Can I show you my kitchen?
It’s my first one. And unless you also happen to live in downtown Manhattan, it’s probably about the size of your closet. Closets — what a luxury.
My kitchen is a little camera-shy. It’s actually never been photographed before, so we’re being trusted to play nice. Can I trust you? I think I can.
Let’s take stock. We have a mini fridge, which (cover your ears, Fridge) belongs back in the bottom of the dumpster that I’m 99% sure it came from. We have a utilitarian sink, with water pressure that mostly comes but often goes. Committed to no kind of commitment — maybe you know how this is?
We have two burners — both gas. We try very hard to remember to appreciate them, but it can be a little hard. Particularly when the smallest Dutch oven on the market takes up one-point-five burners, and the pot of grains has to wait, and it’s seven-thirty, and we are dinner-at-six-thirty people.
We have a microwave, which we now rely on to do all sorts of things. We have a stainless steel freezer we’re so glad we bought and a shiny toaster that moonlights as an oven. And luckily doesn’t mind working overtime.
We have two and a half cabinets, plus two more just for good measure. Someday I’m going to design a kitchen and opt NOT to glue any storage space shut. Wild, I know. And, let’s see, what else? We have a few things from home: Grandma’s wooden spoon, Mom’s watercolor plate, a striped tea towel, a fruit bowl, a digital scale, a basket full of spices, a ceramic chef’s knife, a mismatched set of utensils, a nice olive oil, a few tools, a small skillet.
We have what we need. And if this kitchen will never be a place to linger and laugh and help stir and dodge dish duty, that’s okay. It’s a starter kitchen, after all.
These are early days, where we just try to do our best. Where we learn to scrape by, and try to have a good time doing it.
Someday we will have a kitchen that overflows with warmth and welcome. Someday we will have people to feed. There will be a loaf of bread rising and a puppy scampering and a whole rack of cookies cooling.
Someday everything won’t be so sterile. Someday everything won’t echo. Someday we’ll sit in a breakfast nook, and there will be a pretty coffee and a scratchy-sleepy I love you.
For now there is off-key singing and absolutely no natural light and way too much lemon juice. For now there is a shedding head of garlic and a grocery bag for a garbage can. For now there is a book in one hand and a spatula in the other. For now there are cold floors and tears freely falling. For now there is dinner in the trash and Plan B on the way.