Thinkin' Back

Thinkin' Back


I can’t say if this is true for everywhere or more specifically everyone, but I do know it’s true for me and mine. The kitchen is the heart of the home.

Let that sink in for a second, the kitchen is the heart of the home.

You prepare food to feed yourself, your family, friends, etc.

When you have company over, does everyone not end up in the kitchen at some point?

When you want to celebrate do you grab a drink from the kitchen or do you want to whip up something yummy?

When your heart has been broken do you stare into the refrigerator for something that will help?

Do you console a crying friend at your table?

Do your children do their homework at the table like many of us did growing up?

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

The kitchen has always been the hub for most activity in my family. From sharing meals, to doing homework, and from family games nights, to wrapping Christmas presents. The kitchen has always been the meeting and gathering place.

Many life lessons have been taught in the kitchen.

I learned how to cook by watching my mother when I was little and then helping when I was old enough. For example, I learned that sometimes food just taste better in a cast iron skillet.

I learned that my parents have seemingly unending patience, like when they would help me with school projects that I waited until last minute to tell them about.

I learned that a glass of milk and a sweet treat can help heal a broken heart while telling my mother all about it.

I learned compassion as I would listen to my father talk on the phone about helping out a friend or a neighbor that had fell on hard times, or needed help getting a cow back in the fence.

I even learned about that the birds and the bees after I had gotten my first phone call from a boy…given by my mother of course since dad just couldn’t talk about that with his baby girl.

I remember going to a friend’s house in high school to stay the night. When it was time for dinner everyone went to the kitchen, fixed their plate, and then promptly went to settle into their spot on the couch. This was something new and even a little exciting for me, because I thought that they decided to eat in the living room because it was my first time visiting. Then when I said as such, much to my embarrassment, I was told they never ate at the table unless it was a holiday. After dinner I noticed that everyone pretty much went their own way for the night to do their own thing.

When I was talking to my parents, in our kitchen, the next day it dawned on me that my friend’s family wasn’t wrong with the way their routine worked, but I just preferred the way mine did. I prefer to keep the kitchen the heart of my home and ultimately my family.

To this day my ever-growing family still has our routine. My husband and I talk about our day while I cook dinner, usually while he’s trying to sample something when he thinks I’m not looking.

Our kiddos do their homework at the table before I start on dinner, giving us more time to talk while cooking dinner together.

We even have a rule of no cell phones or computers in the kitchen, unless there’s a recipe to be looked up.

Most Friday nights we have a family game night while waiting for the pizza to arrive so we can eat and then settle in for a movie.

I wonder how many homes are like this still.

Do you still gather in your kitchen and talk to one another? Do you eat together around the table? Do you put your phone(s) down to see the excitement in someone’s eyes when they tell you about something special to them? Or does everyone do their own thing, alone?

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