notes from the bachelor pad

by troy spurlin
Okay, let’s recognize the “white elephant” in the room. That being, the “Unfavorite Things” article from an installment of NOTES FROM THE BACHELOR PAD a few months back . One of the hardest things we have to learn about being men is to recognize and acknowledge truth. And the truth is, that article smelled of ass. There, I said it! Happy dude?
Kitchens are tough. They are not just about cooking food, although some of my “foodie” friends might disagree. But, if you are like me, you don’t really cook. I make coffee, I eat granola bars, consume huge bowls of cereal and that is really about it except for the occasional frozen entree. Most of the time, I eat out. With that being said, my kitchen needs only to function as a great bar at parties and give the illusion that I am the total renaissance man. Yes, a chef too!
So let’s start with clearing off all of your kitchen countertops. No more toasters, blenders, can openers and the sort. There is nothing worse than counters covered in appliances. Besides, it just looks tacky. I will let you keep your coffee maker out but let’s get these other things out of the way first. Now, find an easily accessible cabinet, drawer, or pantry for your appliances and put them in there. Yeah, I know this might require moving some things and rearranging but c’mon dude, seriously, how much trouble is it to bring out a toaster and then put it back when you are done? Remember, we are creating a room that compliments the rest of our pad: clean lines, order, and fearless style.
With the counter tops clear, let’s start with the left hand side of the stove. I like to see a stainless steel container (mine is a stainless wine cooler that I got at Home Goods for $9.99) that holds all of your cooking utensils. With that being said, your cooking utensils should probably be thrown out. Not being an a-hole man, but seriously, take a look at your spatulas, spoons and ladles and what you will find is a bunch of mismatched, burnt up, faded out, crust around the edge nastiness. It’s an easy fix though. “Home Goods.” They have every type of utensil imaginable. I recommend the stainless steel utensils ranging from $4.99 for a spatula to $7.99 for a pair of tongs (nice to have when you want to heat up those wings). Go crazy, buy every conceivable gadget your budget will allow. Remember, whether you really use this stuff or not is irrelevant, we are creating an image and/or lifestyle that you will grow accustomed too. If space allows, next to the utensils, put a cookbook on a stand (really makes her think that you use it. And who knows? You might.) The “Naked Chef” has a number of really great cookbooks at Target for about twenty bucks. I think his recipes are fairly easy and quite possibly could make for a great date. (“Hey, its me, I have a couple of bottles of wine and wondered if you would like to come over and make dinner with me?)
But before she comes over we have to take care of a few more things. The sink. Fella’s, your sink should always be clean. There is absolutely no excuse for a dirty sink. Period. The End. Also dude, lose all the nasty rags. Just buy an O-Cello sponge at Publix and every so often run it through the dishwasher with the other stuff. When it starts falling apart, buy a new one. At the sink (ideally behind), put a tray (about 4” x 10”) that holds hand soap and dish soap; it does not hold the sponge however (find a place under the sink for the sponge and other cleaning utensils). Now a tray may sound like something your Mom would use but hang on, let me elaborate. A tray is a good idea because it creates order (everything has a place) and it looks great. You can find a “masculine” tray at World Market. It’s actually a “sushi plate” that is rectangular and has been glazed in a brown matte finish. While you are there, pick up “Mrs. Meyers” Dish Soap and Hand Soap to set on the tray. Go with the Lemon Verbena Scent – it smells great (not girly) and really cuts through grease. Best of all, it’s “Green!” Gentlemen, by all means, don’t put a huge ass bottle of “Dawn” on the tray; that is not the look we are trying to achieve nor is that remotely attractive to our fairer sex.
Finally, the area where you have your coffee maker. Let’s create a real “Mad Men” sort of look. You know what I mean, that tray that the secretary brings in that has the carafe of coffee, sugar, and cups. It’s just so old school cool. But, before we can do that, we need to clean the coffee maker. I don’t just mean the glass carafe; the whole thing. Once you have it gleaming (hint here: you can run white vinegar through your coffee maker every so often to thoroughly clean the system) we are now ready to stage the “coffee station.” Once again, we are creating order and repeating our tray design that we put next to the sink. With that look in mind, find a decent size tray (probably 10 x 7 with a lip; can be plastic, porcelain, or stainless) and two matching containers. I would go with clear glass or plastic for the containers and make sure that they are no taller than nine inches, otherwise the proportion will be off. In one container, put your coffee (can be ground or beans), in the other, sugar cubes. Even if you don’t use sugar, having a container of sugar cubes just seems slick. Think “imported” Absinthe and a really hot chick.
With the kitchen done, invite her over to watch 9 1/2 weeks. Yeah, that old movie with Kim Bassinger and Mickey Rourke. Then, take it to the kitchen! You will be so glad your counters now have all that free space.