...The white-scrubbed kitchen with its open window had both a kind of a universal dignity and an impersonal warmth, which made you happy in the midst of the adversities and sorrows of life. The friendly rose-patterned plates in the rack, the ladle on the wall, the blue-checked curtains, the woman's knitting on the windowsill, the warmth from the cooking stove, the cat, the aroma of coffee, the moonlight, the sea-it was perhaps not many krónurs' worth if you tried to sell it, but all the same it was the world at its fairest and best.
-Halldór Laxness, World Light
Perhaps not so idyllic as that, nevertheless, our kitchen is, even in this modern age, the center of the house. A good indicator of this is its propensity to attract clutter, keys, mail, leftovers and shopping purchases all end up on the counter or the table, on display, as it were, to be scrutinized and pondered, until "put away."
The kitchen "junk drawer" is a topic too involved for consideration here. The kitchen is also the center for gadgets- for notes on the items seen, click on the photo below:
Recently, the kitchen has been invaded by some new electronic denizens: cell phones and iPods, each with chargers and accessories. We didn't even own a microwave until about ten years ago. Martha Stewart, interviewed in the current issue of Wired magazine, solved the problem with a dedicated room (a digital pantry?) that has her gadgets and their respective "nests."
Are we making any progress? Maybe two steps forward, one step backward, and three steps sideways- I'd hate to slave away in the kitchen for hours as I remember my Grandmother doing, yet I must admit that our meals are usually less memorable than hers were. Of course, that may just be my thoughts as seen through the rose-tinted glasses of memory.