When I was born my parents had a business designing (my mother) and building (my father) kitchens. They used to bring me with them from farmhouse to farmhouse. I would lie in my Moses basket while they took measurements and built new cupboards and farmer’s wives in starched aprons would make goo goo noises at me. The kitchen has always been the room I feel the most at home in. That must be my parents’ fault for taking me to so many of them, giving me warm and fuzzy early memories of that room.
The only issue I have with my current apartment is the kitchen. It’s part of the living room, what’s called an American kitchen. I don’t think they were designed for people who love to cook. It’s almost impossible to immerse yourself in the kitchen when people right next to you are watching TV or doing other living room stuff. Especially for someone like who likes music in the kitchen. Unfortunately, if you want an apartment in the city with space to park your car, you have to choose a new building. No new building gives the kitchen a room of its own. I knew it would be an issue for me, but I thought I could live with it. And I can. Especially since I can see the water.
Also, I’m an historian. Of course I’d rather live in an old building with lots of history and character.
But today was the type of day I really love. It was a day spent in the kitchen. First I made roast tomato soup with fresh basil. My son said he’d always wanted to try and make chocolate mousse, so we did. Now we have enough dessert to last us a week and we’ll be eating soup for the next three days. We were going to start on the lemon and marzipan cake but decided it was too late in the afternoon. We’re saving that for tomorrow.
My kitchen day was brought on because this morning I spent two hours editing Chocolates on My Pillow. I did make it out of my bathrobe before three o’clock. Way before. 10 a.m. Okay, 10.30 at the absolute latest.
Anne has a lot more to deal with than she did in Chocolates in the Ocean, and I make her to retreat to the kitchen. Amongst the mixing bowls, wooden spoons and melting chocolate, I allow her to relax. Days in the kitchen do the same for me. Some people run, some people do yoga, I cook. When I need a break, I retreat to the kitchen, open a cookbook and whisk and grate the hours away. I am utterly and completely in the moment.
On grey days like this when I don’t really want to be outside, that doesn’t seem like a bad place to be. Even this slightly annoying, open-plan American one.