I know I’m going to cry. Very soon, my pots and pans, dishes and glassware, cutting boards and corkscrews will be moving into a kitchen I’ve ever only imagined. I have baked, fried, chopped, boiled, canned, mixed and served food in the same 132 square feet for 22 years. I am riding an emotional teeter-totter.
Excitement bubbles up inside me as I think about the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer that will not dominate the countertops or throw my back out while removing it from a cupboard. Self-closing drawers and quartz countertops await. Hello, walk-in pantry! Keep the clutter off that island because I think I’m going to take a nap on it.
If you know me well, you know this is a distinct possibility.
It’s important to me that you like it too. After all, I want you to love the food pictures I share. This space will provide the simple, bright and cheerful backdrop to up my photography game. Tears of joy, right?
Those might come later but first there will be a steady flow of tears of remembrance.
oster versus kitchen aid
That stand mixer I covet? It will replace an Oster mixer/blender/food processor that was given to us for our wedding shower by Marty’s grandpa and grandma. The shower was held in the basement of my childhood church and, as with most church showers, there was protocol involved. The gift opening was done after an opening introduction and prayer, a buffet of every kind of salad and dessert imaginable, and a thoughtful and cute program. But Grandpa Anderson didn’t care for protocol and was not a member of this church and he wanted us to open their gift the minute they arrived. He was pleased with their gift and couldn’t wait any longer to give it to us. So, I begged pardon for breaking protocol and opened this generous gift. It was as clean as it would ever be again and begging me to mix up that first batch of Soft Molasses Cookies or Grandma Opal’s Coffee Cake.
After 22 years, it is ready for retirement. The blender and food processor have been upgraded and the mixer itself is no longer white but an aged yellow; however, it still makes awesome cookies and cakes.
Maybe that Kitchen Aid can wait a little longer.
cookies and pies
Speaking of cookies, the original, white formica countertops have provided the space for annual Christmas and Valentine cookie sessions. Hearts, trees, stars, and gingerbread men have been shaped and decorated on this surface. Countless pie crusts have been rolled out and crimped before finding their way to the oven. The food I make may photograph better on quartz but I seriously doubt anyone will taste the difference.
mishaps make memories
Many culinary mishaps occurred in this kitchen too and some have attained legendary status. One of our favorites was when our boys decided they were qualified to make their own ice cream shakes. Marty and I were in the family room downstairs when we heard the unmistakable sound of something hitting the floor hard, followed by the tell-tale words, “Uh-oh!” When I reached the kitchen, all I saw was the aftermath of a chocolate shake hitting the floor and exploding out of the container and onto almost every nearby surface including the ceiling. I wish I could say I was the kind of laid-back mom who would relieve the tension by laughing and then hand them each a roll of paper towels. I wasn’t. My focus was on the milky mess that would require more than paper towels to fix and certainly couldn’t wait until the next day to clean properly. Maybe those are the lessons we learn to prepare us to be really good grandparents?
signs of change
There are two signs in our kitchen/dining room. One says “Cooking is Love Made Visible” and the other says “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”. They are a constant reminder that:
- the love I put in my food is more important than the size of my kitchen, the age of my cookware or the quality of my appliances, and
- gratitude is the most important ingredient in any meal.
As I pack up my “office”, rest assured the memories, lessons and recipes that have developed there go with the Oster mixer, the cookie cutters and the chocolate syrup. May the next family who calls this home be blessed by the food and memories they make.
Cheers! Salute! and Welcome! to the next chapter of my culinary diary!