If you ever find yourself in a position with nothing to do, why not investigate the inner recesses of your china cabinet. This is an excellent practice that we wholeheartedly encourage our clients to do with respect to seldom-visited household venues. You would be amazed at the amount of C.R.U.D., albeit nice C.R.U.D., you find in such under-scrutinized spaces. We are not referring to the sparkling mausoleum of expensive and well-cared for crystal, dinner and serving ware encased in glass for all to admire (even if these objects of desire get used about as much as middle-aged married couples have sex.) Relax. No one is even suggesting pitching the Waterford. Some of the really interesting stuff lies below in the drawers and lower cabinets concealed behind opaque doors. Let’s take the tour.
Begin by opening the drawer on the left. This is the gaming department. It holds multiple decks of playing cards – some still sealed in cellophane – several crib boards, a pair of dice and a generous sprinkling of golf tees. Throw in a couple of short pencils and a memo pad for good measure. Moving along horizontally you will encounter the infrequently opened drawer of wine gadgetry. Residents include wine openers encompassing every degree of difficulty from the traditional corkscrew to a gas chambered cork removal system. Their companions are there too; equipment you may need to preserve leftover wine with like vacuum devices and rubber corks for those rare occasions you don’t polish off the entire bottle in one sitting. You probably acquired most of these as hostess gifts. Did we forget to mention the wine charms? Slip your hand to the back of the drawer. You will find them. If your cabinet sports a third drawer, it may be populated by grossly neglected barware and the remnants of packages of colourful cocktail napkins, and a single birthday candle in the shape of the number fifty.
The large compartment below the drawers is home to some other bit players on the culinary stage. In the days before the Food Network, trans-fats, celebrity chefs and dinner party competitions, people’s diets consisted mainly of meat and potatoes. That’s why every family owned a bone-handled carving set and the indispensable carving tray. Carving trays come in two types; the first have grooves on the side or in the center in a design for catching the juices. You need to have a supply of band-aids on hand if you still have the second variety – the ones with the deadly spikes for anchoring the roast. We can hear you mentally arguing that you need to keep it for when it is your turn to host Thanksgiving or another big holiday dinner, even though it takes up so much room. If you reach inside to find any more stuff like this ( i.e. crab claw crackers, silver grape shears and escargot dishes) we cannot be held responsible for any injuries you incur via the carving rack.
We are trying to come up with innovative ways for you to re-purpose these greasy old trays but the best we can come up with is a ‘Vlad the Impaler’ type warning system for any small rodents who might be thinking of making a nest in the vicinity. Alternately, you could hang it on a wall to display your butterfly collection. Or perhaps, depending on the length of the spikes, it might make an over-sized key holder near that back door. All kidding aside, you need to look at all of these highly specific but under-appreciated utensils and platters with an un-jaundiced eye. Use it or lose it. Make space for more bottles of wine instead.