Friday, November 27, 2015


            The Waring Panini Maker arrived today. It was in a heavy box on our front porch. I knew it was heavy because FedEx had attached a sticker reading, “HEAVY.” Their assessment was confirmed when I carried it to the kitchen.
            I love our Waring Panini Maker after only one panini. I love it because it is heavy – 65 pounds. Kim could probably lift it, but her back has been sore lately, so lifting it was my job. It gave me a way to be useful in the kitchen.
            After carrying it in from the front porch, I lifted it from the box on the kitchen floor to the counter, then to the place on the counter where it might be stationed, then to the pantry floor if we decide it makes the kitchen counter look too crowded, then back to the counter place, and then, after Kim read the directions and applied some olive oil, out to the patio where I plugged it in and turned the temperature up to 500 for “seasoning.”
            Seasoning is a fantastic concept. To me it means cleaning something not very thoroughly to make it work better. To season the panini I remained on the back porch reading a book for about twenty minutes as the device heated up, started smoking, and then kept smoking until it stopped. I told Kim, who was inside ironing, that I would “keep an eye on it.”
            “You’re my hero,” she replied, with perhaps a touch of sarcasm.
            When it stopped smoking we turned it off, let it cool for a while, and then I lifted the entire 65 pounds all by myself to haul back to the kitchen counter, where Kim set about grilling our maiden paninis.
            As I said before, seasoning is an awesome concept, one that I have set about applying to other areas of my life. As I am writing this, I am busy seasoning the desktop on which my computer rests – a perfect example of how men multi-task. I am simultaneously seasoning the garage floor. I’ve thought about seasoning the tile in my shower, but I don’t think Kim would go along with that.
            Related to seasoning is the concept of “patina,” a term that describes crap on the surface that appeals to the person who calls it “patina” instead of “unclean,” “decayed” or “corroded.” So my car has a nice patina after I drive on dirt roads or park under a tree with birds in it. Several pair of my jeans are cultivating a patina that shows that I am artistic, yet humble. When I drop a soup can and dent our hardwood floor, I am enriching its patina, adding to its “character.” And my skin, after years of overexposure to sun, is taking on a patina.
            It is not wise, of course, to overdo the use of “seasoning” and “patina” as an excuse for lazy or slovenly behavior. For example, you do not want a nice patina on your camera lens, your wine glasses, or the windshield of your car. And while I enjoy eating a panini made on our well seasoned Waring Panini Maker, I would not eat anything off of the tile floor of my shower.


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