Just before my sophomore year of college, I got my first apartment and kitchen. Because of its high cupboards and actual refrigerator and sink, the kitchen was a marvel to me. On the first day of class, my roommate and I invited over the boys next door for breakfast. We had oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar. Compliments abounded. None of us could cook anything in those days; we lived on Whoppers and Ripple wine. To have a bowl of edible food before us, prepared by our own hands—well, what was next? A walk on the moon? (Actually, that was next, though of course not by us.)

It took a lot of kitchens to get me to the one I currently love. You can eat in it, at a little round French-style table with ladder-back chairs. The kitchen has lots of counter space and a wooden center island for chopping. There's a pantry-cupboard with plenty of room for everything, including alphabetized spices. It's also where my dog eats. Above the dog dish are photos of dogs and a really tacky porcelain head of a dog I bought—on extreme sale—even though it's kind of creepy because it looks just like my pooch. He licked it when he first saw it. (My dog, Homer: big heart, little brain.)

My kitchen has plenty of cupboard space, and I can finally have all my dishes in one room—in my last house, pots and pans were in the linen closet. I have cool tools: A Microplane grater, a bench scraper, a zester, a meat massager, a Mixmaster stand mixer, a baby-bear Cuisinart and a papa-bear Cuisinart, and the Rolls-Royce of garlic presses. I have All-Clad pots and pans, standard-size and odd-size measuring cups and spoons. I have tins for baking teeny tiny cupcakes or cupcakes the size of your head. Last Christmas, I asked for (and received) a professional-sized box of plastic wrap, which I can barely lift and find irrationally comforting. I have a pizza stone and cutter, parchment paper, and pie weights. I have custard cups and individual-sized ramekins in three different colors and a little fork I took from a coffeehouse in Florence. Twine. Cheesecloth. Doilies and heart-decorated muffin wrappers. Vintage aprons, beautifully embroidered. I have, in short, every single thing I need.

Kitchen Soup for the Soul continues...


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