more than just a kitchen.

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?


19 comments on “more than just a kitchen.

  1. great post! you’re so right…a kitchen is way more than simply a kitchen 🙂

  2. So true. Every word.

    I love my kitchen and I love when people are in it. I want people to come into my house and feel comfortable standing around the counter and chatting. You’re so right that the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. It really is the home.

  3. Nicole says:

    I wish I could nominate this for the WordPress feature page… This was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. Really loved the pictures of Memere L. and Memere D. 🙂

  4. Michelle says:

    I’ve only recently come across your blog but oh my goodness. I am so touched by this post. You are an incredible writer and I can honestly relate… SO many memories of mine have happened in the kitchen. Every word of this post rings true.

    (Also, even though we don’t know each other,after the part about Memere I just want to reach out and give you an e-hug!)

  5. Matt says:

    Holy cow what a great detail of your kitchen, that was so heartfelt! Even after only a couple of weeks of following your blog I always look forward to the next post, they’re always so well written and meaningful 🙂 Glad I found it, even if this was the only post you had ever made!

  6. Wow what a great post, this could not be more true! So well written m’dear

  7. Lenore says:

    Beautiful post and poignant ode to the heart of the house! If only kitchens could talk, they would make the most interesting conversation/movies. What those walls have seen and heard…

    Have a great day!

  8. Crissy says:

    I love the line… the kitchen is the heart and very soul of your home.
    You write so well Sarah because you have true and memorable memories at home. 🙂

  9. Kiah says:

    Are those pictures of your kitchen? It’s beautiful! My current kitchen is very small, but I do love my cutting board under the window.

  10. The kitchen is where the magic happens 🙂 It brings people together!

  11. i wished i had a wonderful kitchen like yours at the moment. I have been changing apartments and travelling so much in the past years. never had the chance to make myself truly comfortable in the kitchen. love my mom’s kitchen in austria though, its HUGE and has everything a creative mind needs. 🙂

  12. Linda says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and it is really great! I love your photographs and your writing. I love my kitchen, I just don’t always like my kitchen. It is very compact since I live in a small cape. If it was twice the size, with a fireplace and island, I would really like it. Although, I am always amazed that even though it is a cozy size, everyone always manages to find their way into it — especially at parties! Oh well, some day, perhaps my wish will come true!

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