An Open Plan
Unless you live in an old house, long gone are the days of the hostess gliding through the swinging kitchen door into the dining room like Loretta Young with the perfect Thanksgiving bird. For many of us, the prep and cooking happens right in front of everyone and actually becomes a part of the celebration. In fact, it IS the celebration if you live in an open plan home.
In our home, the men do most of the cooking on Thanksgiving and it’s a process that lasts for days. Let me say up front that the rest of us cooked and cleaned up but it was Gordon’s sons, Colin and Ian, who planned the menu for months in advance while it morphed from outrageous to doable. I wasn’t sure about the seven pies and two tortes for 15 people, but for every holiday I can remember, you can’t find a piece of pie in the house by Sunday. As you can tell, we’re big eaters and grazers.
I’ve realized over the years that there are some historical components to this male cooking thing and Gordon’s 95-year-old mother started them. He is the oldest of four boys who grew up in his parents’ resort on a lake in Idaho. When the boys were young, Margaret would give them free range in the kitchen on Saturdays and they learned to bake and cook. To this day, all are fabulous cooks. I have this visual image of these four young boys in a big kitchen with flour everywhere, having a great time. They could do whatever they wanted as long as they cleaned it up.
Gordon, Colin and Ian, "the men" in the kitchen.
Jump forward . . .
to our 8’ x 12’ kitchen and envision three grown men (father and sons) around one stove, one oven and one sink and you get the picture. They consult, they stir, they drink, and they consult some more and then produce an amazing array of fabulous food. Because of the open plan, we all get to be part of the process, which means you can’t really miss much. You are as important as the cooks. And because we have stainless steel counters and concrete floors, who cares that there’s flour flying all over? That’s what I love about our home. It’s not precious.
So, as I watched the boys cooking, family and friends laughing and talking, kids running around playing and the dogs wrestling on the floor, I thought, “Pope, you’re a lucky woman”! I only wish my family members lived closer so they could enjoy these crazy, great Thanksgiving celebrations.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday and we’ll talk next week.