On kitchens…

In Editorial on October 22, 2010 at 10:57 am

My best friend is a newspaper publisher.  He says being a newspaper publisher is akin to being G-d.  Events, big and small, do not really happen if they are not reported by his papers and, like G-d, he occasionally speaks wisdom from high peaks.

Welcome to my mountain.

Today, I will hold forth my wisdom on kitchens.

My kitchen is my man cave.

You will not find granite countertops, a copper Viking range hood, or a sink filled from spout “inspired by the graceful neck of a swan”.

My kitchen has battered cabinets.  I once suggested we remove the doors so I can see what is on the shelves within.  While I never hear harpy-like screeches of “Wipe your hands before you touch those cabinet doors”, I was out-voted on the door removal project.

And it was a tie vote.

I can cut a pomegranate on my countertop, sans cutting board, without fretting about staining intricate marble patterns costing hundreds per square foot.  My stainless steel utility table does not de-laminate if I set a hot kettle on it.  Some of the drawers close.  The ones that do not close make it easier for me to quickly find my Microplane.  I have so many pots and pans, ladles, and other kitchen do-dads swinging from hooks that kitchen visitors experience hallucinations that they are watching a Gypsy wagon pass by.

My cookware is a gamische of brands.  I buy cookware for an intended purpose, not because the handles match the controls on my range.

I visit a lot of kitchens that are museums to the lost art of cooking…only the velvet ropes are missing.  These kitchens are not fun to cook in, so their owners most frequently use them to unwrap bad takeaway food which they carefully gulp down over a highly polished triple sink.

The machinery of cooking (mixers, fryers, slow-cookers, food processors, etc.) competes for space on every flat surface in my kitchen.  I close my eyes in sadness when I visit someone’s kitchen were the only item on the countertop is an over-priced object-d’art or the portly figure of a glazed, porcelain chef.

The porcelain chef is weeping porcelain tears at being so-marooned.

Dried Italian peppers swing jauntily from my ceiling next to a braid of garlic.  Baskets of shallots vie for space next to bowls of fruit.

We actually eat the fruit.

Bottles of colored cooking potions are arrayed next to the stove, next to the sink, and on top of the refrigerator.  Herbs and spices are in their original containers across from the stove and are arranged in no particular order.

The contemporary American kitchen explains much of contemporary America’s herbless and spiceless food.  If the spices are kept behind a cabinet door, they are out of sight and out of mind.


If I spill a bit of paprika on the floor it does not cause me to abandon my cooking so I can immediately clean it up before it stains the carpet.

People who carpet their kitchens should also carpet their shower stalls.

Some men have workshop caves filled with all sorts of carpentry tools, bins of nails, and half-completed birdhouses.  I am suspicious of the carpentry abilities of any man whose tools are neatly arranged on pegboard, with silhouettes of each gleaming tool painted in each “proper” place.

My kitchen is my workshop and the tools in it are used, not admired.  The skillets are black on the bottom because they frequently see fire.

I understand why so many homeowners want to “get out of the kitchen”.  I would too, if mine was a barren, IKEA-inspired wasteland.

The kitchen is the beating heart and breathing lungs of my home.  It is where my visitors stare in wonderment and awe.  Clouds of flour dust swirl in the sunlight that streams in the windows overlooking the street.

A greyhound pads through, hoping for a nibble or a rub on the head.

The “five-second rule” is in force.

It is my kingdom and the mountain from where I speak.


…Let’s eat!

  1. Does the five second rule count if the greyhound take a quick lick first? 😉

  2. Well said! My folks had a carpeted kitchen back in the day…still gives me the willies just thinking about it!

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