I am home in Los Angeles for some meetings and a little early Thanksgiving with my family. I grew up in this town and the four generations before me grew up in Santa Barbara barely two hours north of here.
This is the house my parents bought the year before I was born, so I'm lucky to return to the stability of walls that held me as a child. The one room that is gone, though, is the kitchen. When I was about eight years old, my mom and her team of worker bees took an axe to the original kitchen — small, chopped up into kitchen, breakfast nook, washroom and dining room — and built the room that now serves as the larger, brighter hearth of the home.
Arguably it is warmer and more comfortable, certainly for cooking. But that little girl in the photo above didn't need much space to learn to cook, nor did the generations of cooks before her. With her rear perched on the scratched Mexican tile counter, she learned how to mix and chop and fall in love with kitchen chemistry.