Notes from Windward: #65

Kitchen Ambiance

     Our new kitchen is very special to me. I was able to help a bit with the construction, the decoration and the equipping of it. It's not quite finished but every month there's a bit more progress. It's a wonderful space for working and socializing; now we can do both at the same time!! Kitchens have always been the heart of the home. I love to cook and bake. It's a way for me to express how much I care for those I feed.

Tara fixing grilled cheese sandwiches

     Winter is my favorite kitchen time. It's such a joy to cook and bake when it's cold outside. Wonderful smells wafting on the air bringing in others.

     Because of the insulation it's naturally warmer than outside in winter. It's also naturally cooler inside than outside in the summer. It's lighting is special too -- the skylights, bay windows, sun tunnels and numerous light fixtures, so there's always plenty to work by. The abundance of light combined with the homey warmth of the wood stove make the kitchen an inviting place to have hot cocoa and a goodie while discussing the day's events or sharing a lively discussion.

     In the early spring we plant seeds in flats and watch them fill the bay windows as they enjoy the sun streaming through. Truly luxurious. I also have several winter plant experiments going involving herbs and flowers kept near the light sources and others kept back of the kitchen to keep them from freezing in winter. This year the geraniums are doing very well!! Surprizingly the tobacco is still growing! As are the petunias and snapdragons! Though it would be just too cold for the begonias, but not so this winter at least.

     There are lots of interesting experiences to be had in the kitchen, like finding a wren trapped in the bay window last spring and gently guiding her outside, or the summer afternoon that I delicately scooped up a pair of butterflies and released outside. Like the joy of holding a hummingbird while rescuing him to the outdoors, the anxiety at finding spiders and having to kill them (I really don't like spiders), or the frustration at finding an ant "invasion" when I forgot to wipe the bottle of syrup!

To go with soup simmered on the wood stove

     An especially inspiring evening event happened one evening after I'd finished baking late. After shutting off the lights I was taken back by the beautiful silvery blue light of the moon pouring in through a skylight. The whole room was bathed in this natural light and made it seem as if the room was glowing. It was so lovely and peaceful and I sat for a few minutes enjoying the feelings and satisfaction. Another bit of serendipity at Windward... .

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 65