The kitchen

I gravitate to the kitchen. It pulls me in no matter where I am. If I am in someone’s home I’m leaning over a pot on the stove or my hands are deep in the sink doing dishes. When I am at work you can find me in the kitchen cooking something or eating tacos with the guys or listening to a fellow worker talk about his kids.

It started when I was very very young. Maybe as young as 5. I remember hanging out with my grandmother who we called Nana. She was always in the kitchen and I was usually by her side. She made this bread that I came to love for so many reasons. Number one it tasted great. The bread was a gooey cinnamon bread with raisins. She allowed the dough to rise over night. In the morning she rolled it out and sprinkled the dough with cinnamon and sugar and raisins. When it baked all that sugar and cinnamon and raisins oozed out of the crevices. We used to cut it into slices and toast it and then smear lots of butter on it.

I hung out with Nana in her kitchen because I knew I would be eating some of that cinnamon bread, but also because I felt at home there. I don’t know why. It felt natural. Maybe it was the smells, the heat, the feel of the dough, the taste of whatever Nana cooked. I am not sure.

Today it’s still the same. I find myself in the kitchen, but I am joined by everyone in the family. Yesterday Patrick and I grilled bruschetta on a flat top grill for lunch. We topped it with sauteed onions and Serrano peppers. We grilled a tomato from the garden, salted it and topped the bread with it.

For dinner we grilled flat bread, made a salad of raddicchio and arugula with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and I fired up some salmon on the BBQ.

Then we ate together in front of the TV which we never do unless there is a basketball game or in the case of last night “The Decision”. Yikes. I can’t believe we all sat and watched that show for an hour.

I spent some time in two other kitchen the last two days. I visited a previous employer and hung out with the kitchen guys.  I have worked with these guys 15 years. We laughed and told jokes. Many of the same jokes and stories we have told for all those years. Everything was the same but we were older.

Yesterday I hung out with a relatively new friend who is opening a taqueria in Los Angeles. He’s a great cook. I gave him some advice, but really just hung out talking and eating. He made carne asada tacos with diced onions, cilantro and a really nice spicy chili sauce.

He is a vegan pastry specialist so I got to eat lots of sweets. I even brought some home. We savored them in front of the TV after the King had made his decision. Long live the King and long live the kitchen where you will find me most of the time.

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