Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kitchen Reminiscence

Yesterday we went to Jerry’s, our local independent hardware store – the store my dad drives 10 hours to go to and then actually has the gall to say he’s coming to see me (love ya, Dad, but you know it’s true). We went there for a curtain rod because Zeal has decided he needed curtains where his closet doors are.

While we were there, we wandered into the kitchen section and played a bit in the kitchen displays. Zeal paused in one of the particularly fancy ones. He caressed the granite countertops and drooled over the shimmering backsplash tiles.

“Think of all the cooking we could do in this kitchen, Mom!”

“It’s nice,” I agreed. I was quietly thinking much the same, but continued with “Why do you think we need a fancy kitchen, Raj (my nickname for him since his birth in India)?

He tilted his head slightly, looking thoughtful.

“More space.” He finally said, nodding his head and opening a large drawer, peering all the way into the expanse that it was.
I nodded in agreement, and we smiled at each other, raising eyebrows just a bit – knowing it wasn’t really happening any time soon.
So we left the kitchens that reminded us what we didn’t have, paid for our simple curtain rod, and went home.

Later, we made breakfast for dinner. And laughed. And told stories. And came back for more. In OUR kitchen. And he said, “It’s really small in here, but it sure is fun.”
I thought of the earlier scene in Jerry’s.

And then thought of all the places we have cooked together.

The Grassroots Garden outdoor kitchen (that we also helped to build):

The remote village in Irian Jaya (now West Papua), Indonesia, on the island of New Guinea:

where we prepared the ground oven with hot coals

and baked sweet yams.

The little kitchen in the top floor apartment we rented for a few months in Ithaca, New York:

The kitchen we started to redo in the hills (but then decided to move instead):

And now, finally, our present little kitchen, so full of soul, where we create together daily. It may not be the biggest kitchen. It may not be the best kitchen. It may not be the worst kitchen. But it is OUR kitchen. And we love what happens here.


Shawn said...

My only complaint about our kitchen is lack of space for two children to work ... other than on the smooth top stove when it's off! Any suggestions for this; I see you have a little table in the center, which might work in our kitchen, too. Ours is not any bigger than yours, but the set up is less practical.

Ginger Carlson, author said...

Hi Shawn,
Yes, that little table (which is an antique sewing machine stand and a marble slab my mom found for me for $5 at a garage sale years ago) is where a lot of Zeal's kitchen creating happens. Our counters are high so having a lower place for him to work at has helped. It's a bit harder when I have other kids over to cook (which happens frequently) so in those instances, we usually set up little cooking "stations" at our dining room table. Another option would be to get a washable table covering and place it on the floor, perhaps with a few bed/breakfast/tv trays and create workspaces for them that way, which would probably really appeal to the sensibility of little cooks. I used to do something similar when Zeal was 2-3 - he spent hours peeling carrots that way. :)

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