Before moving in with my boyfriend a few months ago, I hadn't given much thought to the way I set up the kitchen. Obviously we'd have all of our appliances out on the counter, pretty dish towels hanging, and coffee mugs stacked and readily available. Not so fast. Over any room in the house, we had a major discussion about how to set up the kitchen. A discussion I hadn't expected. It wasn't so much a matter of my style over his style, but a matter of what was really useful, what we actually needed out on the counters, what made sense. I hadn't thought of my kitchen like this before.
Last week I noticed that NPR is profiling Ellen Silverman's photography of Cuban kitchens. Silverman was initially surprised at people's hesitation with her request to take a photo, many noting that the kitchen was a mess. Some kitchens didn't have a table or chairs, others were embellished with fresh fruits and bright colors. She discovered how much the kitchen communicates about the way we choose to live, our culture, and our habits. This had me looking around my own kitchen thinking about what it says about us. It's more spare than my single-girl kitchens ever were, but it's also warm and full, useful and functional. And it's ours.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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