Gathering Around The Kitchen

In my family there seems to be a trend around where we gather – the kitchen. Have you ever taken notice to where your family gathers? I decided to actually pay even more attention to this particular trend and take a trip into my memory for even more understanding.

country kitchen

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When my family and I lived close to my in-laws any large get together always begun with preparation, food. And while I personally enjoyed being able to spend time with the masses that would soon come-a-knockin’, I far more enjoyed pulling up a bar stool to the kitchen island. Why? Because my mother in law and father in law would be in there cooking and I would have the chance to sit down with them. We would talk nonsense or have our ‘family gossip’ session. If by chance my father in law would be the meal preparer, well would gather outside on chairs near to where he was cooking. The kids would be off running in the pastures or climbing a nearby tree.

As I look back now I miss that. I do gather still around the kitchen now. If I am cooking, my husband will have him a seat at our dining room table or vice versa. My kids often do the same thing also. I wonder if it is because the attention to any one person is not so easily diverted or if it is just a matter or natural instinct. As I said, I wanted to pay a bit more attention to this kitchen gathering phenomenon.

A few weeks back I stopped over for a visit at my sisters house. And low and behold the kids ran out the back door to play and I pulled up a chair in the kitchen. There was no implication for us to leave the room or even gesturing to move elsewhere that might be a bit more comforting.

Then last week, I stopped over at my mom’s house to have lunch. The kids were patiently waiting at the dining room table while my mom readied their plates. I immediately stood on the opposite side of her and the extended kitchen counter. While there is not bar stools or chairs there, I felt anywhere else would just leave me feeling very out of place.

And of course, the final test was when my brother in law and sister in law came to visit. Immediately without thought or hesitation, I walked into my kitchen. As they sat down at the table, we talked and I found myself idly wiping down counters and laying out dinner for the night.

Food never seems to be the only thing that pulls me or any of my family to the kitchen. We could be cleaning. We could be just getting a drink. But once you find yourself there, well it seems there really is no reason to leave. Is it the smells? Is the kitchen the heart of the home? Or do we just instinctively find that the kitchen is the best place to be? It can be comfortable, but really it is not the most comfortable room in an entire house. I wonder sometimes if making the gesture to another room would change these habits? Or maybe not.

Either way, in our family when we are together; you most definitely will find us gathering around the kitchen. Where does your family gather?