I don’t have a fancy kitchen. No island chopping block, no granite counter tops. There’s a fake Linoleum floor and a 20-year-old microwave. And there’s the unfortunate avocado green tile my landlady had cheaply (and badly) installed years before I moved in.
But it’s my kitchen, flawed as it is. And on the upside, the sun spills through the bank of south facing windows in the mornings. It’s got lots of storage. And more than half a dozen people can fit in there, snug, sure, but happy and well-fed and likewise libated.
Recently I’ve been thinking about a woman and her kitchen. How she makes it her own over many years, and how invariably, the kitchen becomes the heart of the home.
I looked around my kitchen. My funky, smallish kitchen in a rented house. And realized I’d made it my own. My own custom kitchen. Here are my five favorite things. Today. Tomorrow I could pick five more things.
1. Spooners. They look like this:
I’d never heard of them before Barbara died. She had a collection of them; small Depression glass cups meant to hold teaspoons. I helped myself to several because, well, Babs would have insisted. And danged if I haven’t become accustomed to reaching over my sink for a teaspoon while anyone watching scratches their head. Spooners? Yeah. Spooners. Dig it!
2. Lots of little dishes
We go to Marukai, the Japanese supermarket in these parts, and I spend way too much time pawing the crockery. I bought a few little dishes years ago, found that I used them daily, and so keep a stockpile. When the nits were small these were perfect dishes to use for the tiny portions of many things they liked; three olives, a scrambled egg, five baby carrots. I still use them, for everything from sea salt to used tea bags. Functional cuteness.
3. Kitchen Ipod
Because a kitchen without music isn’t much of a kitchen, in my book. And because it is well known I can’t cook anything without dancing.
4. Grandma’s Silver Teapot
Used every single day in my tea-drinking household. I don’t know how my Irish Gran would have felt about my marrying an Englishman (although he’d have charmed the Guinness right out of her hands), but I do know she’d be pleased that her great- grandchildren use her teapot to pour their tea every morning and every night. The boy has already claimed this for his own kitchen one day. That makes me smile.
5. Sea Salt
When I moved out of my mom’s house at 18, I made a point of upgrading my grocery list. Real butter, thank you, not that fake margarine crap. And baguettes. And real cheese and olives. No wonder my family laughed and called me an insufferable yuppie. Fortunately, by the time I discovered the wonders of sea salt, they had stopped laughing.
What makes your kitchen your own?