Thursday, April 12, 2012

KITCHENS (A-Z April Blog Challenge)

I wrote this poem 18 years ago.  I'm glad I shared it with my mom before she passed in 2009.

“The Kitchen”

I’m in the kitchen. Again.
This room with it’s
endless capacity.
To Create. To Comfort.
Provide Solace and Laughter.
Sustenance and Memories.

Is everyone’s life so
centered in their kitchen?
So deeply connected with the food
made here, the memories, so
much a part of their self?

In my mother’s kitchen,
I sat on a phone book, mesmerized
And the Paas continued in my kitchen!
by the Paas liquid rainbow
before me in the assortment of
jelly jars and glasses.
Thin metal holders barely balanced
the eggs as they were dipped and
laid on cooling racks to dry.

In December, Anise cut outs announced
the holiday season. They were rolled,
cut and decorated on the third-generation
cutting board that took up half
the kitchen table. Flour dusted the board,
covering wood darkened
with age and use. In my kitchen, I follow
the same recipe, yet they’re not quite the same.
my mother, the keeper of the board.

For years the kitchen was a place for late
night talks with mom over a bowl of
cereal before bed. Then we stopped.
I don’t know why.
Rarely now, but often enough, I find myself
alone, in the kitchen, having a bowl of cereal.
I wonder, does she ever do the same,
all these years later,
alone, in her kitchen?

I clean as I go in my kitchen. When four
steps by two take you the full perimeter,
it’s a necessity.
It’s calming to go from the mess
to the organized clean.
I wash the dishes, sponge fully lathered,
rinsing with steaming water so
hot it burns my fingertips. I was never the
washer in my mother’s kitchen. Older
sisters go the jobs of washing and putting away.
Today I leave my dishes in the
drainer to dry.

I show my son how to make one of my
childhood favorites, Filled Noodles.
Basic pasta dough from scratch,
rolled and cut into squares that accommodate
a handful of turkey stuffing.  Boiled in salted
water and served with piping cream of chicken soup.
He closes his eyes with the first bite,
quietly says, “a bit of heaven”.
My hear swells.

At age five he watches the
Frugal Gourmet with me. Father’s
Day is coming and he decides to
make the Bowtie Pasta dish
being made. I supervise the cutting
And the stove, but he
makes the recipe himself. He smiles
with pride as he calls Dad to the dinner table.
This is “his’recipe now and
a family tradition is born.
Some days, bagels double their size
on the countertop.
Boiled in sugar water, then baked
to produce a soft inside, surrounded
by a crunchy golden crust.

In fall and winter, breads rise in pans
and fill the house with an intoxicating

yeast aroma. The best ones resulting
when I knead out a worry on the dough.

Every few days baked goods of all kinds
find their way to the countertop. To friends.
To work. To a neighbors house. I care about you,
they whisper.

My husband, long accustomed to, but still
appreciative of meals of marinated balsamic
filet mignon, herb rice pilaf and crisp
garden salads.  He enjoys just as much,
a dinner of pancakes or tomato soup. 
A selection of
hundreds of recipes wait, cut and taped
onto notebook paper and sorted in a
three ring binder by sections.
Desserts warrant a binder all to themselves.
Both books wait, nestled between the
Cookbooks on the shelf.

So, I’m in the kitchen. Again.
Where to begin?

Yes, these are my scratch raisin bagels - YUM!


  1. I enjoyed this through and through, and I'll bet my family would love Filled Noodles. I'll have to try making some!

    1. They are fabulous. I've never seen anything like them anywhere else and anyone I've ever made them for has fallen in love with them. They are comfort food to the max!

  2. That is just wonderfully done. I actually feel your love of all things kitchen related. I share that love.
    A clean and fresh kitchen is a must for me and I equally love messing it up again.

    1. My favorite room of the house. And every party we have, that's where everyone congregates too!

  3. Cooking can be a joy. I have too many cookbooks and too many clippings of recipes, cannot even think about putting them all on a CD.

    1. Likewise! Took a look at your site. It's lovely and I really enjoyed your K-Kiss post. And for the record, if an IKEA store wants to drop in our neighborhood, I'll support them based on your post alone!

  4. Stopping by from the Challenge.
    Lovely poem. I'm glad your mom got to hear it.
    I'll be back.

    1. Thank you and I enjoyed looking at WidowSphere as well!

  5. gosh Kitchen was a good choice; we all have emotional connections to our kitchens in one wa or another. Mine has never been of great warmth; I do not like to cook and have a difficult family to cook for, as there are dietary restrictions and food allergies.

    1. Sounds like you have a few difficult road blocks in your kitchen, but I hope you find other ways to enjoy it!

  6. Amy, this is such a warm poem, filled with love and memories. And you sound like a great cook. My favorite recipes are quick and easy ones that make enough to have leftovers. My second favorite recipes are those made by chefs in restaurants . Cute picture of Abe coloring eggs, too. You are coming up with such great posts for this challenge.

    1. Thanks Elaine and trust me - some of my very favorite recipes lead me to quite a few local restaurants as well!

  7. A special poem. Kitchens are definately the central point of every family home. Great choice.


    1. Thank you Carolyn - so glad you stopped by!

  8. Kitchens are always the favorite room. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

    1. Thank you - and good luck on all the visits. I am trying but find the task a bit overwhelming!

    2. You're right. A lot happens in the kitchen. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

      Catch My Words

  9. Ahhhhh Amy it sounds like there was a whole lotta love served up in your kitchen along with the food. Wonderful that your Mom had an opportunity to savour the flavour of your poem too.

    1. Thank you and for ther lovely comment about the poem too. :)

  10. The raisin bagels look heavenly! Me and my kids also spend a lot of time in the kitchen! Nice post!

    1. They are! There is just nothing like the taste of homemade bagels. Enjoy that kitchen time - it passes too quickly!