Friday, August 5, 2011

ode to a kitchen

Thanks to Joanna for her latest post :)

I didn’t realise that the apricot kitchen at my mother’s house in Orange meant so much to me until she told me last night by phone that she is having it renovated for the 1st time ever in what I think is nearly 20 years. It was largely built for teaching daughters who sit in wheelchairs how to cook I think. I don’t remember actually being taught much actual cooking. Like many homes, it was and probably will remain the heart of the home. It does need renovating; the laminates bench top in apricot looks dated, and with me out of the home the majority of the bench space is now too low for my mother. It probably always was, but she is starting to feel it.

I don’t get home much these days. Even when I am home I don’t cook much in that kitchen, circumstantial and not opportunity. However, I could cook there. Just knowing it was there made me feel better about all the kitchens before and since that haven’t worked. In the back of my mind, I knew there was a kitchen that worked. I knew it was possible to design a kitchen that worked without it looking too much like it belonged in a hospital, or in a rehab facility. To me anyway.

In watching all the Masterchef stuff on TV and reading cookbooks, I’ve learnt how to cook in kitchens that aren’t designed for me. I can make it work in this new kitchen and in whatever other future kitchen I work in. I can still be a foodie. I can still sit on cushions when I need to see into pots. But I am the only person I know who likes to cook who prefers electricity on their hotplates than gas. I put that down to my mother and her willingness to put any kitchen that I could use when I was at home and needed it and demonstrated inclusion. The world before and since did feel better to me knowing it was there.

I’ve been invited home before the renovations actually installed a couple of times to cook before the old one gets taken down. I plan to show Mum what she did for me. Being a foodie is not something you need to be able-bodied to enjoy, and with patient guests, you can cook in most places sitting down. I will enjoy that time in Orange. I will take lots of photos, so that I can show people the legendary kitchen and the fact it can be done. I will show Mum that her kitchen inspired me and cook up a storm to say thank you for the inclusion.

But it is time for the kitchen to be renovated. It is time. I just hope she puts in a powerpoint that I can reach.

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