As part of the curriculum at my school, there is a weekend retreat designed to explore an individual’s personal relationship with food. One of the things we discussed was the importance of creating a kitchen that is organized, calm, welcoming and beautiful – in a way, a sacred place. The idea is that when food is prepared, it will reflect some traits of the person(s) who prepared it and the environment in which it was prepared. If you are stressed out and frustrated and trying to prepare dinner, the meal will not taste as delicious as if you are calm, relaxed, listening to some music and sipping a glass of wine. It was even suggested that we ban all fighting from the kitchen, so that the mood within stays free of stress and tension.
I love the idea of creating an inviting kitchen that I will love to work in. The kitchen is a gathering place. When we entertain, I put cheese and crackers and olives out in the living room, light candles, and arrange seating so there are enough spots for everyone. But inevitably, people gather in the kitchen and we end up moving all the food back in there.
So, I am changing a few small things in my own kitchen. Just some things that will make it a place I am more comfortable working in. The first thing I did was organize my grains and some legumes into glass jars. This make them more available to me and also allows me to buy in bulk, which saves a lot of money.
I also organized my spices (I do not have matching spice jars… it seems too daunting of a project to take on, considering I am buying new spices all the time!). Both the glass jars and the spice rack were purchased at The Container Store.
We have a breakfast nook with some benches (that double as storage, which his very helpful). We had cushions made for the benches so it is a bit cozier and more comfortable. The majority of our meals are eaten here, so it’s been a great upgrade. The cushions are made from a Sunbrella fabric, so it is durable and easy to clean if we spill something.
Since our fridge isn’t magnetic, I bought a magnetic pin board at The Container Store that we can use to hang photos of our families and friends, wedding invitations, Ed’s Red Sox magnets, and other things that are important to us. This makes our kitchen much more personal and since the board is small, it forces me to stay on top of the clutter and throw things out that are no longer relevant.
The last two big things I want to do are update the window coverings to something a little bit brighter, and replace the fixture above the breakfast nook with a pendant lamp or something that will give it a fresher, brighter look.
Is your kitchen a place you love to be in to cook, eat and relax? Or at least are there some elements of your kitchen that you love? If not, I encourage you to make a few small changes to your kitchen in order to make it a room you are proud of. Even really small organizational changes can make a huge difference and get you excited about cooking again!
Tomorrow, I’ll have a guest blogger talk about more ways to make your kitchen a happier place!