Countless numbers of even the most well-meaning home cooks and the most graceful of entertainers have uttered bitter complaints about their much too busy kitchen. When the guests arrive, they say, they scramble directly into the kitchen where I’m forced to smile and talk and chatter as if there wasn’t a 25 pound turkey burning up in my oven!
It’s true. People congregate like little sardines into even the tiniest of kitchens, clueless it seems, as to what the cook is doing (or trying to do.)
Articles offer help on this topic (“spread the appetizers throughout the house so people will mix and mingle!”) Many chefs recommend preparing much of the meal ahead of time; as much as you possibly can without sacrificing taste and texture.
But. Nobody talks about WHY this sardine packing goes on in the first place.
So. Well. Here’s my take on it.
Your kitchen–that place where guests helplessly end up–is more than just a kitchen.
More than just a place to store pots and pans and that blender that hasn’t really worked since day one.
Yes. More than just a kitchen.
Your kitchen is the heart–the very soul–of your home.
Your kitchen is where you prepare your morning bowl of oatmeal, which nourishes you throughout your busy morning.
Your kitchen is where summer’s harvest is collected, washed, distributed, chopped, and served to the ones you love most.
Your kitchen is where vegetarians, vegans, omnivores, carnivores, republicans, democrats and every one in between can suddenly come together and get along (with some creativity and a correctly angled conversation, of course.)
Your kitchen is where you dunked your thumb into the chocolate chip cookie dough batter before mom could even notice (although, let me tell you, you can be sure that she did.)
Your kitchen is where Memere taught you all about following your heart and using your brain vs. blindly following a recipe.
Your kitchen is where flops happen. Cakes get burnt. Onions go flying. Fried eggs become scrambled.
Your kitchen is where you crumpled to the floor like a used tissue, gasping for breath through hot, stinging tears and a unbelievably broken heart. An hour after watching cancer take the very breath, the very spark, away from Memere.
Your kitchen is where you once again felt whole and healed, baking a batch of Memere’s peanut butter cookies. Where you once again felt like that 7-year old girl from so long ago, laughing and twirling under Memere’s arms. Dancing. To the radio. In my slippers. In Memere’s kitchen.
Your kitchen is where Thanksgiving became more than just a holiday. Traditions were born. Memories were made.
Your kitchen is where your lucky spoon stays. Where cookbooks become stained and used. Where new and brilliant ideas are born and nurtured and loved.
Your kitchen is more than just a kitchen. There is a very valid reason why people congregate here more than in any other place in your home.
Your kitchen is love. And tears. And family. Your kitchen is the very breath, the very life of your home. Your kitchen defines who you are.
Your kitchen. It’s more than just a kitchen.
QUESTION: What do you love most about your kitchen?