Over the years I’ve cursed the kitchens that I’ve had. Most have been way too small. When we bought our first home I was so thrilled with its newness that I didn’t really pay attention to the lack of cabinet space or the lack of counter top. But once in it, I discovered it had that big corner cabinet that ate things. I had to get on my hands and knees, remove the front stuff, and crawl into it to find things that worked their way into the corner. It also had that over the refrigerator cabinet. I wasn’t married to the Jolly Green Giant! I’m tall but even when standing on a chair I couldn’t really get to anything that went in there.
Kitchen number two was huge but very old. It had lots of cabinet space and cabinets that went to the ceiling. Nothing was placed above shelf number one. It also had a pantry. Kitchen pantries are wonderful things. We planned to renovate the house and that spacious kitchen with it’s breakfast nook was going to be the showcase! After about two weeks of living there, I discovered the mice owned the cabinets. It was horrible! We set traps. We got a cat! My husband got transferred and we moved out!
We moved into a two-bedroom condo with a long skinny kitchen. I now had more room to cook than ever before, except no one could work in the kitchen if I was in there. I twas too narrow to pass another person. After about a year, we went to a larger condo. My girls had separate bedrooms and their own bathroom. Thank goodness! And we weren’t all sharing the same bathroom in the morning! The condo had a U-shaped kitchen. It had two of those lower cabinets that tucked into the corners. I was smarter. I blocked the inside of the cabinet so nothing could get into the corners. It wasn’t a bad kitchen but wasn’t fabulous, either. Now I had teens and everyone was eating at different times. I needed the big freezer and there was no room for one. Nor was there room for a larger refrigerator.
I was working full time and keeping a spotless kitchen was impossible. One long counter was nothing but appliances. Coffee pot, toaster, microwave, my big mixer that wouldn’t have fit into any cabinet, they lined up like sentries waiting for me. I tried to make sure the dishwasher was stacked before I left for work, but by the time I got home the kitchen had been used by the girls. I always walked into a mess. Yes, the one daughter had a job. She’d come through the door and had about twenty minutes to change, eat, and go to work. The other volunteered and didn’t have time to “clean up”, besides it wasn’t her mess. I’d come home tired and faced their messes. Clean up and fix dinner for hubby. Those were my SuperMom years and not a time I care to dwell on. At least when they went to college, they did it without college loans!
The biggest problem was that kitchen was stuffed into a dark corner of the building. My husband wanted to sit and relax, maybe catch the evening news. If I had stopped to join him, I would have fallen asleep and nothing would have been done! So I was left to handle a dirty kitchen along with everything else. It also had a white floor! Never have a kitchen with a white floor! True, I’m compulsive about things. I swear if water was spilled on the floor, it became a sticky mess! I hated being in the dark hole.
The next kitchen wasn’t even big enough to call a kitchen. We bought a tiny house to fix up and rent. It probably had five feet of counter, a sink, six inches of counter and a stove. The other side was the refrigerator, washer, dryer, and hot water heater! Omigod! We ripped out the old cabinets and started. I used the gas grill for everything! Yep, outside in my robe fixing breakfast. The neighbors laughed. I can cook anything on a grill!
Now I’m in this old house. We started on the kitchen but it’s never been completed. This kitchen has the lowest ceiling in the house. Twelve feet. The upper cabinets go to the ceiling! We put a new refrigerator in and had to cut out part of the cabinet across from it so that we could open the refrigerator door. You don’t want to know the rest. Galley kitchen doesn’t describe it.
But through my entire life I’ve known folks with beautiful kitchens. My mom had one. She was very gourmet and the kitchen was huge. It was custom designed for her. My friend’s mom had one, but she rarely cooked. She had a woman who did most of the cooking. Over the years, I’ve had friends with gorgeous kitchens. One friend had a kitchen that I would have killed for, she never used it. Her idea of cooking was to open three cans of soup, pour it over the chicken, and place it on the oven. Another friend had a kitchen that looked like something from a magazine and she didn’t know how to cook. Breakfast was cereal and her husband took her out every night.
A dear friend finally got her dream kitchen when she and her husband retired. It was used twice a year when the children came home, once for Thanksgiving and again in June for her birthday. Two sets of ovens, one contained six ovens of various sizes, the other only four. Three sinks. She used one sink – the little one! Three dishwashers and she only used the mini one. Two stoves. One with six burners and one with three. Guess which one she used? She didn’t want to mess up her pretty kitchen so her hubby took her out to eat unless the weather was bad. Then they’d stay home and share a can of soup or have a grilled cheese sandwich. Seh had a party at her house. Everything was catered and brought in!
Except for my years in the two condos, I’ve kept a garden, prepared food for canning or freezing, made my own jellies and jams. I’ve always baked my own bread (and not in a machine) and made my pastas from scratch. Maybe someday I’ll have that picture perfect kitchen. I wonder if I’ll still remember how to cook?
How’s your kitchen? Do you really use it?