Monday, July 26, 2010

My Italian Grandmother

"I want you to pretend your kitchen has come to life as a person."

Hmmmm... This research study I'm doing is interesting to me.  The initial screening questions must have gone deeper into something besides just my cooking habits and how often, where, and when I like to eat out.  It is dubbed a "restaurant survey," but I'm still writing about my kitchen, and in an awfully figurative way that requires a level of creative thought and writing which I would think the average person doesn't practice much.

So, anyway, here goes.  My personification of my kitchen, discussing herself, and how she would feel if she met my ideal kitchen:  (Yep, that was the assignment!)

My kitchen is like an Italian grandmother, having always made something delicious and wanting you to want to eat it.  Lots of it.  She works hard with real ingredients, in real cookware... stoneware and cast iron and wood that's been lovingly oiled over years of use.

She is not at all precise with a recipe, but only because she doesn't need to be.  She knows the best teaspoons are measured in her palm, and that the bread is ready when it "smells ready."  She does want everything in its place, however, and "its place" is both practical and lovely, if it is possible for it to be.

My kitchen would be sheepish if she met my ideal kitchen.  She might feel a little insecure, but it a fiercely proud way, if she saw the larger, stainless steel stove with six burners instead of her four... with two ovens attempting to shame her one.  She would know that these things are far preferable for cooking for a large family--and for the inevitable stragglers that wander in to join them--but she has come to know and love the tools she's been given enough to shy away from coveting her neighbor's anything.  So she would blush, and blunder, and turn back to her broth with a chuckle and a sigh.

She'd turn around and give ear once again to her favorite classical music.  She loves the strains... going lovely here, and frigtening there, and loud, and soft, and gentle, and grand.  

She'll just listen to that for a moment or two, putting aside her brief struggle with discontent, and then she'll reach across the granite to gently take your hand and squeeze.  She'll let you know that it is all okay... that the momentary struggle has passed, and that this is, in fact, the best place in the world to be.

Then she'll slice you another piece, slather it thick with butter, and push it deep into your soul with a squeeze and a smile.

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