Food Revolution Day: In Praise of the Kitchen Table

Kitchen

Today has been designated Food Revolution Day.  It’s all about getting in touch with your food.

Can’t say I’ve ever had too much trouble in that department, but I grew up in an environment of constant cooking.  Whether it was my grandmother baking bread, my aunty separating eggs,  my great grandmother pulling fresh sorrel from the garden for her soup,  helping my mum out in the kitchen – something I always counted as a treat, helping my other granny to collect fresh eggs or seeing her toast bread in the old kitchen range on the end of a wire fork that her father made for the purpose, life was a continuum of food memories.

And let’s face it, the best conversation is always found in the kitchen.

I have a theory on the loss of cooking skills and changes in kitchen layout.  My generation started to haemorrage cooking skills well before our mothers went to work, but about the same time as the modern kitchen emerged.  (I stand to be corrected here.)

Preparation done at a kitchen table is highly visible.  The shift to the kitchen bench, most often in a galley or U shaped kitchen layout, has meant that the primary view for the small is the back of the cook.  What is done transform meat and potato into dinner might as well be alchemy.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a tall gal and food prep at a kitchen table is murder.  I like my benches and I like ’em high.  So what I also like is my island counter with the stools on the far side so that, like me, my girls can sit and draw, do their homework or just hang out watching dinner being prepared.  My cook top is also set into the island, so they have an easy and safe view of every part of the process.  My four year old has even been known to turn off the TV to come and watch.

What I’m not good at is the hands on side.  I have a low threshold for kitchen mess, I’m usually cooking in a hurry and I cringe every time I see those little kids on Master Chef Junior wielding sharp knives.

Tonight I’m going to cut loose.  We’ve got one little friend on a sleep over, and another two coming with their Mum (whose idea it was).  We were thinking of making pelmeni, but circumstances call for something simpler, so it’s pizza all around.  The kids will love making the dough and rolling out their own crust and adding toppings.  Keep an eye out for the photos.

I also reaffirm my pledge that no child of mine will be allowed to leave home without first acquiring basic cooking skills.

In the meantime, viva la revolution!

Find more on Food Revolution Day here.

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