By Susanne Merrett
On this fine spring day, with the sun dancing on the water, I am contemplating all things culinary. Cheesy bacon garlic bread is in the oven, a thick, rich marinara sauce is bubbling on the stove, and I am secretly paying homage to all of my lovely and precious kitchen items.
I have a LOT of kitchen things. Pots, pans, bake ware, utensils, gadgets, dishes, small appliances - you name, I got it. I love to cook, and over the years I have accumulated quite a collection of what I consider to be useful and essential kitchen items. Grab the mandolin for slicing scalloped potatoes. The two-sided carrot peeler does the trick in literally half the time. Bamboo steamers lovingly embrace the pork and ginger dumplings. The off set spatula is a Godsend for frosting the cake. Not to mention the powerhouses of my kitchen, my Kitchen Aid mixer and my Braun double food processor, which are used on a daily basis.
My constant dilemma is where to store everything. We have never had a kitchen large enough for all of our kitchen gear, let alone the pantry staples required to whip up a culinary delight from any continent on the planet. Undoubtedly, on the scale of global problems, this is actually a non-problem. No need to write the government or contact the UN, not just yet, at least. For now, I am content to keep extra bake ware in a closet and some pantry dry goods in the laundry cupboards, while the canning supplies wait patiently elsewhere for their turn in the sun.
Over the years, I have come to appreciate a well-designed kitchen, one with enough counter space, cupboard space, loads of drawers of all sizes, and an efficient flow. However, no kitchen, no matter how spacious or well appointed, is complete without a willing and well-intentioned cook. For me, the kitchen is my sanctuary, the place where I can go and forget about things for a while, the place where I definitely live in the moment. Perhaps, most importantly, the kitchen is the place that I can nurture the people in my life, those who make me whole, and make my life come alive. It is my place to give back, and pay forward, and without a doubt my absolutely favourite room in the house. My kitchen is where the magic is.
(For a copy of my favorite marinara sauce, check out my receipe on the Cooperator website: http://www.easternshorecooperator.ca/marinara_sauce.)