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Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.

This week’s assignment did prompt me to consider my relationship with kitchens. My relationship with the kitchen? Yes. Why not?

I don’t often think about kitchens. I view them as practical rooms of the house. A kitchen is a place to store the raw ingredients for the preparation of food, and for some people, eat and entertain around food.

From watching American television — especially those home buying or home renovation shows — the conversations of certain people would make you think a kitchen is a place firstly to show off your design skills. Culinary skills are secondary. I think some Americans spend more time considering what the colour and material of the backsplash than the qualities of the politicians running for office.

Is the worth of a kitchen in what brand of an appliance is installed? Does a Miele oven make a better Keebler chocolate cookie than a GE oven?

Argle-Bargle, Craft Ale, Pale Ale, Troon Brewing, Sandwich, Kitchen
Fried egg, oven baked applewood smoke bacon, and Spanish Manchego cheese on Italian panella bread.

I have fond memories of sitting at the table in my grandmother’s kitchen, watching her work. She used simple recipes, meaning none at all, and simple ingredients with simple tools at her disposal. No Cuisinart, no thousand-dollar stainless steel appliances, no timers, no eight burners over. The kitchen stove was neither gas nor electric. It was a home made charcoal burning stove. I am not sure how this particular bit of magic worked but I don’t remember ever choking on fumes.

My grandmother often made fresh bread for breakfast which she almost always served with generous amounts of butter, eggs, ham or salted fish1. Delicious. But my favourite treat was bakes, which aren’t baked at all but fried. My grandmother’s bakes were thick and dense, with a touch of brown sugar. I just loved the smell of the bakes frying. The sweetness of the bakes was an excellent complement to the fried salt fish.

Kitchen, Ale, Sandwich
Melted Spanish Manchego, sliced gherkins, sliced jalapeno, and tavern ham on toasted whole-grain bread. Eight & Sand IPA No. 2.

The point I am trying to make is that I do not think the value of a kitchen is about the appliances or the quality of the food produced. It’s about a connection to a person or people with whom I bonded over a meal. It’s about a shared memory around food. My grandmother made nutritiously good food with simple ingredients and tools. But more importantly, she made memories. Perhaps that's the true value of a kitchen.

All the food shown in this blog post was made in the simple galley kitchen in our townhouse. My wife, knowing of the theme for this week, volunteered the idea that perhaps I should capture images of the things that come out of the kitchen. I married a smart woman.

Some of the ingredients for a chilli with beans that my wife is making for dinner.

Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.

  1. Fish, fried or in a broth, is a popular breakfast item in the British West Indies

Argle-Bargle by Troon Brewing

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I had to look up the word/phrase argle-bargle. What the heck is argle-bargle?

It's a phrase I had never heard before. So I googled. When did Google become a verb? It’s not. I meant I typed "argle-bargle" into the search box in in a browser. And boom ( have you tired Lord Hobo Brewing Boom Juice ), I had a rabbit hole of links to follow some of which linked to a Slate article on Justice Scalia and another to a definition. That little dictionary definition wasn't enough.

Funny phrase rabbit hole. It's both a literal hole, a burrow, and a metaphor for an entry into uncharted territory, especially one that is disorienting or mentally deranging. The phrase is taken from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I have seen the Disney movies, but I have never read that book. Or anything by Lewis Carroll, real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Carroll was an English mathematician.

Math, like the world of Alice in Wonderland, doesn't really exist. It springs completely from the human mind. I guess like Alice’s adventures, and just like recipes for craft ale. Like Dogfish Head Higher Math. Dogfish Head Higher Math. It's a _golden strong ale fermented with sour cherry juice and cocoa nibs and clocks in at 17% ABV). Holy crap 17% alcohol by volume! I think that if I drank more than one of these, most of my speech would sound like argle-bargle.

I drank a pint with an applewood smoked bacon, egg and manchego cheese sandwich.

noun British informal
copious but meaningless talk or writing; nonsense.

Argle-Bargle brewed by Troon Brewing is an Pale Ale - American style beer, which has 4.2 out of 5, with 51 ratings and reviews on Untappd.