What to do with the garbage?

In Beverly Hills… they don’t throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.” (Woody Allen)

Heaven knows, I love my husband AND my molasses cookies (oh, you are on the outside of an inside joke? that one goes back aways but I will post the recipe at the bottom of this post. These cookies come highly endorsed by Babette and by Lu, who quit blogging to become a sex goddess, full time) He’s a good and loving man, a straight shooter, full of positive, uplifting energy and exceedingly hard working.

Still. He’s a guy. We’re coming up on our 4th wedding anniversary- newlyweds!- and now that I’ve really gotten to know him, he is SUCH a guy. He grew up in a herd of brothers, no sisters and they were close enough in age- four in four years-to nourish, egg on and reinforce every bit of guy behavior imaginable. I’m most likely to reflect on his upbringing when I see him gobbling dinner, standing at the kitchen counter, as it is still being served…Kitchen3

The other part of this post which, ah, we won’t call it a complaint- let’s call it an observation, shall we? The other part is he doesn’t know where anything is. Or goes. I know his head is full of loftier ideas about the 2016 Olympics, but he’s still asking where the cat food is stored. (enlarge the photo to see the top secret place where the cat food is stored.) He helps out by clearing the kitchen after I cook, which is a great deal- ask anyone who fantasizes about having their own cooking show. Except he doesn’t know where the pots and pans go. The bowls. The Cuisinart parts. Those come out of the dishwasher and get stacked on the counter and I put them away.


So, I guess it’s no surprise that we had a kitchen appliance he didn’t know about until last week. The kitchen, as you can see, is fairly small and somewhat dated but I keep it neat and it’s functional and there’s no budget for a redo. The appliance in question, a 1980s trash compactor, is my idea of an eyesore but for lack of anything better I’ve been putting the garbage bags in there, filling them up, and then hauling them out or handing them to Rich to haul out. I’m not sure what he thought- maybe that it was just a built-in garbage pail or something because that’s the way I’ve been using it- but it was only last week that he discovered it for the appliance that it really is: A very loud, very yucky machine that smashes things. Much to his delight, anything. With buttons and gears and a large weighted plate that comes down on top of garbage and grinds away and smashes things.Trashcompactor

I don’t like this for any number of reasons. I don’t like loud noises. I don’t like the idea of wet nasty kitchen trash stuck to the underside of this massive metal plate that I can’t really get at since it retracts up into the underside of the counter. I don’t like things exploding in the kitchen. Believe me when I tell you that there is now the sound of things exploding in the kitchen constantly. He has been in the kitchen more in a week than the previous 8 months combined.

Here are Rich’s favorite things to smash, thus far:

-plastic tubs full of nasty french onion dip he never should have bought in the first place.

-a roasted chicken carcass

-egg shells, better if they are whole eggs that are "too old to use." (This from a man who had 3 year old eggs in his refrigerator when I met him.)

– crab leg shells

-a half full liter plastic bottle of Perrier ("Let’s see if it’s gone flat! Oh, tee-hee!")

-and the other day I caught him doing glass bottles. Recycling has temporarily gone out the window.

The worst offense thus far: I bought myself a three dollar cupcake at Swirlz and only ate half of it, carefully saving the rest for the next day. We don’t eat many sweets, other than molasses cookies, because I don’t have a sweet tooth and Rich isn’t supposed to eat much in the way of sugar, so this cupcake was a big, expensive deal. The next morning I woke up craving that half cupcake and headed downstairs but too late. They come housed in their own individual plastic dome cases and yes, Yoo-hoo was standing there making his coffee and punching buttons on the trash compactor.

"My cupcake!" I wailed as the monster snapped, crackled and popped. Rich opened it and peered in, grinning like a boy with a case of Black Cats, and said, "Oh, gee, I’m sorry." The latest twist on trash compacting is for him to see how much he can possibly get in, compact and then weigh the loaded bag before taking it out. This involves dragging the bag to the second story of the brickhouse and getting on the scale with it. He keeps trying for a new record. Yesterday, when I was complaining about McCloud shedding all over the sofa, there was a brief flicker of 7 year old impulsive mischief in Rich’s eyes as he mumbled, "the cat…"

This fellow keeps watch over my kitchen- he has for over a decade. But we live in a city where the real deal lurks in the alley from time to time. I’m not sure how all this obsessing over garbage could be linked, but it makes me nervous.


Better Than Sex Molasses Cookies

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup sugar
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
4-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water or milk

Your best homemade raspberry or strawberry jam for centers

Combine first 6 ingredients. Gradually blend in sugar and molasses.
Beat in egg. Add the flour alternately with the water or milk. Beat the
batter 1/2 minute. Drop teaspoonsful of dough, 2 inches apart, onto
greased cooky sheets, being careful to keep the cookies round. Bake 15 minutes or until
done in a preheated moderate oven (375 degrees F.). While still hot and soft, put 1/2 teaspoon jam in center of each cookie. Cool. Store

Yield: 5 dozen large cookies


22 responses to “What to do with the garbage?

  1. Is that what boys do? Hee-hee. My guy isn’t a guy in that sense, but he is in the sense that he surfs the television and internet at the same time, and somehow naps at the same time, too.

  2. LOL funny – and right on. Guys and gals are proof that different species can interbreed 🙂

  3. Jesus! (And I mean that in the most prayerful of ways.) I have to make homemade jam before I make these cookies?

  4. So, here is my question . . . would he take the trash out on his own or did you have to pick up the bag and hand it to him in order for the trash to leave the premises? My husband seems to think that since Thursday is “Trash Night” that he shouldn’t need to take out the trash or recycling before Thursday. Even if the can and bin are full on say Monday.


    And, yes, he’d go hog-wild with a trash compactor . . . on the other hand, he might actually be able to make it last until Thursday if he could squish it enough!

  5. You and I have somewhat the same problem with unloading the dishwasher: that is mr. kenju’s job, and we have lived in the same house for 25+ years – but he still doesn’t know where a lot of things go, so they land on the counter and I put them away. Bah! We don’t have a trash compacter, but if we did, I am sure that mr. kenju would react in a simmilar manner. I love the red lilacs and the cookies sound divine. Could they be made with a substitute for Crisco?

  6. EEK!! (similar)

  7. I don’t know if I can take a cookie recipe right after learning about the items in RICH’s garbage compactor.

  8. Some of that seems like it would eventually smell bad–or do I not understand the mechanics of the trash compactor? We are deprived souls who have NONE, but I can see my own husband enjoying the challenge of how much to cram into it. (thus we won’t be getting one)

  9. Oh Vicki – you make me laugh – thanks for that! Men and their toys – what more to say?

    The red lilacs are gorgeous – are they fragrant too, like lilacs should be? Thanks for including a pic.

  10. I love the quote. How fitting! I’m sorry you lost your cupcake. Nothing is safe with Rich the Rubbish Remover, is it. I started to ask if he knows the abuse he gets here, but then I remember reading his wonderful comment in a previous blog. I think you have to overlook some of these “faults” when you realize he does seem to understand your feelings. Sorry, am I preaching?

  11. Wow, I haven’t seen a garbage compactor in years. The way it pulls out reminds me of very cool kitchen cabinet my brother and SIL have. It’s a narrow lower cabinet that pull out and has space for all of their spices and vitamins. Everything lines up very neatly, and all the spices are visible at once. I could see your old compactor tossed (maybe there’s a big compactor somewhere that could compact that thing) and a very fine pull-out rack put in.

  12. Thanks for making me laugh… I needed it!
    I can just picture him running up the stairs holding the bag of compacted trash in his pajamas… at least hopefully in his pajamas… I don’t want the picture that just “flashed” through my mind like a “streak” to stay so we will move along……and well… it is a guy thing. Or an engineer thing… does Rich know my cousin Kenny that drives a Porsche sports car around Atlanta covered in unsightly wires and sensors with out the least thought, or who decides to do some plumbing work so he researches it thoroughly, buys all the tools to do it and gets it right the first time? Yes, I thought so… a guy thing.

    I only remember one house that I looked at as having the trash compactor… it had a built in Miele coffee system, a compact steamer oven and a compact convection oven too… in addition to the professional Viking stove with eight burners and large oven. I hope Stephen doesn’t go into a writhing fit of delight when he sees it… as it also has a lot of Dryvit “stucco” on the outside and there are so many problems that come with that.

    I have got to remember to order some of the tea from the Russian Tea Cafe there in Chicago… we are all out. Oops… got to go

  13. Oh, Lordy, Vicki, I laughed at that post until I had to rest my head against the couch cushions, take off my glasses, and use my T-shirt to wipe my wet face. I laughed so hard, my children came running to see what I was laughing at and my husband called to me from the next room to make sure I was okay.

    Oh my.

  14. My brother’s got a trash compactor. We used to have one at my dad’s house growing up. Nasty things.

  15. What a great laugh! I have one of them, too. Not a trash compactor, but a husband who pretends the appliances don’t exist – except for the frig since it houses his Jello.

  16. Oh my. I’m married to one of those boys, too. He was raised with two brothers in close age also and they learned all of that all-boy stuff and enjoyed every bit of it. His favorite TV show is mythbusters where they like to blow things up and mix things together and say “don’t try this at home” and he owns them all on dvd. (It frightens me!)

    As for your little watchrat? Looks just like Charlie Bucket, Keli’s pet rat. So let’s not tell Rich about him.

  17. LMAO

    HYSTERICAL post! I just love reading your tales! 🙂

  18. Hey cool! I want one of those.

    Now this “Better Than Sex” brand of molassess, is that hard to find. Probably so if it really is … um, better.
    I found all types of molasses in the store, but could not find the brand you recommend in the recipe.

  19. Hoss is right, as always. You are perfect! But, nothing beats good saxophone playing.

  20. Hysterical. Sorry I’m so late to the party.

    My children tire of new things in a few weeks. Perhaps there’s hope.

  21. Fortuitously my husband can’t stand noise in the kitchen so we ditched my old dish washer. I’m not sure I would have been able to forgive the destroying of the sweetmeat- especially after a day’s anticipation. I hope you punished him severely!

  22. My kitchen is also tiny (old house). My pet peeve is leaving the dirty dishes on the limited counter space when the dishwasher is empty. Empty! No trash compacter, thank goodness. My engineer hubby would probably love it and have a blast tinkering with it.

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