Even before we were (consigned) a gluten free future in 1996 I understood that cooking involves art, love, humor, science, adventure, and above all, family and friends. When we had the opportunity to design a kitchen in 1991 I wanted it to be a canvas for beautiful cookbooks, antique cooking tools, fine modern implements, old and new linens, Italian bowls, Scandinavian ceramics, special glassware, and art. It had a terracotta floor, but the cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and walls were a shade of white, the perfect foil for things we collected and inherited.
At about that time I found a carved wooden quadruped at Abacus, a gallery on Exchange Street in Portland, Maine: http://www.abacusgallery.com/portland. (He) has hung from my lucite cookbook stand ever since. It was an an indulgence, but so is taking the time to craft gluten free cookies, cakes, scones, and other baked goods from scratch using high quality ingredients. It reminds me that my time is well spent and that the people I cook for are worth any investment.
A few years ago my sister gave me Krang, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krang. Suza found him at shop in Portland that sells vingage superhero related stuff, http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fun-Box-Monster-Emporium/44875922761. Mine is missing the bad guy that resides in his (stomach). Only as I write this do I realize how symbolic he is of treated Celiac Disease. Krang stands on the shelf next to the GF flour mix – makes me smile every time!
We’re at the age and stage when downsizing is a common topic of dinner party conversation. What do we have and need, and why? What do we want and need, and why. What are our obligations to our parents, our children, our partners, and to society going forward? Mom and Dad still live in the house in which they raised us. They’re thinking about the future and acting on plans to simplify and streamline their and our lives. To that end I am the beneficiary of some weeding out: an antique wooden chef whose hollow chest contains a string of wooden kitchen implements. Every time I look at him I think of my childhood home, my parents and extended family, and of the love and appreciation of life they instilled in us.
You may have your own kitchen muse – if not, and you see something that inspires or amuses you, indulge yourself. Given the time you probably spend in the kitchen, you’re worth it!