Food For Thought – Home Is Where the Stove Is

It seems like no matter how big the party, the majority of the people in attendance will crowd into the kitchen to hang out. Our current home has basically a galley kitchen but a large great room with vaulted ceilings. The galley is actually great for cooking because I can get to everything I need in just a few steps. It becomes a little crowded with more than three people, however! Yet, for our Christmas party it was just stuffed with people! People leaning up against the counters, standing in front of the coffee pot, shoulder-to-shoulder chatting and catching up on the news of the past year.

This little essay by Jo Ann Passariello Deck in Where the Heart Is reminds us of the centrality of the kitchen in our homes. She writes, “I used to laugh at my Italian relatives who always wanted to sit in the kitchen. They even built houses without dining rooms. Big kitchens were all they wanted. They lived their whole lives in those kitchen, around the stove, eating, talking, playing cards, reading newspapers, drinking coffee. When they weren’t around the stove, they were in church, in God’s home, but that’s another story.

Home is where the stove is. When I think of all the places I’ve lived, I think of what I cooked in the kitchen: cheese tarts in Cambridge, beet soup in Berkeley, and shrimp curry in Singapore. Home is where I saute the garlic and chop the onion, where the frying pan makes music.

An old Russian proverb says, “The oven is the mother.” Food, warmth, acceptance, I can find it all at the stove.”

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2 Responses to “Food For Thought – Home Is Where the Stove Is”
  1. barbara says:

    amen! I’m teaching a class next fall in food, film, lit & culture. This quote is one I’ll use.

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