Thursday, 2 April 2015


“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” - Craig Claiborne

A couple of weeks ago, a friend told me that she went to look at some new apartments that were being advertised for sale in the City. To her surprise, there was no kitchen to be seen anywhere in the flat. When she asked the estate agent showing her the apartment to show her where the kitchen was, he smiled and opened a cupboard, and pointed to a tiny galley with a microwave oven, a metre-long bench, a tiny bar fridge and an equally tiny sink. He explained to her that most people who chose to live a “downtown lifestyle” rarely ate in. As a vast selection of eating places of all kinds were within a few hundred metres of your apartment, why would you want to cook? My friend was not impressed…

Nor would I be! One of the most cosy and homely places in the house is the kitchen. There is always something happening there, always someone around, and many-a-time the delicious smells of food being cooked and the clatter of pots and pans are enticing calls to attention and draw everyone in the house to this happy place. Our kitchen is not overly large, but is well designed and merges with the family room and meals area, so that quite a spacious area is perceived when one enters these “three rooms in one”.

Whoever is cooking or working in the kitchen can converse with the others sitting in the family room and meals are easily passed from the cooking area to the meals area. Close friends gravitate to this part of the house, whereas acquaintances or work colleagues can be entertained away from this private area, in the “public” lounge room. Making a pot of coffee in the kitchen while one is conversing with close friends sitting in the family room is one of the pleasures of this arrangement.

My favourite times in the kitchen are weekend wintry mornings, when I wake first, turn the heater on and start the coffee going. Making hot toast with lashings of butter, while some baroque music is playing in the background sets the stage for the making of more serious breakfast fare, later on when everyone is awake. Scones, pancakes, porridge, eggs or on rare occasion a full, cooked breakfast are special treats, especially in winter. There is a wonderful smell that comes to mind when I think of such winter mornings. Freshly brewed coffee blending with hot buttered toast, ground pepper on hot, steaming scrambled eggs and green tender chives chopped on top.

A galley, indeed! Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrmph!

A recipe for Eggs Benedict
Split some English muffins in halves crosswise, toast them without allowing to brown. Place a slice of cooked ham on each muffin half. Heat in a moderate oven and put a poached egg on each muffin half. Cover the whole with Hollandaise sauce and garnish with finely chopped chives. Keep warm until served, but don’t dawdle in serving them!

1 comment:

  1. These days flats built in or near the central business district are minutely small. So something has to be sacrificed and that is almost always the kitchen. Partially the real estate agent was correct ... most people who chose to live a “downtown lifestyle” prefer to eat in restaurants and coffee shops. But even trendoids cannot cook most raw food without a stove and oven. And what if the fridge is not big enough for anything but two bottles of classy wine?