9/19/07

Are You FREE in Your Kitchen?

Okay, I’ll admit it. I don’t have a “dream” kitchen.

I left my newly remodeled kitchen 2 years ago when we decided to move to our “fixer-upper” home. Now time and money hinder us from getting our kitchen project started.

But we will … one day.

The kitchen seems to be the hub of the home. When guests come over the kitchen is always the congregating point. It used to really irritate me, because not only do I dislike our old appliances, floor, counters and lighting, we’re also just packed in a like a bunch of sardines, even without our guests!

But one thing remains true: Snacking, drinking, mingling, talking and laughing in the kitchen just plain ol’ feels so good!

I’m freer now, in my kitchen, realizing that my talents of cooking and entertaining really have nothing to do with my appliances or the surroundings. I’ve decided to keep moving forward by inviting guests over and not worrying about what they think. I’ve learned to put my energy into cooking and making the evening appealing to the senses.

So where does my self-worth lie? Not in my kitchen or even my cooking skills!

It is only when I embrace my cooking skills and gladly acknowledge the beauty in others, and my desire to know them, that I find freedom in myself. Many times this happens over a meal or around my dinner table.

In my experience, there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is content with herself, and feels at home in her kitchen as she cooks for her family and friends. Many friends come to mind that fit this mold, but specifically my step-mom, Ginny.

Ginny loves cooking for people, for large groups in particular. She learned how to cook from her dad at a very young age, as she cooked for their entire family, including 5 kids. She burnt a lot of dinners in the learning process, but was rewarded with $1.50 in allowance!

She’s always loved being in the kitchen, she works hard on her meals, sometimes starting days in advance, cooking and freezing. The glow on her face and affection she shows her guests reflect the pleasure she derives in hosting others!

She is a great role-model for me, someone I can keep learning from! (Photo: a yummy "Ginny" meal last Christmas, with my family)

Sometimes the “common life” is more common in common surroundings! It goes far deeper than updated kitchens and new hardwood floors, but straight to the core of a person’s heart!

What are you particularly gifted in and how do you use it for others in your home?

10 comments:

ValleyGirl said...

I love my kitchen -- the counter top and cupboards anyway. We put them in when we moved here, but that was 5-1/2 years ago and the walls and ceiling still bear the marks of the old kitchen cupboards. One thing I'm NOT good at is resisting the urge to make excuses or poke fun at ourselves for not having finished it yet.

I like to think, though, that my guests still feel comfortable in my kitchen and that they feel special because I make special food. Not necessarily anything that we wouldn't eat just by ourselves, but there's usually more than one side dish, bread, and dessert when we've got guests. And I use serving dishes to serve the meal instead of the pots and pans the food was cooked in!! I like to think people feel special because I went to extra lengths to feed them a delicious meal.

linda t said...

My husband and I spent this past weekend up North with two other couples and on Saturday over grilled steaks and caesar salad we sat for hours telling stories and sharing our hearts. I kept thinking of questions throughout the night that we all enjoyed answering... and even though we had all known each other for 30 years, we still learned sooo much about each other that we never knew! Our love for each other grew even deeper as we shared about our favorite childhood gift, best family time or trip spent together growing up, the song or group that first captivated our heart, favorite movie...
My friend said her husband shared things SHE had never known after 30 years of marriage... and thanked me for making it comfortable for her husband to open up. What a special time we all shared.

An Ordinary Mom said...

"In my experience, there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is content with herself, and feels at home in her kitchen as she cooks for her family and friends."

So incredibly true! I wish more women would realize where true beauty lies.

Nadine said...

I love my kitchen. It's attached to my family room and it's easy when guests come over for entertaining. I love cooking and having folks over for a meal, good conversation and sometimes games.

see you there! said...

Like at your house, our guests congregate in the kitchen.

Both DH and I love to cook and frequently have guests at the dinner table. We don't do so many planned events, we usually just tell whoever drops by to stay for dinner. We don't exactly drag people in off the street but close to it, LOL!

Darla

Barb said...

I think I'd feel free-er in my kitchen if it had more space. But maybe I'm missing the point!?!? Sounds like an awesome time Linda T, but you didn't stop by and say hi!!!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for all the great reminders.

Joe was just saying today that our "new house" (now 4-1/2 years old) certainly looks more like a house that a family of seven has broken in. Plenty of dents and dings. But it's home, and it's cozy because it's home.

linda t said...

Hey Barb (from Madison, WI), we'll be in WI the first two weeks of Oct.! I can't wait! We'll be staying at the family dairy farm I grew up on near Eau Claire, we'll be visiting my brother in Appleton and taking a trip to Door County. My best friend from high school just moved back there after having lived in Madison for the past 30 years. So excited to spend an evening with her. Love it back there!! I sure miss the four seasons!

Barb said...

Oops--October. Sorry! Our sheep shearer lives up by Eau Claire and one of the woolen mills we use is in Appleton! :oD

Rachelle G. said...

Not sure if I'm "free" in my kitchen or not. I, too, left my beautiful newly remodeled kitchen when we moved from Calif. to Colorado. Now my kitchen is very small and not too user friendly. I confess the lack of space, including complete lack of dining area, has greatly hindered my socializing the last few years. I never feel free to invite anyone over because I have no place to put them! But as always, you've inspired me to try harder to think outside the box, finding other ways to open my home without worrying about structural hinderances. It's all about the heart, right? Thanks for the reminder.