Happy Valentine's Day! If you came here expecting hearts and candies, you're outta luck. DPaul and I do not really observe Valentine's Day, or at least not with the kind of fervor that maybe we once did when we first…
Thanks to Sam, everyone is gleefully exposing the unedited contents of their fridge. When I presented this notion to DPaul, his first question was, can we clean it out first? The answer is, of course, no. Taking this photo was…
I would like very much to welcome you into our kitchen. I was inspired by Ilva at Lucullian Delights to share with you the most important room in our house, and almost certainly the one we spend the most time in.
The panoramic view you see here (as photographed and composited by my other half) is the kitchen as viewed from the entry door. What you do not see is that, where the counter turns to the left, there is another six feet or so of counter that wraps around; this is where the sink and dishwasher are, as well as our espresso machine and the hyper-organized cabinet full of dishes. So if you can imagine the aerial view, our kitchen is either an L-shape with a little lump off to the side by the table, or a lopsided T, however you prefer to think of it.
When we first saw the place, the shape really threw us. We were immediately thrilled by the sheer size of the kitchen (it really is quite enormous) and of course the miles of granite countertop. But the sink is easily 15 feet away from the range and the fridge. That works out better than we expected — you can hide many sins in that left-turn nook.
About ten years ago, DPaul and I were perusing vintage store The Other Shop, back when they were still in Hayes Valley. Back then it was a bit more ramshackle than its current incarnation on Divisadero, a strange collection of mostly mid-century goods smattered about in a random fashion. The prices were always good, and there were some serious gems to be had. In fact, we once purchased a vintage pedestal hair dryer for ten bucks which DPaul subsequently converted into a lamp.
But on this particular day, we were derailed by a set of plates. Brunch plates, specifically, with a divot in the upper right upon which sat a matching tea cup. In the center, a stylized black rooster strutted, well, cockily. The plates were stamped with the pattern name, Black Cockerel, and the maker, Mancioli.
It was a mismatched set, with something like seven plates and five cups. But they were charming, and they were only about twelve dollars. So we bought them.
Flash forward a few years: eBay happens. Suddenly, nothing is too obscure, too random for purchase. No longer do stray dishes sit on a dusty shelf in a thrift store in Dubuque. No matter what it is, someone wants to buy it, somewhere. In the case of Mancioli Black Cockerel, that someone is us. And only us.