Your Kitchen’s Role in Your Home
On most afternoons, usually around 4:30pm, you can find me frantically searching the Internet for recipes utilizing the few ingredients that I have in the pantry. I am in this dash because at some point I got too busy--and forgot that I need to stop at the grocery store. Around 5:30pm, I have usually given up on my Internet searches, and given into just cooking everything that I have.
By 6:30pm, the family is all sitting around the table--some content and some grumbling-- over the “rice bowls," “big salads," “homemade soup,” or “pasta thingy” that I have concocted.
By 7:00pm we are talking and usually laughing about something funny the 2-year-old did or some crazy thing that the 4-year-old has decided to invent. And in those moments all of the food stresses have vanished and we are fully and presently with each each other. The whole family knows that we will do it all again tomorrow.
No matter what food is eaten there is a special togetherness that eating with the family fosters.
I grew up with a grandfather who farmed almost everything that my grandmother made. A few times a week our family would casually stroll into their house and have dinner, watch PM Magazine, and talk. On the days that we didn’t eat from my grandfather’s garden, my father would cook elaborate versions of soul food that far outweighed even my mother’s most ambitious meals.
I can remember every detail of my grandparent’s kitchen. I know what the countertops were made of (a white formica with tiny gold flecks), what was in each of the cabinets, and most certainly where my grandmother hid sweets. My mother still owns the table that my grandmother so extravagantly set night after night (with only white plates, bowls, etc. and Smurf glasses from Hardee’s), and when I enter my mother’s kitchen I am immediately taken back to dinner as a child.
My parents grow a lot of the food that they cook, and I can trace some of those smells back to toddlerhood. I also know that a proper tomato sandwich is made of only whole bread, Duke’s Mayonnaise, home grown tomato slices (heirloom), and a sprinkle of black pepper. It is best served with a cold Coke.
As many of you who follow the blog know, my family is in the midst of moving. We are under-contract on a house that does not have the greatest kitchen: but I am determined that when we move in, that kitchen will house the memories that my kids will look back on. It is in that kitchen that I will try to replicate (and hopefully one day master) my father’s soul food and my grandmother’s cottage cheese pie. The point is THE KITCHEN IS IMPORTANT!
For me to work my kitchen magic I need 3 things; sturdy counters, room for five, and a nice set of pans. The backsplash (I want subway tile), the appliances (stainless would be nice), and the cabinet color (these will one day be refaced) really are just minor details in the story of my kitchen. I am willing to give the minor details up for countertop cupcake making, loud excitement whether it be over a ball game or tears over a broken heart, and the ability to just whip up what I already have in the pantry (granted I made it to the grocery store anytime in near past).
Trends in kitchens change. Some are beautiful and some are questionable after a decade. Big is nice, but small can feel just as nice. Let your realtor show you some things that aren’t on your wish list. Let them guide you into a memory maker. Let go of perfect unless it's going to make your tomato sandwiches top notch!
What role does your kitchen play in your family? Join the conversation.
To see some of the kitchens packed with loads of potential in our area