I have been enjoying spending time in my crappy kitchen lately, and have discovered that being away from it for so long this year (nearly 7 months between Ireland and Italy – lots of past posts to read if you are interested!) turned out not to be the big relief I thought it would be.
There is a definite “dingy-ness” about my galley-style cooking area, which is why I have always referred to it as “crappy”. I still think this is the case, and my missing this kitchen had nothing to do with the still-not-patched holes in the ceiling (made to accommodate a grand plumbing job in the upstairs bathrooms) or the fake-brick wall (definitely blog worthy), or for that matter, the unsightly and tacky country-style stained-glass door right above the sink, (I could go on). I still hate all of those things, and with the passing of time they have never faded into the background but rather have become more pronounced.
What I missed terribly, and now have a new-found appreciation for, are my tools. When I say tools I am including everything my hands touch in the process of making and eating food. What I want to wax on about is one of the containers that holds my beloved salt. I love salt more than any other condiment. Actually the word “condiment” undermines this ancient flavor-maker. It has a long and lustrous history dating back to the great Roman Empire, where it was so valued soldiers were sometimes paid in salt.
So the container that I choose to house my delicious Maldon sea-salt flakes had to be worthy, you know, “worth its salt”. I chose a piece of wood-fired pottery made in North Carolina by my friends Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish, known together as Bandana Pottery,
It sits on my counter-top at arm’s length in the company of many other boxes and little bowls holding, among other things, two other types of salt to satisfy my addiction. The purpose of these lovely objects is not only to serve a useful function, but to give me pleasure.
I am happiest in the kitchen, and, if I follow William Morris’s advice and surround myself with objects that I ” know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”, I am more apt to be inspired to cook food to match.