The Kitchen Defined

Post by community member:

Merriam-Webster’s defines ‘kitchen’ as 1 : a place (as a room) with cooking facilities 2 : the personnel that prepares, cooks, and serves Origin: Middle English kichene, from Old English cycene, from Late Latin coquina, from Latin coquere to cook.

That’s a lot of cooking. But a kitchen is so much more than that.

I define a kitchen as a place where some of my most important conversations take place. Where some of my most memorable family moments have occurred. Where laughter, tears, smiles, hugs and bits and pieces of relationships have all played out. Some of them while I was cooking.

It’s a place where you teach your children and grandchildren how to make chocolate chip cookies and fresh bread. In the process, you teach them patience (waiting for the cookies to be baked and cooled), cleanliness (cleaning up the mess), order (everything in its place), and fun (singing, dancing, laughing). I’ve also noticed that while distracted by all that baking, children seem more likely to share their feelings on things that they would otherwise keep to themselves. Those are precious moments. Especially since as they get older they tend to clam up and roll their eyes a lot.

The kitchen door is the door that those closest to you use to enter your home. If there’s a knock or a ‘yoo-hoo’ at the kitchen door, it’s someone you love–your neighbor or best friend coming in to return something, borrow something, or just spend time with you. Over your coffee or tea, you’ll hear what’s going on in their lives (and sometimes other people’s lives), you get to let off steam or share concerns with someone you trust with part of your heart. You laugh or cry, or just make someone’s day a little better by listening, and they’ll do the same. Because they trust you and care about you. They know you’re there for them, and you know they feel that way because they use the kitchen door.

The kitchen table sees and hears a lot of things. Confessions. Wishes. Pleas. Apologies and forgiveness. Silent tears on hard days and smiles on good ones. Your family grows around the kitchen table, over breakfast ‘good-mornings’ and dinnertime conversations. It’s where you come back together after a day apart and re-learn each other, making sure that family bonds are never broken. And later, much later, you can sit there and remember all of those moments, all of the things you shared with each other. You can rewind your memory and watch your children grow again. And probably cry a little, but that’s OK. They’re good memories. They’re memories your children are making in their own kitchens with their families, while they remember the ones they made with you all those years ago. And sometimes they probably cry a little too, but that just means you did something right. So it’s OK.

I think Merriam-Webster should add a definition to their entry of ‘kitchen’. Maybe something like 3 : A place (as room) where relationships grow and memories are made. The most important room in the home.

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