Friday, November 26, 2010

The Legacy of the Kitchen

The kitchen. The smells and memories of a kitchen stay with us for a lifetime. We so often are pulled back to a certain occasion or moment, by the food cooked inside of a kitchen. It evokes special feelings and emotions inside of us…simply by a smell or a taste.


That fascinates me.



I love bottled coke. Not just because it’s fun and cool to drink out of (although that is a huge part), but because it brings fond memories of my childhood. I remember drinking out of a bottle at dinnertime or when I’d visit my dad at his office. It brings a smile to my face and love to my heart.


I yearn for certain foods at certain times. Pizza seems like it’s almost mandatory after a full day of working in the yard just like leftover turkey sandwiches are a must for dinner after a big Thanksgiving lunch. It’s how I was raised.


I recall certain foods that I’ve never seemed to be able to recreate to the same perfection as my mom did. She’d cook chili, fritos, and cheese on a cookie sheet and it was so delicious. Or she’d melt cheese in a corn tortilla and roll it up for us as a before-dinner snack. My grandma made sopapillas. I crave these sometimes.


I just love how our memories are tied up in food. It’s a way of solidifying a moment in time by using our senses. Any time we meet up with a friend, it’s usually over food. Celebrations are over food and oftentimes grieving brings in with it…food.


What kitchen smells do you savor from your childhood? What dish do you crave that you’ve never been able to have again; for it’s lost somewhere in the memory of your past? What traditions do you carry on, not because they are chosen necessarily – but because they are comfortable reminders of a way of growing up?


The next time you’re in your kitchen, think about what legacies you are leaving your children. Embrace the dishes they want you to make for them and enjoy the fact that you are stamping a part of their memory forever…with the smell, taste, and enjoyment…of food.

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