“There are mysteries buried in the recesses of every kitchen – every crumb kicked under the floorboard is a hidden memory. But some kitchens are made of more. Some kitchens are everything.”

Summer has returned. Today is already warm and sunny with a slight breeze. The pine pollen is starting. I saw a thin film of yellow on my car when I got the papers. I’ll have to keep my windows closed for a while or the pollen will cover every surface in my house. Even the deck gets a layer of pollen so I leave foot prints when I walk.

My backyard is filled with pine trees. Come to find out they have both male and female pine cones. I had no idea pine cones have genders. I never gave thought to the difference in the sizes of the cones. Now I know the smaller cones are the male cones. They produce the pollen. So, if your car is yellow, blame a male.

I did every errand yesterday. It was a triumphant day. I no longer have to skulk around at the dump.

The plumber is here. He has fixed the outside faucet leak and now has to leave to get a part for the shower. He called from his truck. His name is Doug. He saw Maddie and told me he had a cat who lived to be 20. He said he cried when it died. I like Doug.

I remember the small kitchen in the first place we lived in Stoneham. When I close my eyes, I can see the whole room. The door to the yard was on the back wall. To its left was the sink, fridge, stove and counter tops. There was a small window over the sink. To the right of the door was another window and the table and chairs were against that window wall. The kitchen was so small two was a crowd. We lived there until after my sister was born. We then moved down the street to a bigger place, one with 3 bedrooms. Until I bought my own house, that is where I lived for the longest time.

My kitchen has gadgets, things like a strawberry huller, a jalapeño corer, a corn zipper, a mandolin, three different size food processors, a panini grill and a mixer. I have actually used all but the jalapeño corer. That was just bought. It is a funky looking tool.

The only tools I remember my mother using when I was a kid were the hand potato masher, the peeler, the cookie press and her standing mixer. She seldom baked from a package. When I was older, out of college older, I loved working in the kitchen with her. I was her sous chef. My favorite time was around Christmas. We listened to music while we worked. We talked and we laughed. Those are cherished memories kept close to my heart.

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6 Comments on ““There are mysteries buried in the recesses of every kitchen – every crumb kicked under the floorboard is a hidden memory. But some kitchens are made of more. Some kitchens are everything.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Really hot again today but now we have a strong and slightly cool wind blowing which is really nice. I might even get out on a little walk later on, just as long as I can stay in the wind 🙂

    My car still gets a layer of yellow every day but it is getting thinner so I think pine pollen season must almost be over now. I wonder if the Birch season is just about to start or if that too is over by now, I guess I’ll see that when we’re out walking the next time.

    I still use that old potato masher, sort of make it feel more like I have control and don’t mash it too good so it becomes wallpaper glue 🙂 I don’t mind the odd lump if that should happen.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I am surprised at how hot it is for you. We have yet to hit 80˚ though north of us has even reached 90˚. We are at 75˚ right now and will be tomorrow as well. That is hot for us this time of year.

      I use a wooden masher. I found out using a hand mixer makes it like glue. It does take a bit more effort to use a masher, but I like the result.

      Our yellow has just started. It will be a while. Soon it will get thicker and thicker.

      Have a great evening!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The pollen just started gathering on surfaces a few days ago even though the allergy reports claimed high counts in the area. My red jeep now has its customary springtime yellow dusting. I have to wipe the pollen and road dust off the solar panel of the lighted house number every morning or it won’t recharge as well.

    Lately I’ve seen several cooking shows where the star chef goes to another country and cooks with someone there. On a few shows the star chef has been shocked and amazed as the guest chef dices vegetables by holding them in his/her hand and making a series of cuts with a very sharp paring knife. Star chef laughs nervously and claims not to be able to do it. Anyway, it brought back the memory of my mother standing at the stove dicing onions, potatoes, tomatoes and most other vegetables the very same way. I had forgotten that she did it this way.
    My kitchen is totally illogical. I didn’t realize how illogical it was until I was the main person using it. The stove and the fridge are next to each other but the cabinets, counters and the sink are in another room. There is no room for a table. I do all my prep standing at the stove using the open space between the burners. Just like my mother used to do. Perhaps I should learn the in-hand dicing method. 🙂

    It’s hot up here. There’s a breeze but it isn’t helping.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Pine pollen makes such a mess. The only window open is in my bedroom. The house was warm today but is cooling down nicely. I don’t want to have open any other windows. The cold spell on its way is quite welcome.

      Given my track record, I won’t even consider holding then cutting. The other day I was using a knife to open the plastic around a jar’s cover. I hit my finger with the knife tip and drew blood.

      My kitchen has counter space next to the stove so I have work room. I bought a butcher block island when I first moved into the house. It has stuff on the top but it is easily cleared if I need the space.

      It is about ten or more degrees cooler down here. My bedroom has a breeze. My downstairs has stayed cool.

      Have a nice evening!

  3. Bob Says:

    Now I have to refer to either mister or miss pine trees. 🙂 Of course the male pinecone contains the pollen, after all the male uses their sperm to pollinate the female.

    My grandmother used a paring knife for almost everything that needed to be cut along with various wooden and metal spoons and forks. Her kitchen was dominated by a large wooden table with four chairs. The table was covered with a glass. She prepared everything on that table and then served all our meals on it after covering it with a tablecloth. Yes, she had the hand potato masher and metal vegetable peeler. She was a fabulous baker and had a well worn rolling pin. Her apple strudel was to die for. All our kitchen gadgets both manual and electric still don’t guarantee a great strudel. 🙂

    Today was another beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the low 90s. Summer has arrived.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      The wind pollinates by spreading pollen from the male cone to the female cone. The male cone doesn’t live a whole lot longer. Such is life for a pine cone!

      One grandmother made great spaghetti while the other made great date nut bread. I don’t remember anything else. I envy you that strudel. At my father’s parents’ house, we always ate in the dining room. Their kitchen had only a small table with booth like seating. My other grandmother always had the pan on the stove with the pasta. We could help ourselves and sit at the kitchen table. There was never a special time to eat. Too many of us visited at one time.

      We got to the low 70’s today. A cold way is on its way to us. We’ll have rain tomorrow night.


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