My thoughts today are of how the early morning sights, smells and sounds of the kitchen have changed. This morning after walking out on my front porch, I went back into the house and was greeted by the sounds and the smells that come from the kitchen. I imagine that early settlers probably started out the morning by getting the wood together and starting a fire. That fire would be used to heat the house and prepare the food to start the day. In my youth, there was the smell of freshly brewed coffee emanating from the kitchen area. Along with the aroma of the coffee was the sound of the coffee pot percolating. The kind of coffee pot that percolated started out being placed on the burner of the stove. As years went by the coffee maker was powered by electricity. The coffee percolator would produce 10 to 12 cups of coffee. Along with the smell the coffee was the odor of sausage, ham or the crackling sound of bacon. The first part of my life was spent on a farm that included the raising of cows and pigs, they were always a part of the breakfast meal. In my memory there was also the sound of the toaster as it popped up the freshly toasted bread. There was the sound of eggs cooking. It did not take long for a combination of these smells and sounds to produce a hungry family at the breakfast table. In many households it was the woman or the wife who produced such great memories and meals from a simple kitchen. In my memory the kitchen was a large place that included a stove, an oven, and a refrigerator. Along the kitchen counter were many devices such as the electric can opener and a pressure cooker. It was a magical place where my mom cooked a breakfast and continued to warn me about putting my hands near the electric stove.
When I finally got out on my own I bravely entered the kitchen area of my first apartment and filled it with pots and pans. I even bought some dishes, glasses, forks, spoons and knives. I didn’t realize that I needed different kinds of knives, one for meat and another for butter. My refrigerator started off with a lot of room in it. There was milk, butter, cheese and of course beer. I ventured out and made some toast. The first four or five times I made toast it was covered with a dark brown and black shade of carbon. After several more attempts and the adjustment of the toaster I was able to produce a light brown effect on my toast. Even though my kitchen area had a stove and an oven, I quickly went out and bought a microwave oven. I thought that this was a quick and easy way to prepare a meal. After several attempts on cooking TV tray style meals, I was able to produce some edible products. I also bought a drip type coffee maker that made from 6 to 8 cups of coffee at a time. The first several pots of coffee were really, really, strong. I had no real idea on what a tablespoon of coffee looked like. But in the beginning I thought that if I filled the filter halfway full, that would be the right amount. You can only imagine how strong the coffee was. For me the early morning sounds coming out of the kitchen were the dripping of the coffee maker, the toaster popping up toast and a little ding sound from the microwave. Other than the coffee there wasn’t really much of a smell that came from the kitchen. While living alone I ate more dry cold cereal than any other time in my life.
To my great fortune I am married to a woman who knows how to cook. And the sounds and the smells of the kitchen changed greatly due to her presence. There is the wonderful smell of coffee that tastes as great as it smelled. There is the sound of a wooden spoon hitting the bottom of a pan which is making up some scrambled eggs. Sometimes there is a popping sound of eggs being made over easy. And then there was the glorious smell and sounds of her preparing bacon, ham or sausage. The sounds and the smells of the kitchen made the house come alive again and it made me anxious to get to the kitchen table and enjoy a great meal. When my wife is not at home I usually go back to eating cold cereal, some little white doughnuts or really go crazy and make some pop tarts. If I’m really desperate while, she is gone, I get into the car and I go to the local McDonald’s and have a breakfast meal.
As time has gone on and I have gotten older, I am paying more attention to what I eat in the morning. Recently, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law came to stay at our house for a week. They are from California and they eat a different kind of breakfast. I am told it is a healthier breakfast. The sound of the coffee maker and the aroma of coffee are not so pronounced in the kitchen during their visit. Instead of a percolator or a drip style coffee maker I have a Keurig coffee maker, it just makes one cup at a time. Therefore, there is less of an aroma to waffle through the house. Instead of the sound of the sizzling and popping bacon or the crackle of eggs over easy, there is the sound of the food processor. The food processor sounds like and angry garbage disposal. Instead of a plate filled with bacon, eggs, potatoes and toast; there is the sound of the food processor struggling to mix the many different fruits and vegetables placed inside to produce a smoothie. To me it looks like the green slime in the movie Ghostbusters.
The sounds and smells of the kitchen area have developed into something different than I have previously experienced. I know that there are different cultures that produce different sounds and smells for the breakfast meal. Rather than the use of meat, potatoes and bread; there are many different sounds and smells being experienced every day. Maybe it’s just a ball of rice or a local vegetable or fruit. I am sure there are many people on this earth who enjoy the sounds and smells of their breakfast no matter what it is. But for me, I prefer the smells and the sounds that are represented by eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, potatoes, toast and coffee (not all at once). The only liquid that I am used to drinking at breakfast is either milk or orange juice. I currently cannot face the smoothie with the green liquid in it. It is even hard for me to watch the other people in the family drink it. I am sure that it is better for my health to drink this green colored combination of fruits and vegetables. I was opposed to drinking V-8 juice when it came out. At least it had an orange looking color much like the orange juice that I would drink. But the color of the smoothie has a green dark color and I am unable to comfortably even thinking of drinking the smoothie.
The smells and the sound of the kitchen probably will continue to change. And who knows, maybe down the road, while sitting on my porch, I will be drinking a green colored smoothie. Yuck, just the thought of it now makes me feel a little uneasy. I’m going to grab my cup of coffee and go out on my front porch and enjoy the sights sounds and smells of the forest.