When I think about my grandmother, I think about her kitchen. Out of all the places in her cozy little home made of wood and knick-knacks bought from yard sales, perhaps it was my favorite. I think about the first days of summer break when I would skip across the stone path to her house, hop up the stairs and turn the door knob. My grandmother did not believe in ever locking the door during the day. She felt it was un-American.
And as I would push the squeaking door open (she could never remember to oil its hinges), I would be greeted with a blast of warm air mixed with the smells of cookie dough or freshly baked banana bread. It always smelled like food in every corner of the house.
I would hear my grandmother’s radio turned up to full volume, the music dancing all the way from the kitchen along with her humming to the tunes of a Bee Gees song. I would peek into the kitchen and find her back to me, sashaying her well-rounded bottom in a floral printed maxi to the song as she worked the stove, something sizzling or crackling in the frying pan or baking in the oven.
I think about Sunday afternoons, helping her dice spring onions and potatoes and garlic, the smell of peppers and capers wafting in the air. I would wear a matching apron and she would tell me how a way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, but everyone fell in love with my grandmother once they tasted her cooking.
My grandmother’s kitchen was like my grandmother: bright and cheery and covered in floral prints, from the kettle to the tea cups, the table cloth, the oven mittens and the pans. Dirty dishes would be piled up in the sink as neatly as dirty dishes could be piled up. There would be something boiling in the kettle; it would always be tea time for her. Her collection of tea leaves in small glass jars would be stacked in a neat row in open shelves displayed next to the stove: chamomile and jasmine, chrysanthemum and peppermint.
The kitchen smelled more like my grandmother’s home than any other part of the house. It smelled more like my grandmother than the scent on her clothes; all the love and warmth, cookie dough and peppermint. It was my grandmother in a nutshell. I guess you can say, it was as much living and breathing, as much alive as her.
BS-BioSciences, 3rd Year.