Wednesday, February 19, 2014

7 Things I Love About My Kitchen

My favorite place to be in my house is my kitchen. I love to cook in it, I love to clean it, and I love the whole idea of a room with the sole purpose of preparing meals and gathering together. It truly is the heart of the home. I cook all the time and I often hear people say that the reason they don't cook is because they don't want to be stuck in the kitchen all the time. I completely disagree. I love being "stuck" in the kitchen. I grew up helping in the kitchen in not only my house, but both of my grandmothers. Now my boys love to help in the kitchen too. They will often (excitedly) drop whatever they are doing if I ask them to come help make breakfast or dinner. There is no t.v. to disrupt conversation, there is always something for everyone to do, and we make good things to eat there. Who wouldn't love that? Here are 7 of my favorite things in my kitchen. Prepare for a long post. 

 1.)    The white cabinets. I am a log home lover. I love dark, cozy rooms. But there was something about the white cabinets in my kitchen that I fell in love with the first time we saw our house. They are not fancy, and I’m not very fond of the hardware, but I love how bright they are. I spend a ton of time in my kitchen, and the brightness of the room makes me want to be there more. When I pin kitchen ideas on Pinterest, I still like to look at the log cabin-y ones, but I love, love, love the kitchens with white cabinets.  

2.)    My cookbook collection. I couldn’t cook when I got married. I was a young bride, and could barely boil water (actually, that’s overstating it – I didn’t know how to boil it at all. Not even a little bit). I cooked my first ham with the plastic still on it. Completely covered with spices and sauces, but with the plastic still on. Fail. When we moved to Germany 3 years later, I didn’t find a job right away, and found comfort in reading cookbooks to learn how to cook. I started with the easy recipes with ingredients I recognized, but I soon tried more difficult ones, and came to love cooking. After years of trying new recipes, I finally became comfortable enough in the kitchen to develop my own recipes, just throwing in a little of this and that, and easily substituting what I didn’t have. I still love looking at cookbooks, but now, I use the recipes as inspiration instead of copying exactly what they say. That’s why when I post recipes, I am not always specific in the measurements. I rarely measure anything anymore unless I'm baking bread or cookies. My cookbooks tell the history of my cooking experience. I have the cookbooks I received as wedding gifts which hold my "go-to" soup recipes, I have the cookbook my mom got from her wedding that survived our house fire when I was little. I have the cookbook we got when we really got into grilling, and the cookbook Jeremy got me this year that’s all about making cheese. Every cookbook has a story and I wouldn’t trade any of them.
The cookbook that survived a fire
3.)    My kitchen window. As simple as it sounds, one of the things on my wish list when we started looking for a house was a window over my kitchen sink. We’ve lived in many places, and none of them have had a window over the sink. I remember standing at my grandma’s kitchen window when I was young. You could see the garden, cherry trees, the church where I learned to ride my bike, and the shed with an upstairs that seemed to be full of hidden treasures. It made doing dishes so much more pleasant when you had something to look at. Now, I can keep an eye on my boys in the back yard, watch the woodpecker pecking away at the dead tree, see my garden grow, or daydream the time away as I wash dishes. Here is what I have on my window sill that make me smile.

v  A cobalt blue jar, which I wish were part of a bigger collection

v  A glass clock that we bought in Moreno, Italy, an island just a boat ride away from Venice

v  A miniature Colts mug that my husband got as a gift from an employee. It’s pretty kitschy, but I think it’s funny to offer it to guests when they request a cup of coffee.

v  A “home” sign that we bought downtown while we were waiting to close on our first house.

v  A little bird my nephew gave me the last time I saw him.

v  A glass jar with beads glued on it. I made it over Christmas break when I was feeling crafty…but not that crafty (anyone can glue beads on a jar, right?)

v  A picture of Moreno, Italy, taken from the Venetian coast.
4.)    My Spice Cupboard. It doesn’t always look like this, but I love it when it does. Just a few weeks ago, my spices were stored on a low shelf in a pantry cabinet, but I recently did some rearranging so I could have them right beside my stove. They are categorized by type: salts, garlic and onion seasonings, spicy spices, herbs, ethnic spices, random spices, not otherwise specified. It’s all so neat and organized. Ask me for anything, and I can find it immediately. Love. It.

5.)    My cutting board and rolling pin. These were both gifts from my Gran before she passed away. She was known for her baking, specifically apple pies. I don’t remember ever being in her house when it wasn’t filled with the scent of her cooking. These were 2 tools that she used all the time and I cherish them greatly. Just the other day, I used the rolling pin to roll out cookie dough. I thought of my Gran the whole time.

6.)    My bread maker. Jeremy surprised me with this a few years ago, and it’s one of my favorite gifts he’s ever given me. If you like freshly baked bread, then seriously, you should get one. I can prep a loaf of bread in less than 5 minutes, and in the 3 hours it takes to mix, raise, and bake, the house fills with the most comforting smell. And the taste is so fresh that you can just eat it right off the loaf with a little olive oil. The ingredients are so inexpensive, last for a long time, and honestly, you can throw it together with a minute’s notice.

 7.)    Our map of Schweinfurt. This hangs over our kitchen table. It was a gift from our really good friends with whom we traveled all over western Europe together. We moved back to the states before them and this was their parting gift to us. Schweinfurt is where Jeremy was stationed and this map shows both army bases in the city, as well as several surrounding villages we frequently visited. It also shows the little town where we lived, Poppenhausen, in the upper left corner. You can even see our street name, Frankenstrasse on the very edge of the picture. I like looking at this every day because it reminds me of the 3 1/2 years we spent there and how it shaped us as individuals and as a couple. The boys like looking at it too, and will point to things, and ask, "What's this?" We can say, "That's where mommy and daddy used to live. We'll take you there when you get bigger," and be proud to share that part of our lives with them. It hasn't always hung in our kitchen, but for now, I like it there.
 So that's my tour of my 7 favorite things in my kitchen. Do you have a favorite thing in your kitchen? Feel free to share! 

1 comment:

  1. I love that my kitchen gathers friends! I love looking out my window and walking Peyton swing. My favorite place it my deck!


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