by Chrysa Smith

If you’ve been a regular reader, by now you know that I love food and I love to cook. Combining flavors and textures into a tasty dish that I can serve to my family, gives me the joy of caretaking—providing the nourishment we need to sustain us body, soul and FDA daily requirements.
But planting oneself in the kitchen offers up way more than food. It offers up a place to connect—to talk, share, catch up, learn. Maybe it’s the casual atmosphere that invites conversation or the teamwork that just seems to happen, as people work together on the task at hand: getting meals on the table.
So it is with great pleasure that I just returned from a few days spent with some younger friends of my husband. With six adults, seven children and a large kitchen full of food, activity and hungry mouths to feed, it was the heart of the house. It was the only room where you could always find someone—cooking, cleaning up dishes, chatting with someone else. You could find a husband sauteeing his mushrooms and fried potatoes, making his Mortadella (Italian bologna) sandwiches and serving his Creme Brulee tea. Another husband scrambling eggs for breakfast and prepping shrimp and veggies for the grill. One mom serving her young kids chicken and asparagus, making sure they stayed seated until their meal was finished. Another mom blending her own baby food and cooking up Pastina for the older kids. Mark and I cleaning up the table and placing dishes in the sink (yah, lazy by comparison–but we were the ‘old folks’ in this group). It’s where the kids (with help), whipped up a brownie cake, stuck some wooden matchsticks in it and everyone sang a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday to Mark, including the head of the household who sang a funny, operatic ‘Happy Birthday, Marco.’ (Can you guess our hosts are Italian?)
Thanks to a generous invitation, a few days spent on the eastern shore of Long Island and a large kitchen, I feel as though those friends of my husband are now mine as well.
Kitchen connection stories to share? Leave yours by clicking on ‘comments’ below.