Posts Tagged ‘Smurf Kitchen’

Dear Smurf Kitchen,

It’s okay; I don’t blame you. It wasn’t your fault. How could you know that some doofus in the area would call a plumber at mid-day, without Body Corporate approval, and that said plumber would turn off the water for the entire complex? How could you know that you’d be one of the 50-plus units suddenly stripped of the ability to make coffee, cook dinner, wash hands, shower, or use the toilet?

Sure, it would’ve been nice if you’d let us know, through psychic brainwaves, that our plans for risotto-making, water-drinking, and general, you know, living were off the table. If we’d known that the plumber would leave at 5:30pm without turning the water back on, that ActewAGL would refuse to do so for fear of being sued (but would ask my housemate, on the phone with them, to find the water main and do it herself… erm, we don’t really want to be sued either, thanks all the same), that I would get cornered in the stairwell by our across-the-landing neighbour, Mr.StinkyNeverWashes*, while he talked about the situation and all I could think was breathe through my mouth, breathe through my mouth… well, we might’ve made other plans for the night.

This has nothing to do with anything. It's just rice on my pretty Istanbul plate.

I do understand, though, Smurf Kitchen of mine, that you aren’t entirely sentient and probably don’t know how to telepathically warn me of such things. But maybe you could work on that? Still, thanks for returning water to us at around 8pm. And thanks for having allowed me to cook delicious mushroom pasta in the morning, as I was then able to eat it for a no-cook dinner.

Much love,


*Seriously. He doesn’t even have a washing machine. The smell drifts into the stairwell area even if he’s only left the door open a few minutes. In truth, I prefer the cigarette smell.

Tamari Mushroom Pasta

Tamari and Sesame Mushroom Pasta for One

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced (I used mushrooms from the farmers markets, and they were fantastic. Buckets better tasting than supermarket mushies.)
  • couple of good shakes of smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • the amount of pasta you’d normally serve yourself. Cooked, that is. No one likes an entire bowl of crunchy pasta, although I used to eat strands of uncooked spaghetti as a kid. Oh, and by the by, I used wholegrain spiral pasta, because I adore wholegrain pasta.
  1. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then throw in the garlic and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Tip in the mushrooms with the smoked paprika and let the mushrooms cook down a bit, maybe 1-2 minutes, until they start releasing their liquid.
  2. Add the tamari and rice wine vinegar, sizzle away until it’s cooked to your liking, then add the cooked, drained pasta and stir around. Eat hot, if that’s your thing, or cold, if you’ve made it in advance and later find yourself in a building bereft of water.
  3. See, it’s hardly much of a recipe, is it? It is awesomeness though. If you want to be fancypants, though, I’d recommend throwing in some chopped spring onions, fresh coriander, ginger, sesame seeds (ooh, sesame seeds!), and/or tofu. Brilliant.

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Warning: This post contains low-level coarse language and adult themes. Reader discretion is advised.

If you’ve popped by this blog at all in the past month, you’re likely aware of Smurf Kitchen and the happiness it brings to my life. What you may not know, however, is that the awesomeness of Smurf Kitchen has had an inverse relationship with the awfulness of the Wayfaring Chocolate Bedroom.

To put it simply, I looked like a squatter. I ordered a new bed from Freedom Furniture before moving into Smurf Kitchen Home, but it took several weeks to be delivered. As a result, I’ve spent the past two weeks sleeping on a mattress on the floor, with most of my belongings still in boxes around me. It’s been a little unpleasant.

Yesterday, my bed arrived. Or, more correctly, the fifty-seven billion pieces of my bed arrived. And with a confronting realisation I ascertained that, all my life, I’ve been pronouncing the store’s name wrong.

It’s not Freedom Furniture. It’s Freedamn Furniture. And I hate Freedamn Furniture with a fiery passion.

Baker's Delight White Chocolate and Passionfruit Scone

Passion, did you say? What about passionfruit? Or Baker’s Delight’s new White Chocolate and Passionfruit Scone, which I won a voucher for?

Before I go any further, I need to make a few things clear.  My housemate is a furniture-put-togetherer extraordinaire. She had her own IKEA bed assembled in less than 20 minutes, and is well-versed in the art of instruction-manual reading. Furthermore, she and I are not stupid, we had no blonde moments, and we worked steadily and not-slowly from the minute we began cutting open the bed-piece-containing boxes until the second we pushed the mattress into place.

There were, admittedly, two tricky moments in which we were flummoxed by the bed’s instructions. One of these moments led to a swift retracing of steps, but even that only set us back five minutes.

So you’ve got my drift, right? We worked well. We worked quite speedily. We had no arguments, no freak-out time-outs, no moments of “this is impossible, I can’t go on, please tell my mother she can have all the spices in my pantry”.

Baker's Delight White Chocolate and Passionfruit Scone

Sadly, I really, really, really didn’t like this Baker’s Delight scone. It was insanely sweet with an odd sticky, dense texture, and had only the vaguest hint of passionfruit. It also clearly used lots of preservatives, as it made my tongue tingle in the way only preservatives do. Luckily for Baker’s Delight, the rye sourdough and white hi-fibre rolls I bought with the rest of the voucher were fantastic.

Would you like to know how long it took us to assemble my brand-spanking-new bed?

Almost. Five. Expletive. Hours.

I don’t know which is worse: that this was such an horrifically complicated piece of furniture that two people working conscientiously took almost as long to assemble it as they’d spend watching Titanic twice over, or that the blasted thing looks like it’s the most simple piece of construction in the world. To wit: the headboard looks like a single piece, yet it involved no less than 12 different parts (not including the screws and dowels and rubber backing). And that’s just a taste of what we went through.

Skank Bed


Instead of continuing on with my griping and risking boring you all with furniture-not-food, I’ll finish up by completing the sentence that is this blog post’s title.

The best companion for a Smurf Kitchen is a Skank Bed.

Because there’s no other word for something that requires 88 separate screws before it’ll let you go to sleep.

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Ask and ye shall receive.

When I first mentioned Smurf Kitchen on this blog, several of you asked to see photos of its wondrousness. It may have taken me several weeks, but I’m finally coming good on that request. Hurrah! I did mean to present you with a picture of the kitchen before we moved in, as the blue Smurfiness was particularly apparent when contrasted with the whiteness of the bare surroundings. Alas, despite taking over 250 photos of the apartment whilst filling out the inspection report, I failed to take a wide shot of the kitchen.

The following should give you an idea of the colour, though, and then you get to laugh at how the moving-in process brought out my inner nincompoop.

Smurf Kitchen

La la la-la la la Smurf along with me! (I had to google that. I had no idea if there even was a Smurf theme song.)

Laugh Along With (or Shake Your Head At) Me Moment #1:

Scene: Target Stocktake Sale, June 2010
Cast: Hannah, E.BestestHousemate, Target Saleslady

On a sunny winter’s day in Canberra, I picked up the wonderful E.BestestHousemate (EBH) from uni and drove to Target. After a brief stop in the sheets department, we successfully tracked down the super-on-sale-space-age-psychedelic vacuum cleaner and then, not long afterwards, the slightly-on-sale microwave.

While I peeked into the candy aisle, E.BestestHousemate hoisted the microwave box into the trolley, first commenting on how great it was that the microwave wasn’t too heavy.

Fantastic! I replied. I shall be able to get it up the three flights of stairs to our apartment myself this afternoon.

Book tetris! We haven't even got all our books in, and we've already had to double-up. (EBH is going to murder me for posting this photo. We haven't finished decorating, so rest assured this isn't up to snuff, aesthetically).

When we arrived at the checkout, EBH went to one cashier while I to another. The saleslady zapped the barcode of the vacuum cleaner box but couldn’t do so for the microwave, as the barcode was on the bottom of the box.

No worries, I said with a smile. I’ll just turn it around.

And so I did. The lady zapped, then stared at me for a few moments.

Are you sure there’s something in that box? She asked. I laughed.

Um, I think so? She asked me to check. I giggled a bit less certainly this time, and opened the box from the clearly-not-taped-shut lid. Sure enough, while the glass turntable was there, the microwave was not.

After sheepishly scuttling back through the store with an empty box and slowly, slowly, slowly, one-tiny-shuffle-at-a-time heaving a full-microwave-box back to the counter, I realised two pertinent things:

1. I clearly look like the kind of girl who could never in a million years hoist a microwave up in the air with utmost ease. While this is somewhat embarrassing, I prefer to think of it as embodying the Jane-Austen-era ideal of languishing female upper-crustness.

Wait. No. Scratch that. I don’t want to be crusty. Anyone know of a good pilates class in Canberra?

2. If someone tells you a kitchen appliance is as lightweight as a cardboard box, it probably is. A box, that is. Don’t trust them, even if they are your amazing new housemate.

Smurf Kitchen!

Smurf Kitchen! (And yes, that is a Pineapple Chips 'n' Dip server. The pineapple leaves are removable spreader-utensils. GOLD.)

Laugh Along With (or Shake Your Head At) Me Moment #2:

Scene: The Abode of Smurf Kitchen
Cast: Hannah, E.BestestHousemate, the DVD Player

In the second photo of this post, you might have noticed a TV with a digital TV box and DVD player perched on top. Well, I brought the DVD player from my parents’ place (thanks parents!), and EBH and I decided, upon cooking our dinner, that the best way to settle in would be to watch Sex and the City all the way through, starting with season one, episode one.

While I chopped coriander in Smurf Kitchen, EBH popped in the DVD.

Hannah? Where’s the remote? She asked, staring at the screen with its list of language options to be selected.

I simply smiled, like a rainbow on a cold day breaking through clouds of sorrow with a beam of happy. Or, you know, like someone who’s realised they’ve done A Silly Thing.

You know what would be fun? I asked, avoiding her question. Seeing what happens if we just press play on the DVD player.

And you know what? It was all to the good. Sure, we had to watch six episodes in a row with Danish subtitles, but that rainbow must have come from a cloud with a silver lining, because I realised another pertinent thing (actually, EBH noticed this at the same moment, and oh how we laughed):

The Danish word for beautiful is “smuk”. And you better believe I shouted “SMUK!” every time the word appeared on screen. Which it did rather a lot, if we’re being honest.

I’m now home again for a few days house-sitting my arthritic old dog, but in four sleeps I’ll be back in Smurf Kitchen for good.

And that, my friends, is a rather smuk thing indeed.

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