Thursday, 23 June 2011

Trophy Kitchen

The kitchen, still the hub of the home and a room for culinary adventures. In my naivety I presumed this too was everybody else's view, but I stand corrected. The trend now it seems to prize its non-function ability and fill the space with expensive kitchen wizardry. Surfaces kept so pristine you could eat off them. Appliances primarily used as a mirror. The kitchen, a highly prized decorative feature. Still a room in which to gather, but to actually cook would be unthinkable. The kitchen, the place to be. To eat heated up microwave food and takeaways, but the room itself to largely remain spotless and untouched. This idea has somehow spread like a contagious disease. I'm sure you've heard of the virus: Designer Kitchen, and caught the bug too.

I'm baffled by this trend. The kitchen admired, but not used. I was unable however to escape from the Designer Kitchen's grasp. Moving into a new build over two years ago, the kitchen came complete with integrated appliances, which if I'm honest I do prefer. I hate shopping for white goods, but it also has its drawbacks. The fridge-freezer's so large I cannot hope nor do I attempt to fill it, and it's impossible to defrost. The dishwasher I never use preferring to wash all my used plates, pots and pans by hand. I find it therapeutic. Other than a kettle, electric hob and oven, it's free from any new fangled gadgets. Okay, so I have a hand-held blender, if you really want to be pedantic. The kitchen is my working space. A practical space to get creative, and let's be honest a little dirty. Sauces will splash and hands will get mucky. Cooking's never been sold as a clean business.

My overriding concern that we're becoming dependent on a convenient lifestyle. Fast food,microwave meals, and ready-prepared ingredients increasingly churned out, or a gadget to do the job. What has happened to our basic kitchen skills? Product ranges in supermarkets making it clear we can't or won't chop onions, peel potatoes or carrots. The kitchen can be the heart of the home, but without the expensive gadgetry. All it requires is a clean pair of hands and the bare essentials, like a good chopping knife, or potato masher. Elbow grease is what makes the kitchen a trophy, not a nation of lazy cooks.