The kitchen is my favorite room in a house, because it is where families gather. To me, that is the most important thing. So many of the memories people have of growing up revolve around the kitchen. My childhood memories concern the kitchens in my grandparents ‘homes.
My mother’s family lived in a row house in the city. The rooms were all small, and that included the kitchen. In the summertime, when we’d visit, the back door of the house would be left open. People would be sitting on the back porch and in the kitchen, talking and laughing, while my grandmother made dinner. There was no air-conditioning, but I don’t ever remember feeling too hot. There was always a breeze coming through, along with the sounds of traffic and kids playing ball in the street.
My father’s family liver on a farm in the country, and their house had a huge kitchen with windows on three sides. It seems like the windows were always open and the curtains blowing with the breeze. The main door to the house was almost never used. Everyone came in through the kitchen, and sat at the big table in the middle of the room. When dinner was being prepared, all the women would bustle around, while the men sat at the table talking about farm prices. Sometimes my grandmother wouldn’t even sit down during dinner, but would be refilling bowls of food and people’s glasses. From outside ,we could hear the cows in the field near the house.
These two kitchens are the background for some of my happiest memories. From the beginning of time, human beings have gathered together near the fire where the food was being prepared. I hope that never changes.