The Australian House
by David Rabbitborough

The Kitchen


The kitchen is rich in foodstuffs particularly underneath the refrigerator.

The high cupboards (left) contain a wide assortment of condiments. Condiments are creatures that never occur singly. There will always be three jars of every spice, each with a little bit in the bottom. Above them are packets of dried food which survive year after year by simply being inedible.

In the
lower cupboards we find one of the world's great fossil deposits, a vast assortment of relics of a bygone age - rubber rings - the remains of a set of preserving jars, plastic jelly moulds and seventeen different kinds of grater.

(Left: David Rabbitborough holds the teeth of the now extinct Hand Mincer.)

(Right. Another great archaeological find. An almost perfectly preserved, original K-Tel Kitchen Magician.)
All these apparently useless objects have carved out their own ecological niche in which they exist on an a permanent basis. Indeed the kitchen seems to be a sort of graveyard of of items which have long since lost their purpose.

The Fridge

No better account of this amazing zone can be given than this extract from the book by Australian author Kylie Tenant in her book "The Fridge Dwellers."

"In the far corner of the Kitchen lies the frozen wasteland known as 'The Fridge'. From its vast ice cap flows the great river of meltwater that wends its way across the tiles to the back door. For nine tenths of the year the Fridge is in darkness, the light shining dimly for only a few moments each day, usually around midnight.

Many dangers await the unwary traveller in this frozen realm. Here the dreaded Tuna Casserole lurks in its Tupperware bowl. Nearby a tub of Philadelphia cream cheese turns green and an open can of beetroot slowly breeds botulism... and waits.

All things that enter this realm change. Ripe red tomatoes shrivel to the size of walnuts, mayonnaise becomes a greasy yellow cylinder rattling in a jar and cheese-slices curl up at edges: as hard as vinyl floor tiles. Above all the great-grey-green limp lettuce sits in its stagnant bowl of water defying anyone to remove it. Every turn presents wonders. Here lies a black shoelace that was once a carrot, there a strand of green mohair that once claimed the name of celery. In the icy wastes of the freezer the peas lie scattered and forgotten, never to be retrieved until that once a year thaw when the bowl of steaming water is pushed inside to release the entombed icecube trays, the frozen beans and one solitary fish finger."

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