For other kitchens, I cannot speak but in the Dolla’s there are certain vital items that have a very short lifespan. Mom’s favorite teapot for instance never pours a whole lot of cups before meeting its doom. Suikerpotjie deksels, they just take off. Vadoeke, they get soiled, stained by curry, domestos’ed back to live until you hide it when grandma comes to visit. And Vatlappies, what poor unfortunate creatures they are.
Ma Dolla has a weakness for white teapot sets; we have four teapots, two suikerpotjies – only one has a lid – and not a single one matches. She replaces our Vadoeke on the regular, always with the same lecture: we cannot use it to wipe the working surfaces. Guess who is the first one to break these rules? Yeah, Ma Dolla! At least she is the one who cleans them, boiling them in domestos water until we have vatdoek soup. It is sometimes amazing all the familiar smells; curry, basil, thyme, rice. Gifts that keep on giving.
Now the thing about the vatlappies. Hulle is altyd opsoek. Honestly, they are never in the designated vatlappie plek. Never. You run around yelling: waar is die vatlappies? Until you make use of some unfortunate scrunched up vadoek. If you do track them down, they are in plain sight, where none of us could see. The worst thing about being unseen in plain sight is the things that get placed on top of vatlappies. Knives with butter bits – here is looking at you BabyDolla – lids all wet with condensation. So you grab wet of butter’dup vatlappies, jig man, to maneuver some hot pot or other out of the oven. That is not the worst thing that happens to our vatlappies. No, poor things. They always end up burned. Forgotten on a hot stoofplaat, that has happened more than once. We burn them when using them to wedge open the oven for drying beskuit. Many vatlappies has been sacrificed for this great cause.
I am attempting to make the Dollas kitchen some home-made vatlappies. I do not want to win some stitching competition with these oven mitts, just something practical that will last a little longer, for I will make many. But the project is a challenge too great it seems. So far I have broken three stitching needles on the sewing machine, while my thread keeps snapping, leaving me a shouting slobbering mess. But I will not give up, for I am a Dolla. It is the story of that really old joke where the corporal asks the soldier: can you kill a man? And he answers after a pause: eventually corporal, eventually.
Dollas To-do list for the day:
□ Figure out the f… the blood…the sewing machine
□ Make at least one pair of vatlappies
□ Boil us some Vatdoek soup