What Has Happened?

We bought a house that needed serious finishing in the mid- 1960’s and it had an “open concept” plan for the living area. All these years later all the renovation shows that the former demonstrate open concept.

Before the 50’s all kitchens were small and window-less so that the maid/cook was in there preparing your dinner and serving it to you and your family at your dining table then doing all the dishes. It took our forerunners to create an “open concept” that should no longer be a new variety of kitchen.

I’ve seen Texas kitchens that make the cooks work three times hard to get a family meal done. They are huge and have no functionality. On the flip side, I prefer a galley kitchen, but one with storage space, as in a butler’s pantry with louvered doors that keeps the dog out. I recently had a “new” refrigerator’s doors changed because I’ve arthritis and do not want to walk out to a hallway to open the frig.  Talk about open concept.

The ultimate kitchen is in store. I’m designing it to accommodate my husband and guests.

Over the past fifty years we have opened our kitchen/dining/living areas to accommodate family and friends, and to allow the cook to interact with her (it’s always a her) guests.

Wealthy folks have a perfectly designed kitchen for show, and perhaps a small one in the back for a maid/cook. Few people who live where I do, cook. Frozen and take-out and delivery, even boxes to “cook” by themselves go by me every day.  The only experience is getting eggs, milk, bacon, apple juice, orange juice once a week, delivered at 3 a.m. I also ordered a surprise box of seasonal things to challenge myself at cooking. It was a blank box that allowed me to strive to use zucchini or butternut squash or carrots or easy things like tomatoes and fruit to achieve something special and new.

I am Dee, and I am a cook. I don’t mind a kitchen with guests standing by to help as needed. That’s what the bar seats are for. I never walk into one’s kitchen without offering assistance. Setting the table, OK.

One thing the “open concept” plan did not address was usefulness. If a host/hostess does not use it, then it is only there to show that you have money for quartz countertops and a luxury refrigerator with only mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and soy sauce packages from the delivery place down the street. And champagne, of course.

My appliances are for use, not decoration. For over 30 years I’ve had a 5 qt. KitchenAid mixer and it is still in use, especially for pancakes and trifle. I’ve a KA food processor and blender. an electric kettle for tea, a toaster and salt and pepper. I choose by what we need most, not what I wish to show off. I always keep a crock of the most used kitchen implements, spatulas, spoons, “flippers” so I can grab them from the stove. That’s it.

I’ll stick with a galley kitchen in a new format, that allows guests to be part of the action and not just asking me across the counter for another Dr. Pepper. ‘Tis a new year. Dee





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