January 30 Day 328: Kitchen Memories

At every party I have ever hosted, the kitchen is the center of the action. It has been well over a year since I have hosted such an event, but the memories are strong.

My thesis advisor, Dr. Richard Brualdi, replied to a post on FB today and it started a flood of kitchen memories. He was the man to introduce me to fresh pasta. Known for inviting all his graduate students to his home, he would cook for us including noodles from scratch. With that strong image in my mind, I choose to make fresh spaghetti for my own family tonight and celebrated special kitchen utensils in the process.

From left to right in the cover image: the jar opener, the Tupperware can opener, and the Marcato pasta machine. Each was used tonight and each has a special place in my heart.

The jar opener (1986). Living in Chicago and working as an actuary after graduating from college, I purchased this jar opener at an “odd lots” store on my way home from work. It was an impulse buy. I couldn’t tell you how much I spent but whatever it was, it was well worth it. After thirty-five years, this is still my favorite tool to open jars and bottles. I have purchased imitations since but none work as well as the original. As I age and the strength in my hands and wrists wane, I depend in it more now than ever before.

The Marcato pasta machine (1988). During my graduate school years in Madison, WI and inspired by Dr. Richard Brualdi, I invested in this pasta machine. My housemates and I would make pasta regularly. All it took was flour, eggs, salt, and a touch of olive oil. Delizioso! I have been watching my carbs lately but loved using it again tonight.

Tupperware Can Opener (2000). During maternity leave with my first child, I did crazy “homemaker” things. I hosted a Tupperware party for those moms I met at Mommy and Me class. We were living in LA and our Tupperware lady was none other than Phranc. The can opener was a hostess gift from the event. It is still my favorite can opener (though no one else in the house seems to know how to use it.) It leaves no sharp edges and doesn’t take the same amount of wrist strength as a standard can opener. Supposedly, Tupperware has a lifetime guarantee. If this can opener ever fails, I may have to check in to that.

Everything I mention in this post is over twenty years old. Yikes! I feel like I just got them yesterday. Where does the time go?

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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