I thought of it yesterday as I wrote about “some assembly required.” I think my parents were not pleased after I graduated high school, college and had what they thought was a great job in a big city.

Turns out I gave it up and spent my life savings to go to cooking school. Put that together with a healthy college education and it made me grow up and allow my education to fully coalesce.

At age seven, spending Saturday mornings in the local library while Mom was shopping, I found Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cookbook and checked it out. Three weeks later the librarian called Mom and said I owed $.32 in late fees, that came out of my $.50 allowance.

A new book of the same name was my birthday gift at age eight. Later on, my parents did not like my quitting my rat race job in the big city for culinary pursuits.

While thinking kids and holidays and some assembly required I recall what my husband now calls a stamped steel toy kitchen. It was pink, all metal. It actually had a reservoir for water that worked for the first day. The “frig” had plastic veggies, fruits and proteins. The oven did nothing.

Back then there was a choice of harvest gold or avocado (I didn’t know what that fruit was at the time) appliances. Then my parents moved up to a Star Wars kitchen as they bought a home people ran out of money to finish. All steel. Avant garde.

Now rich people always do what they want, make a kitchen not look like a kitchen, keep an old home with a kitchen in back that only cooks and servants enter, or make everything open.

I think most people don’t get custom cabinets, even fewer design their own kitchens so everything works for them. That could mean pull-out cabinets and everything handy at a moment’s notice for a chef.

Those who had avocado or harvest gold appliances have gone to white, then black, then steel. I have steel and they all look nice together but if I could create a really workable kitchen it would be still a galley. I am not a fan of the huge Texas kitchens with 8′ between appliances and no prep space. That screams “take-out” or delivery to me. Pizza and Chinese food are on their speed dial.

Because I actually use my kitchen, the sink nearly fell through because the undermount supports failed. A kitchen must be useful.

Form follows function. Those are not my words, but those of Louis Henry Sullivan, creator of the first skyscraper. The dictum has been trashed over the years, perhaps fatally. I cannot sing about architecture but will whine about kitchens.

There is a list in my mind of things I wish for in my retirement kitchen. Guest space, two islands, prep space, view. I would like major appliances to meld together, not all from the same company, and restaurant quality. Form follows function in appliances above the counter as well. If I made rice five times per day, I’d have a rice cooker, coffee/espresso/latte the same. I do not do either.

I have a toaster, hot water electric kettle (essential in the mountains or Britain not that I would travel with it as theirs are better as is their electric oomph), stand mixer, food processor and blender. Yes, I’ve other items such as a meat grinder attachment, hand-crank pasta machine, ricer and more but those are to be stored elsewhere. A butler’s pantry sounds right for lovely dishes and sundry appliances. Plus a cooling rack for food that I do not wish the dog to have. Yes, there is to be a vented door on the butler’s pantry that is dog-proof.

A pink kiddy kitchen was placed in our basement to keep me out of the real kitchen.  How long can a kid play with plastic apples and pork chops? Enough to create a crown roast of pork with gala apples, hard cider gravy, with cornbread stuffing for Christmas dinner for my in-laws.

Now I have the real steel thing, it has its’ limitations. Don’t worry, I’m working on it. Enjoy the weekend! Dee



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