December 18, 2010

Kitchen Magic

I spent another afternoon in the kitchen (yogurt, bread, more gifts, a brave attempt at something resembling curry) today. Sure, my feet are a bit sore from lots of standing, but in all I'm pretty happy just now. Which leads me to wonder, why do I like the kitchen so much?

First, I like to eat. And I like to eat things with recognizable ingredients.

I like to assemble things. There's something appealing to a pile of parts and some instructions, and something satisfying about getting a useful or beautiful thing out of the raw pieces. Quilt kits, LEGO sets, IKEA furniture, recipes.

Often the kitchen is calm and quiet, with certain exceptions. Here's a space where I'm accessible ("Mama, look at this!"), but where it's often more fufilling for Caitlyn to invent games that involve other spaces.

The kitchen is the warm center of the house. This time of year, it's easy to be warm if I'm I the kitchen, soup on the stove, bread in the oven. If I can justify a batch of cookies, even better.

But the kitchen is also the center in the figurative sense. This is where we discuss our days, make our plans; this is where friends gather. This is the heart. At the risk of sounding insecure, I suppose I like it because here I feel part of that essential center.

Or maybe it really only is just about the food. Let's see, isn't there something here that needs batch-testing?

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