Sunday, August 20, 2006

Claustrophobia Sets In

I was working in the kitchen this morning, it always seems to need cleaning for some reason, and I had a thought - rare for me (the thought not the cleaning). It would be interesting to do a study of kitchens over time, because I believe they reflect society in general.

In a movie called “The Little Shop Around the Corner” Kralik, the lead character asks Mr. Pirovitch about rent on a three room apartment, with a kitchen, bedroom and a room for entertaining. Pirovitch responds with something along the lines of “a separate room for entertaining? What are you an ambassador? You entertain in the kitchen… a real friend comes after dinner.” Though just a story, I do think it reflects the attitudes of times gone by where most entertaining was done in the kitchen. Even after the evolution of the living room folks tended to gravitate to the kitchen. All right, that is usually where the beer and food was, so there may have been an ulterior motive, but sufficed to say the kitchen seems to still hold the potential for a gathering place provided it is large enough. Mine is about the size of a galley on a relatively small boat.

While this is very efficient, it doesn’t lend itself to entertaining. I have seen an attempt on the part of the kitchen industry to to revitalize the kitchen as a gathering place. They have doent is by creating more open space, islands where you can cook and visit at the same time, and built in wine chillers.

My kitchen, however, must be one of the “for worse” parts the priest was babbling about during the wedding. With Ms. Phos, two helper huskies (can’t cook without them), and me in there at the same time it is hard to tell what is happening - a wrestling match, a small circus, or someone trying to prepare a meal. Add to that the kitchen table is considered an alternate storage location and the kitchen is out of there as any kind of social area. It is my own fault, I picked the house, but had to make some compromises and the kitchen was one of them. The City the house is in is a calamity that overshadows the diminutive kitchen.

It would be nice, in some ways to see a return to the simpler days were the kitchen was as much for socialization as it is for eating, and perhaps there is a trend to go back to that, just not here.

16 Comments:

At 5:49 AM, Blogger Fancy Laces said...

kinda a field study thingy going on here?

I totally agree with the kitchen always needing cleaning...I washed all the dished yesterday, and this morning, the dirty dished are piled up in the sink again~~~!!!

 
At 5:51 AM, Blogger Fancy Laces said...

in my case, my kitchen is linked to my family room (with almost nothing in between), which means, I can at least watch TV while cooking...

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger fairscape said...

pk

Knock down a wall et voila bigger kitchen. Or since you like to grill make one of those outdoor kitchens. Just watched HGTV's special on kitchens and baths. There are some crazy kitchens out there.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

I think Mrs. Phos needs a higher-paying job, in order to elevate you to the lifestyle to which you would like to become accustom. Then you can hire an undocumented Venezuelan woman to clean your kitchen.

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger LifePath11 said...

Hmmmm...shocked to hear that the kitchen was the place for compromise with your passion for cooking. I think the galley kitchen is a disaster unless in a little apartment...like with one person! The galley always seems to have someone passing through in the middle of things....always hated that! Yup, maybe the outdoor kitchen would be a real addition....certainly would need to focus on the relief from the heat down there though.

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

we have an open-kitchen near the dinning area...it's big enough to socialise :)

Keshi.

 
At 12:54 AM, Blogger jin said...

LMAO @ sarah's comment!!!

:-D :-D :-D

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger Cherry! said...

Why don't you just redo the kitchen to maximise space etc?

Guess what?!?! Been dying to tell you. I was given a list of cheeses that I must leave otherwise I should not leave the country. They were as follows:

-fontina
- asiago
- taleggio

Well what are you still doing sitting there???? Get out and get some and let me know if you think they are as delightful as I do!!

 
At 6:19 AM, Blogger Chickie said...

I'm glad that I don't cook or entertain so I don't have to start worrying about my kitchen.

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Katy said...

I know the feeling between the great dane, labmix and two cats there is no room in my kitchen. I can't wait to built my own house and then the kitchen will be one of the biggest rooms not the smallest as it is now in this old cape cod

 
At 8:17 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Hi Flora! Seems like there are extra people in the house we don’t know about messing up the kitchen – I am forever trying to clean and there are still dishes on the sink.

FS: My kitchen is already crazy, just not in a good kind of way. I’d actually like to knock down the whole house…

SL: Venezuela is on my shit list right now.


LP11: I think you and FS have the right idea. I actually do most of my cooking out-of-doors anyway.

Keshi: That’s exactly what I mean –nothing like getting together in the kitchen, maybe even tag-teaming a meal. I like the idea of everyone pitching in, whipping up their specialities and making dinner.

JIN: Don’t encourage her. I have it on good authority she didn’t get enough discipline as a child.

Cherry!: I have had asiago, and fontina. I have used the asiago as well as peccarino in my ragout, and use parmesan reggiano and romano on my pizza

Chickie: You are a lot like my sister-in-law. I don’t think she is even quite sure where the kitchen is.

Katy: As crowded as it gets I couldn’t cook without my two kitchen monkeys! Besides they help test the meat and remind me when it is time to pull the meat off the grill.

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger Stranger said...

Time for some heavy duty redecoraing. In my parents home, its an open kitchen dining area..which is perfect for entertaining..but alas! Mom and I are always working and we never use it..Now its cluttered with my Moms various sewing projects. Sigh.

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger Cherry! said...

Yum! I love devouring all of those! YOu have to try the other one though because that was my fave! It's quite a strong flavour. Damn good!

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger mummified said...

Hi PK,

I agree - the kitchen is a great place to congregate. Little fella has a mini Bob the Builder chairs that he sits in. I pass the sultanas for him to snack on while I putter about cooking. ONE DAY, I will save enough money to do an extension so he has a proper play area nearby.

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Stranger: We don’t have a flat surface in the house that isn’t cluttered with something. I think that is why the dogs don’t stay ion nay one place for too long.
Cherry!: A lot of those cheeses are better as part of something else, they bring a nice note to the concert. For eating straight up I would prefer a Gruyere or Schafkäse

Mummy: It is nice to have the kinder around while cooking – spend some quality time and you can even get them involved in some of the food prep. Never to early to learn – kissin’ wears out, cookin’ don’t.

 
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