I believe the kitchen is the heart of the house, where all things come together and where the majority of the work is done. It’s a known fact: people flock to the kitchen, I don’t care how nice you make the crudités in the dinning room, people will mingle in your kitchen. It’s just how it is.
It’s probably my favorite room in the house, where I spend the majority of my time creating interesting and delicious treats. After a long day, this room relaxes me, allows me to pour imagination into pots and pans and dutch ovens to create something. In March 2013, Mike and I became pescitarians, forgoing the devouring of land animals, and opting for a healthier, more conscientious and sustainable way of eating. This opened the door for so many new recipes and interesting ways to bring out the flavor in foods.
Our Kitchen in PA was occupied constantly, with cooking, prepping, entertaining, eating. It’s bright, cozy and now enjoyed by our renters.
When we moved, our new Colorado kitchen fell a bit short of what we were used to – it needed a complete re-haul and was quite retro indeed.
We moved in, used it for about a week and a half (that’s our first meal in our new house!), then gutted it to make room for a beautiful, new kitchen, where we could once again prepare gorgeous, vegetarian creations. That would take three months. Three full months without a working kitchen.
With busy days, hectic weekends, going here and running there, it’s nice to have a room to come together in. Mike has deemed himself sous chef and the way we move in the kitchen sums up a lot of our relationship now: in sync. He asks what needs to be done, more of the spontaneous spirit, whereas I have the details of the meal planned out and know the timing of things has much to do with how the meal will come together. But, without that spontaneity, I’d have a very difficult time getting the slicing and dicing done myself. It’s a team effort and the kitchen is our playing field.
Our kitchen extends into the large fenced backyard we have – and we are planning to build large raised beds to grow all sorts of goodies! There’s something about harvesting something you have grown and cared for yourself that really makes us happy. In the summer of 2013, we didn’t have to purchase one store bought tomato. Not one! So, not only do we know exactly where the ingredients are coming from, it’s more money in our pockets to head out to Explore! And we don’t just have outside plants…they have become a part of our home, tended to and cared for by the Plant Whisperer himself. We left all of our plants in PA and are re-starting our collection slowly – saving seeds (avocados, peppers, lemons, oranges, even a pineapple!) and introducing ourselves to the Colorado vegetation. Mike has taken avocado seeds and lemon seeds, planted them and watched them grow. We have our retirement planned out. In 20-years, avocado farming here we come!
From coast to coast, we both flock to the kitchen like moths. Our day begins and ends in this room and I think it’s where we both shine. Our happiness can be found swirling here and creating things together propels that feeling. Food makes you happy and when you work together with someone you love to create it, you’re feeding that happy. We went to Costa Rica in November of 2012, where the food we ate was some of the freshest I’ve had anywhere. It’s a simpler life down in Central America, one of family, natural beauty, relaxation and happiness. I’m not naive though and realize that for the locals who live there, life may consist of hardships and struggle, but what we saw when we visited was happy people, who genuinely enjoyed the moment. Pura Vida – the pure life. We saw this each time we sat down to a meal, from the Argentine family restaurant run by a husband and wife, to the Pura Vida Bakery down the road where we ate our fruit parfaits, to plucking a papaya out of the front yard of the cabin we rented, the simplicity and happiness was in each bite.
So, whether we are in our own kitchen, creating meals that nourish our bodies and spirits, or traveling to Maine, preparing food in a kitchen without electricity or running water (Lower Goose Island has been in our family for years!), you can say the kitchen is like the paper we write our story on. It all begins there. A blank slate that we fill with goodness & happy.