The Kitchen: Ingredients

The Kitchen is for making food, right?  When I look around our current kitchen, I realize that it is very much like the other five kitchens we have had in 32 years of marriage.  Oh, the layout and landscape of each kitchen was rather different, one from the other: the tiny box of an apartment kitchen in our Clarkston apartment; the narrow galley kitchen in the Methodist parsonage; the big square kitchen in our Craftsman Bungalow, our first very own house; the kitchen that needed remodeling in our hundred year old Four Square in Birmingham; the modern, open concept kitchen in the first and only (so far) brand new house we have ever owned in Coweta County, GA; and our current 1980’s center of the house kitchen.

But, there was something the same about them all.  In all of them, one could find spices and various food items for cooking, to be sure.  Dry, frozen, refrigerated, canned. Pots, pans, dishes (seasonally arranged), silverware, plastic ware, choppers, carvers, grinders, strainers, roasters, juicers and steamers.

One could also find medicines for coughs, colds, and any prescriptions that anyone in our household was currently taken (or, to be honest, had taken any time in the past since our last move).  But, it didn’t stop there.  Those medicines included canine meds because in our household, our dogs are members of the family.

One could find cleaning solutions and implements in all of our kitchens.  Whether they fit or not, we always have had corners or sections for table and chairs and some sort of comfort to get off one’s feet.

And plants.  There have always been growing things in the window of the kitchen because the kitchen is a place of life and growth.  That seems to me to be the point about The Kitchen.  The Kitchen is a matrix of life, of love, of suffering and healing, of work and rest, of nourishment and entertainment.  At this point in our lives, our kitchen has so become the center of our home that we turned our dining room into a piano room/library because all of our gatherings happen around the table in the kitchen.

With this post on The Kitchen, I invite you to explore yours.  What do you have there?  Look beyond the obvious, and ask yourself why, for example, the dog’s medicines are in the kitchen along with your children’s medicines.  What we assemble in the kitchen may very well show us something about the core of our lives, our loves, our very own souls, and since most of this assembling happens unconsciously, I tend to trust its message very much.

I’d love to hear reports of what you find in your kitchen.  Respond here!

Bob Patrick

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2 Responses to The Kitchen: Ingredients

  1. Jen Garrison says:

    I too, have medicines in one of my kitchen cabinets. We aren’t supposed to store them in the bathroom due to moisture and heat, as I understand it. What about the heat of the oven or stove?! 😉 Anyway, depending on the time of the month, I have varying amounts of food in the fridge and cabinets. It seems to be feast or famine with me. However, I am exploring my creativity with those items in the kitchen, to make things go further while spending less money. I admit this is quite a challenge for me, as I did not learn this crucial skill early in life. But I am learning now. To cope with the stress of all this, the kitchen is still a great place to prepare and enjoy hot tea or cocoa. Sounds great on a chilly day like today! Take care and be well, Jen

  2. Mary Bois - Byrne says:

    Since moving here 4 years ago, I’ve done a mid-makeover of the kitchen. Yes, there are a couple new appliances, new counter and so forth. Yet the deeper thing is that I’ve added more ways to handle food, store it, cook and serve it. I enjoy the old things from my grandmothers and mother, and new things, such as a dehydrator, to handle the growing abundance of the kitchen garden. It pleases me to be able to make a meal easily from what’s here and that others are comfortable in my kitchen.

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