This is What Happens when you Walk into your Kitchen
If there’s one place and time each day where we all show a little artistic flair, it’s in the kitchen. The moment I walk into mine I know that I’ve got decisions to make, search the fridge and the cupboards, see what’s in there, find out what I have forgotten to stock up on and come up with an idea about what I want to eat, and cook.
Kitchens are tempting places to be, at first, when we think we are hungry and haul ourselves out of the chair and saunter off to the kitchen we may have an idea about a biscuit and cup of tea.
As we approach the hallway, we are thinking more about a sandwich with cheese and ham — but it changes, rapidly.
Why make a sandwich if you’re going to be half-hearted about it? Make it a Double Decker Classic, cheese, ham, tomatoes, mayonnaise — maybe a few chips on the side.
Along the hallway, into the kitchen and we’ve already changed our minds again. The plan is now solid, cook a good meal and be done with it. It’s as if the mind was just playing with all the possibilities on the way down the hallway, being creative, knowing that at the end of the short journey from armchair to kitchen, we would enter the estudio de gusto and begin work on a small masterpiece.
There’s something about a kitchen that causes things to happen. Even when it’s already been used and cooked in, everything tidied away, and pots and pans hang shining on the wall hooks, the atmosphere of the kitchen is creative, life enhancing, the whole room becomes a magnet for people to sit and read, think, stare out the window and just ‘be’. A kitchen is full of magic.
I love to sit and drink coffee in the kitchen, late at night I’ll get out of bed and take a notebook into my small kitchen and sit with the wall lamp glowing onto the white pages as I write.
Occasionally, I glance out of the window and see glints of light from apartment buildings, the glow of a cigarette in a dark window across the street.
Now and again I hear the gush of rubber on the street as a car passes slowly, probably a taxi looking for a fare, but all of it stays outside.
The kitchen is too strong a location, too purposeful to be invaded by the outside world. We go into kitchens and catch an atmosphere that inspires us, unconscious of the escape that we have found in such a special room.
We can learn a lot about life in a kitchen. Integrity is one thing a kitchen always keeps.
Scrubbed sinks and work surfaces never remove its character, years of use, aromas and garlic juices, damp spice powders, several sorts of oils have all seeped into the wood and imbibed themselves into the furniture.
I have tea cups and I have coffee cups, I wouldn’t use my tea cup for coffee, I know that somehow, and over time, the smell and taste of coffee has made its way into the porcelain. You’ll disagree, but I just feel that way about cups.
I like my tea to have integrity, kitchen-like tea.
Kitchen things have functions and intentions of use, I don’t use a steak knife to cut bread and I wouldn’t feel comfortable drinking juice from a plastic beaker.
It doesn’t matter how old and worn the tools are, they have a history known only by those who live in that kitchen.
A kitchen is a studio where regardless of skill levels there is always an opportunity to prove your worth. You can become ambitious in the kitchen for the very first time. Or, you can make a mess of dinner and that’s your business. It’s a personal space where we can allow things to happen and just see what comes of it.
If there ever was a place in this world where a person can get creative without first having to declare herself an artist, it would be the kitchen.
It’s as if we all know that we can do it, to a certain degree something good will come of our effort at making a meal, a club sandwich or having a go at that super looking recipe from a big fat cook book.
A kitchen and the cook , can have good days and bad days. The good ones are memories worth reflecting on.
It might turn out to be a laugh for everybody, or it might be something to gasp at, eat, and never forget.
Creativity is always somewhere in us, without choosing it or declaring intentions but to do our best to feed ourselves well, to be careful about mixing in the right amount of salt and vinegar, chopping vegetables to mouth sized cubes and keeping a balance between umpteen ingredients mixed in a pan, stirring them, adding water to create sauce, flames up and down, warming ovens to ensure that the whole meal will be served hot as should be.
A kitchen is a room full of life and potential, we know what to do when we enter with a hungry stomach, and a willingness to patiently go with the flow as we step down the hallway to discover our own creative potential.