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Kitchens are the Heart of the Home

We often consider the kitchen the heart of any home. The kitchen is the place where we create meals for our families, cook up a quick bite for ourselves or prepare to entertain friends. Kitchens are typically set apart from the living room and dining room. Small homes with “eat-in-kitchens,” where a dining table is placed in the kitchen and serves as both a gathering place for meals and a work space, mark the exception.

 I remember how during my childhood my Mom would make homemade gnocchi early in the morning. After rolling and cutting the dough, she would place dozens of the little flour-covered dumplings on our kitchen table to dry. Our modest home had only an “eat-in-kitchen” so later in the day it would be at that same table where we would gather for dinner. What a chore to get that table ready for dinner in the evening! Flour has a way of creeping everywhere and I remember how much work it was to clean up the remains of the mornings’ gnocchi production.

Kitchens have evolved over the years but their significance in our lives and memories remains a constant. Not only do we use them for a cooking space, but to entertain and to express our creativity. How many of us find we have beautifully appointed parlors and living rooms but spend most of our time in the kitchen, lingering over food and conversation with those we are closest to?

You will find kitchens in a variety of configurations. Some open to the living and dining room. Others are firmly separated islands unto themselves. The trend toward spacious kitchens, often packed with gleaming energy efficient appliances, continues. You will find more counter space in a contemporary kitchen compared to homes of the past. The homeowner can choose from a wide variety of durable and attractive counter top materials. Today’s laminates are more functional and durable than those of the past and tile counters feature smaller grout joints and larger tiles.

Today, when I make homemade gnocchi I have ample counter space to set them on to dry before cooking. I don’t have to worry about cleaning up that insidious flour. But I still use my Mom’s recipe. 

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