The Kitchen – It is either a place to throw together some good old KD, nuke something in the microwave or an inspired cook’s workshop where sumptuous meals are created and always the place where mouthwatering aromas emanate, kicking endorphins into overdrive.
The kitchen ‘is’ the households’ central nerve centre. Its importance ranks before any other room in the house, be it the living room, the adjoining dinning room, master bedroom or the bathrooms.
Well, ok, even though I religiously avoided it for the first 20 or so years of my life, I’ve come to love working in the kitchen. Pretty much any kitchen too.
I love what the kitchen stands for. It means good food, great company and a wee bit too much wine with dinner. If you’re not broke, like to try new things, don’t eat out or order in a lot, your kitchen represents the ultimate horn of plenty. In this temple to things that taste good I must meet at least two daily deadlines; sometimes at the drop of a hat.
At it’s stations, countless delectable culinary creations are cobbled together, new recipes are born and mistakes quietly or humiliatingly and in-front of suddenly mean looking dinner guests slipped into the rubbish bin before reaching for a nearby phone.
While I admit that I don’t prepare cookbook recipes the same way twice and promulgate improvisation to be very alive and kicking in this kitchen, the same daring and at time cunning manipulation of ingredients inevitably gets the better of me when I try my ham-fisted mitts at baking.
Disaster always lurks when I attempt this science like discipline, something I had little interest for in school. Lucky for me my ‘better half’ handles that oven trick with the greatest of ease, much to my bellies delight.
Consider that the kitchen as we know it got its start as bit of fire in a hole in the ground. As long as there is fire i.e. gas range, barbeque or fire pit, a creative or suddenly challenged cook is capable of producing roughly the same result as a chef styling away in a grandiosely appointed kitchen.
And who doesn’t dream of that magazine cover version of the home kitchen? Not being one able to boast about any skill or much experience in the renovation field, the kitchen is very likely the only room of a house that I would even consider remodeling or sinking some serious coin into but…
The Work Shop – When you compare kitchens to wood workshops and avid cooks to equally avid woodworkers, it is not at all surprising that the obsessive natures of these enthusiasts are pretty much identical. If I had a well-appointed woodwork shop I’d probably argue long and hard to have it situated right next to the kitchen. These creative spaces share much in common. For one, they share the same humble beginnings in the mists of time.
Let me illustrate. We already know what the modern kitchen evolved from and thus it’s no great leap to consider that the modern woodwork shop started millions of years ago as a pointy chunk of rock.
Depending on your skill levels and the quality of your chosen tools, the cook or a woodworker can conjure up some heavenly and amazing feasts or blunder along to another obviously rough and borderline useful bird housing project, whacked together with so many too big nails.
Consider for a moment the matter of aromas of cooking foods and the fragrances of raw woods. Spices and cooking aromas drift from the kitchen through the house while the pungent scents of exotic woods fills the workshop during various processes that shape the end result.
From custom cutting boards or work tables, rolling pins using rare woods to hand carved wooden spoons’, is it any surprise that these objects fashioned in the workshop end up in the kitchen?
Then there is the little matter of tools’n things; read gadgets.
Something that will probably go on for as long as man survives on this blue marble is trying to satisfy his unending need for tools. You can never have too many tools in these arenas of production. And the suppliers of fine utensils and tools are all to keenly aware of this.
Offer up a new tool or utensil and rabid cooks and crafts persons alike snap it up, before its real purpose is even revealed. It looks neat and you don’t yet own one of them.
Just think about it. How many tools, utensils or gadgets claim storage space in your kitchen/workshop? The ones you ‘never ever’ use, the ones that you will never ever use. Ever. A handful at least. A rack or wall full in the extreme cases of ‘need-one-of-eachitis’.
I could go on, escalating the simple function of these spaces, spiraling out of control as I try to keep up with the latest offerings of the innumerable glossy magazines that cater to glassy eyed people like me. But I’m getting off right here.
Got to go stir the soup with that certain wooden spoon (sorry, I didn’t make that one), however I did build that soup in that food related work shop.