The Kitchen Doesn't Make the Cook


I have moved approximately twenty times in twenty years. That means that I've had my fair share of small, rental kitchens with old appliances. My first college apartment had avocado green appliances and counter tops and this was 1988. It was a galley with barely enough room for one person. The oven door practically opened into the cupboard under the sink. My next apartment kitchen, large with plenty of cupboards, had appliances left from the 1930's. Although they looked great in my vintage kitchen, they were not very efficient. The refrigerator barely kept the food cold so I had to go to the market every day or two.

Finally, after years of being a renter, I purchased my own home. It had previously been owned by friends who were leaving to build their dream home. They had already remodeled this kitchen. It had plenty of cupboards, new counter tops and flooring. I was in heaven!! You could fit several people in it and it opened into the dining room and Florida room. Perfect for entertaining. There was only one problem, I practically wore out the floor with all the walking required to get from the sink to the stove and then to the fridge. Believe it or not, I actually missed my small kitchen. I finally got it. It's not the kitchen that makes the food. A small efficient kitchen can put out the same great food as a large,designer kitchen with all the latest gadgets. Small kitchens just require a little creativity.

When Julia Child lived in France, she had a tiny kitchen, one floor up from the salon with a dumbwaiter that only worked part of the time. It was in this kitchen that she learned to cook and entertain. It was in this kitchen that she started experimenting with recipes that she would later use in Mastering The Art of French Cooking. She even began giving cooking lessons in it. She and her husband, Paul, had to use a little imagination to get this little kitchen to perform. Paul hung pegboard on the walls and Julia hung all of her equipment. Paul drew an outline around each item so it would be put away in exactly the same spot. You see, Julia's small kitchen didn't stop her from improving her skills and it didn't stop her from entertaining. If you love to cook, you will do it anywhere.

Now back to me, (this is all about me, right??) I have come full circle. After divorce, remarriage, and relocation, I am now living in my childhood home. My house was built in 1925 and it has most of it's original features. The kitchen is small and has plenty of room for improvement. I keep threatening to enter it in one of those America's Ugliest Kitchen contests. For three years I have complained of all it's shortcomings but when my friend, Paul, came over recently he said,"It reminds me of my grandma's kitchen". I have now begun to look at it with nostalgia. This kitchen has served my family great meals for 35 years, just as it is. We've had birthdays, anniversaries and every other major occasion with food prepared from this kitchen and it was great!

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