Every kitchen needs a creel. You know, slats of wood on a pulley that you hang the washing on to dry. A creel and a round table. Not those formica tables with flaps, because your sister can lift that up when you are leaning on it and do some serious damage to your arm! Round tables are safer and you can all squish around when you have brought “hangers on” home for tea.
The stove is missed. It sat in the old fireplace and we cooked chestnuts on it. I have a trick. I am the chief chestnut taster – I get to test them and say if they are ready or not. That means that I get more than anyone else. You have to split the chestnuts with a sharp knife otherwise they explode. You have to be careful that the knife doesn’t slip and cut you.
Dad always carried a little pen knife and he would carefully segment an orange and remove the pithe. He took forever to do it, whilst we sat waiting for our share with out mouths watering.
Christmas morning around the kitchen table. The only time of the year mum and dad had grapefruit. And then toast. We would sit fidgeting, impatiently and silently urging them to hurry up so we could rush into the front room and open our presents.
Our kitchen was a warm place, the heart of the home where we all learned to cook. Where we all shared the chores, the smallest standing on a stool to reach the sink to do the washing up. It was a happy, normal place and that is where we laughed, bickered, learnt and grew.