Saturday, February 03, 2007


Over the past few days, I have begun a new ritual. When the busyness of the day is done...when there are no errands to quick runs to the bus stop...when I am home for the day, I light a little candle on my kitchen window sill. It burns there, while I cook dinner for my family and clean up whatever mess we have made during the day. It burns until I tuck the last little one into bed and turn out the lights for the night.

In November, I mentioned here that I like to think of the beginning of each month as a "mini New Year." As each month begins, I try to think of some goal for that month; something I can do better. This month, I am trying hard to make the most of my kitchen with what I have on hand. So what if the inexpensive counter tops are stained, I can still scrub them with lemon juice. I can keep the appliance surfaces sparkling and the window clear to showcase the butterfly garden on the creek bank. Though I don't have a lot of money to spend on making improvements, I can make sure the kitchen is set up for how I really cook. I can have the things I use most often conveniently on hand, and store or eliminate the things I hardly ever use.

With a clean kitchen, it is easier to launch into bread making or other baking. I like to do all the messy cooking jobs in a very clean kitchen, so part of the process has always been to clean the kitchen well first. A job I undo, as I sprinkle flour to roll tortillas, or assemble pasties.

The little candle in the window, the clean surfaces, invite me into the room that truly is the heart of our quiet country home.

photos by Aisling, February 3, 2007


Rapunzel said...

I love kitchen candles! I have a small candle in the corner of my kitchen as well; lighting it has become part of my kitchen ritual along with cleaning the countertops and tying on my favorite apron. It adds a bit of magic to my cooking and makes the whole event feel special.

Aisling said...

I agree; it does add a touch of magic to the whole process!