My friend Ilene is an excellent cook, and also a skilled surveyor of thrift shops . Furthermore, she favors, for her kitchen, things which are green, and things which are orange, as do I. Consequently, there are any number of objects in her kitchen which I envy, and would wish to steal.
It is delightful to have a friend who in addition to her other sterling qualities, has such a good idea of what you will like that she can call you on the phone to tell you she found something you want, and be correct 99% of the time. (We will not delve heavily into the other 1%, involving as it does her professed unshakable conviction that I collect Topo Gigio type ceramic mice. She finds my spluttering indignant denials very amusing.) It is also delightful to have a friend who makes you a tasty dinner every other thursday night, and is a companionable guest at your house on the other weeks. It is very pleasant to go to Ilene's and be well fed, and also to see what nifty item she has found this time.
This is a galley kitchen, and quite compact and well worked out visually and functionally. Besides looking, in my opinion, very cool, pretty much every clever and attractive item also has some kitchen purpose, storing something which should be on hand. Of course, it is an ever evolving design, as things are arranged to make way for others, or rotated elsewhere. Having cooked in both galley kitchens and a larger one, I personally favor a galley- with as much counterspace as possible, so that you can turn, and get what you are looking for. So this is a kind of kitchen I particularly like.
Ilene has an especially good eye for kitcheny paraphenalia of the thirties, forties, and fifties, some of which is appealing for its humor, as well as its good looks. She has a number of funky flour sifters. One I enjoy depicts a sparkly, happy 1950's mom, twinkling merrily at her tidy family. Her twinkle is actual, in an asterisk like shape. Like L. in Brighton, Ilene often has fresh flowers around, and arranges fruits and vegs to look fetching, while they are sitting around waiting to be cooked.
This is a cook who will go out of her way for exceptional ingredients, and appreciates a tree-ripened peach and brand new baby potatoes. Indeed, she is the very person who generously introduced me to the Honeycrisp Apple, when she could have kept them all for herself. (In case you did not know, this is simply the all time apple for eating out of hand. If you are fortunate enough to find some of these this autumn, do not waste your time or these apples cooking them. They are merely good, when used in cooking. Fresh, they have the snappiest snap, a fabulous honey-wine taste, and so much juice you will think you had a glass of cider. I'm not kidding. Just leave some for us.)
Ilene's kitchen also contains the twin of my beloved and ridiculous FrancisFrancis espresso machine. She found both of them at Williams Sonoma a few years ago-the last two, wildly on sale in a discontinued color, and gave me a call. They were madly expensive at full price then, and have gone even more crazy since, so this was a great good fortune. Any kitchen set up with one of these green babies is a step ahead, let me tell you. I love mine.
A decorative and charming element of Ilene's kitchen, and indeed her whole house, is Josie, a beautiful black and white Maine Coon cat of extraordinary grace. I would have taken her pretty picture, but she is terribly shy, and doesn't even wait until you get the camera out to run away and hide. So you will have to take my word for her, and picture her delicately muching on her special kind of turkey, from her bowl in the kitchen corner.