When I was a graduate student (one of the several times I was such) I lived in a crappy apartment. Actually, crappy doesn’t quite do this place justice. Granted, there were no bugs but it was 300 square feet of the absolutely worst designed space for living ever imagined. For example, the AC unit was in the bedroom which was functionally cut off from the rest of the place. So, when it got hot in the summer the living room/kitchen would be 90-95 degrees, while the bedroom would be 75.
I was reminded of my old apartment while reading a story about designer kitchens on NPR. I have nothing against rich people. I would really like to be one some day but do not see that happening. I do have something against people that build or have things just for show. Who spends $110k on a kitchen and then not use it? Also, why are all these people shopping at Williams and Sonoma. Yes, they have some cool stuff, but for the most part this is a shop designed for people who like to have the appearance of skills and an appreciation of culture. New Flash: you are not making Boeuf Bourguignon if you are using a mix from a jar. Ok, that is me being sanctimonious, but it really angers me when people ‘make’ complicated dishes from mixes. If you do not have the time to make something complicated do not be a poser. I have not made a complex meal in 7 months because I simply have not the time and I am not about to use a damn mix.
Anyways: Kitchens. I have my suspicions of this phenomena. Marketers sell things to people and they have successfully sold America the idea that they can cook IF they purchase large expansive kitchens and devices to go in them (i.e. the $700 blender). No blender that is for use in a home kitchen is worth $700. You can make just as good food with a $40 immersion blender. However, marketers sell us the idea that these products are needed to make good food. Additionally, the consumer buys into the belief that getting this new blender or kitchen will make them a better cook, enable them to make wonderful food grown in their own garden and finally shed those 20 lbs. Nope. You cannot blame people for believing things like this. Marketing and advertising have become perverse and manipulative to a point that is approaching criminal. A $110k kitchen is just one of the many of the thousand tiny cuts that will kill Western society as we know it.