thu, 4 June, 2020 The 'new normal': no dinner parties or eating out?

Wed, 25 March, 2020 We need to cook now

Wed, 12 February, 2020 My ketogenic challenge diary

Sun, 29 December, 2019 Happy New Year!

Sat, 14 December, 2019 Cuisine Fiend's Christmas Collection

Sun, 13 October, 2019 Cook yourself happier

Fri, 13 September, 2019 Eating out: rubbish, expensive or both.

Thu, 8 August, 2019 To buy or to make?

Sat, 6 July, 2019 It's not French cuisine - it's French produce that's incredible.

Thu, 6 June, 2019 What's for breakfast?

Tue, 23 April, 2019 How much of your supermarket trolley content ends up in the bin?

Fri, 5 April, 2019 You can't be a scrooge at Easter: it's spring! it's hope! it's chocolate eggs!

Tue, 5 March, 2019 Dietary myths and delusions – the human race has always loved them.

Sun, 3 February, 2019 World cuisines are diverse - or are they?

Mon, 31 December, 2018 Eat well, be well, live well.

Thu, 5 December, 2019 Cuisine Fiend's Christmas Collection

Sun, 4 November, 2018 We are so angry all the time - why not just chill? Cook something?

Thu, 4 October, 2018 Food comes from all over the world – but why so illogically sourced?

Mon, 3 September, 2018 There's no such thing as healthy foods: it's all in the balance.

Thu, 2 August, 2018 Diets – I do it my way.

Mon, 2 July, 2018 Cooking at home - why is it such a chore for so many?

Sun, 27 May, 2018 The number of obese people is terrifying - and that's just Home Counties.

Tue, 24 April, 2018 Food fads, or the impossible things to eat: our unhealthy health obsessions.

Mon, 26 March, 2018 Kitchen disasters, or how I blowtorched the turkey.

Mon, 12 March, 2018 They know a thing or two about food in Shropshire.

Wed, 17 January, 2018 Deadly avocados, flying knives and golfer's elbow: kitchen is a dangerous place.

Tue, 19 December, 2017 Diets on hold: time for twinkling lights and brandy butter.

Fri, 24 November, 2017 Eating nose-to-tail - make mine a steak.

Thu, 2 November, 2017 Eat yourself to sleep - or not, actually.

Fri, 15 September, 2017 Everything in moderation - damn hard to achieve where food is concerned.

Sun, 13 August, 2017 Food on screen: they never eat properly on TV.

Wed, 5 July, 2017 Summer gluttony: does food always taste better when we're on holidays?

Thu, 18 May, 2017 Taste, likes and dislikes - unique to first world?

Wed, 19 April, 2017 Spring is here and so is spring food.

Mon, 3 April, 2017 Signature dish? I want to cook everything well!

Fri, 3 March, 2017 British strawberries in March? I think I'll wait till May.

Fri, 17 February, 2017 Making birthday cakes is fun, unless it all goes terribly wrong.

Fri, 3 February, 2017 Munching, grazing - why do we stuff our faces while watching telly?

Fri, 27 January, 2017 Winter warmers: what's the best comfort food when the weather's cold?

Fri, 20 January, 2017 Sugar is the public enemy now. But should we go cold turkey?

Fri, 6 January, 2017 What's really good and bad for us, nutrition-wise?

Sat, 29 December, 2018 Post-Christmas, or how to lose weight on leftovers.

Thu, 15 December, 2016 Post-truth, let's put up more twinkling Christmas lights!

Fri, 9 December, 2016 A cook's block, or how induction is a toy hob.

Fri, 2 December, 2016 Fasting is good, every now and then. It makes us appreciate taste and flavours.

Thu, 24 November, 2016 Boringly tidy or artistically messy in the kitchen? It might be boring, but order helps you focus.

Fri, 11 November, 2016 Gas or electrics - I'm trying hard not to hate my new induction hob.

Fri, 4 November, 2016 New kitchen - caveat emptor, and don't expect a dream come true.

Fri, 28 October, 2016 The rise of the hipster salad.

Fri, 21 October, 2016 No kitchen for two months - what shall I cook first in the new one?

Fri, 14 October, 2016 Cooking is easier, cheaper and more varied than eating out.

Wed, 5 October, 2016 Kitchen designers - my own Great Kitchen Design Off.

Tue, 27 September, 2016 Life without kitchen. Or bathroom, most of the time.

Wed, 21 September, 2016 British cakes - let's not forget the classics.

Thu, 15 September, 2016 Going out for breakfast? Just don't order scrambled eggs.

Wed, 7 September, 2016 Great British Bake Off - now I know why I'd never watched it.

Wed, 31 August, 2016 Eating out: posh nosh or good & simple? I go for value these days.

Thu, 10 August, 2017 Eat food. Not too much. Some of it raw.

Thu, 11 August, 2016 Is a steam oven THE must-have appliance? I'll stick to my stock pot with a steamer insert.

Thu, 4 August, 2016 How to lose weight: the Food Fascist and I

Thu, 28 July, 2016 Eating whilst sprawled on the sofa? Not for me.

Thu, 21 July, 2016 How to live and what to eat on a building site.

Thu, 14 July, 2016 Weird dietary trends - the pseudo-nutritional nonsense

Fri, 8 July, 2016 What are the most useful tools in cooking and baking life?

Thu, 30 June, 2016 The aftermath of the referendum - time to cook some bacon.

Thu, 23 June, 2016 'Easy recipe' - it's an oxymoron!

Fri, 17 June, 2016 Common currency? Don't know, but I know about Common Food!

Fri, 10 June, 2016 How to NOT EAT - totally non-expert advice on weight loss

Thu, 2 June, 2016 Rain, thunder and floods, but summer berries are arriving

Thu, 26 May, 2016 Pancakes are the nation's favourite food

Tue, 17 May, 2016 Spring is here

Fri, 13 May, 2016 It's a hard life being a food blogger