#52 - In the KitchenOn the one year anniversary of Sunday Scribblings, what could be a better place to confabulate than "In the Kitchen?"
A big congratulations and thank you to Laini and Megg for their dedication, perseverance and fortitude in provide us with a place to stretch our literary wings!
A votre sante, and another year of scribbling.
I grew up in a home with a stay at home mom whose avocation was gourmet cooking. Just around the corner from our house, a block or so away, was Aunt Nellie's. Aunt Nellie was my Dad' aunt, but she was my "grandmother." She was an earthy type who loved to put meat and potatoes dishes of a French Canadian persuasion on the table. Suffice it to say that all through my growing up years, the two homes I frequented most often were always redolent with the delectable aromas of home cooking. It must be added here that both my mother and Aunt Nelle worked in kitchens so small that two people in them at the same time was a crowd.
Some of my best memories, past and present , are centered around holidays and family gatherings. The fragrances emanating from the kitchen were aroma therapy for my being. It can easily be said that I am a visual person, but I think my sense of smell is most likely the second most important sense with witch I interpret my world.
A whiff of the bouquet wafting from the Thanksgiving or Christmas kitchen to this day is a guaranteed mood elevator for me. Roast Turkey, stuffing with sage impregnated poultry seasoning, fresh baked rolls cooling on the side board, pumpkin and apple pies sending cinammony aromas to the core of my senses, and of course the aroma of fresh ground coffee beans mingle complemenarily with the attar of freshly brewed cafe. These are the smells that spell home for me.
The kitchen for all of its pungent smells, piquant aromas to be savored is more than just a food preparation center. Perhaps in many, but at least in our home, the kitchen is the nucleus around which the whole family's activities revolve.
In our house the kitchen is the gathering place. The room for food prep and eating, for reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles and staring at the weather. We talk, chat and argue in the kitchen. I listen to music in the kitchen, either from the radio or from the stereo speakers I installed to carry the sounds from the main stereo. We spend time everyday after the evening repast bonding with our two cats in the kitchen.
Our kitchen is small, so during family get togethers it quickly becomes over crowded, and that's just the way we like it. There aren't enough kitchen chairs, so you either retrieve one from the dining room or you stand, lean or even sit on the floor. But you would never go to another room. A melange of conversations flow...bouncing off the 12 foot ceilings and usual appliances. All the while sipping wine, drinking beer, nibbling, sampling and just enjoying each others company.
Our kitchen serves as a repository of books and collectibles, a showcase for new and old photographs, as a reception area, an office, a central booking room, a bulletin board and a calender of everyones appointments and activities. It is a pantry, a mini wine cellar, a library of cook books, a place of traditional, slow or microwave cookery. It's basketville and a storeroom for dishes and crockery.
In past years our kitchen served as the mayor's office where many village decisions were discussed and made, as well as school board decisions, and budget building sessions. It was a place where interviews and advice sessions took place. I think I even hypnotized a client at my kitchen table more than a few times.
In our house the kitchen is a warm comfortable room where family, friends and visitors tend to congregate. A place that sparks and stimulates the senses with a bouquet garni of aromas. It is a classroom where one can learn family customs and rituals, storytelling and conversation. A place to learn table manners, how to set a table. And how to share the chores!
Viva la cuisine et bon appetite!!!!