28 September 2010

Myself and the kitchen

{cookie mise en place}

I have been finding myself in the kitchen lately. That is, both finding myself in the kitchen and finding myself in the kitchen. I've been cooking, baking, washing, cutting, scrubbing, peeling, serving, reading, mopping, and playing; and in the (many) days that it has taken me to adjust to living in a new town and a new house my favorite days, and the ones that I have felt most at home, are the one that I've spent in the kitchen.

{granola bars in the making}

Our kitchen here is small, but I'm quickly learning to love it. With a little trial and error, it has become an efficient space—with occasional running down to the basement for the less frequently used items. I share this space with Z-cakes' kitchen and it is a rare moment when she isn't joining me to add a little more salt and pepper to her pizza or building a train track across her stove-top. I am never lonely in the kitchen.


The kitchen reminds me of abundance. Even when we feel poor, our kitchen is filled with an abundance of food and love. Not to mention an abundance of recipes both old and new. My shelves are full of bowls and books that I love and my silly collection of salts makes me feel prepared for anything. I remember the people who have given me gifts for my kitchen, or the person who recommended a particular ingredient, and I'm reminded that our friends are abundant.

{obligatory peach picture}

Spending more time in the kitchen makes me want to eat a healthy diet. I spend more time planning meals and waste less of our produce. I start to pretend that I make everything from scratch and never have to buy things that come in packages—though that is far from true.

{what we ate, summer 2010}

When I'm in the kitchen I think of all the other women I've watched working at their own counter tops or stirring the soup on the stove. I think of my mother canning pickles, and I think of my grandmother boiling potatoes. I think of Charlotte making bread and I'm grateful for the time I spent learning by her side so that I could feel that "sticky but not sticking" consistency of perfect dough. When I make my own noodles I think of my grandmother's chicken noodle soup and unbeatable cinnamon rolls and I'm happy that I begged my mom to loan me her pasta machine enough for her to give in.


{grandpa's tomatoes}

I'm grateful that spending my time in the kitchen means that I'm able to keep our most-used room in the house relatively clean. I'm glad that I use the time to meditate and remind myself of what makes me happy; it really doesn't take much. And I'm grateful for the responsibility I have to feed a family and set a good example. I feel fortunate that I enjoy cooking and food as much as I do so that feeding my family rarely feels like a chore and is usually fun. And I especially enjoy the fruits of my time in the kitchen in the form of family dinner, packed lunches, and eating cookies on the front step in the evening.

"Learn to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" —Julia Child

Happy Wednesday friends. Coming up, more about those little things that make me happy



Hannah said...

Nothing beats a homemade granola bar. I have a chocolate-peanut butter granola bar that is so delish. (And...more of a dessert than a healthy snack, but still...) Let me know if your interested and I'll pass it on.

I loved this post. It is true. Most of my memories revolve around the kitchen and good food. And your food looks amazing. I'm sure your kids will feel the same when they think back on their life in your home.

Hil said...

Love all of these pictures! Such a great post.

Misplaced Country Girl said...

What a fantastic post! I feel the same way about my tiny little kitchen. And are we separated at birth? My grandma was known for her cinnamon rolls and noodles too! I absolutely love to make her noodles. It feels like she's in the kitchen with me smiling at me with pride!

Your pictures are beautiful! I love that table and chairs.

michelle said...

Oh, this post just makes me happy. I have the same feelings about being in my kitchen. And now I want to take more pictures of my kitchen activities, you're are gorgeous!

MRS.BANN said...


Anonymous said...

Love the Bear Lake pictures! I wish I could feel serenity in my kitchen. LOL! Right now it feels like craziness in there to me. I told Scott, all I ever do when I get home from work is work on dinner, get a load of dishes done, and then it's like time for bathing, etc. Then I'm exhausted and I have leftover dishes for the next day, and so it begins... Phew! Jealous of your cooking/baking talent! Love ya!

Staci said...

I wish I'd have spent more time with Grandma or your mom to learn how to make those pickles! I suppose I should still do that while your mom is around to teach me.

My in-laws think I'm nuts for making my noodles, but how can I resist when they're so easy and they make homemade Chicken Noodle soup taste so good?!

Do you know how to make your noodles curl (think egg noodles that you buy - they're wavy)? Can you do that with a pasta maker?

Sarah said...

I love being in the kitchen. I have been sick lately, so it is harder for me to get in the kitchen. But your pictures make me want to get in their and bake something. Lou is just getting to where she always wants to be in the kitchen when I am. I am excited for when she is my little soux chef.

Kimberlee said...

The granola was fabulous I can attest to that. Can't wait to hear about more things that make you happy.

michelle said...

I'm back to reaffirm how very much I love this post.

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