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May 20, 2009

Where do we start with the kitchen? There is so much to talk about. Many people say that it is the center of family life. The kitchens that I will describe are those that I have seen and been in in England and the U.S. To start with, a kitchen will often have a water resistant floor: tile, wood, or vinyl. If you drop food or liquids, it's no problem. Just wipe it all up and wash with soapy water. Cabinets are a big thing here in the U.S. They are the cupboards and drawers that you find in the kitchen. I have noticed in the past few years, that the cabinets are quite a status symbol here. The kind of wood that you use, and the stain on the wood both determine the elegance of the kitchen. The most popular kinds of wood at the moment are cherry, fir, and maple, though the traditional oak is still used a lot as well. The hardware for the cabinets, the handles and hinges, also come in a variety of materials: plastic, glass, bronze, brass, chrome, ceramic and others. You can really make a statement with cabinets, or you can keep them simple and functional. The stain on a cabinet is a kind of permanent color wash. They are used to bring out the grain of the wood, and to add a touch of any color.

So, what do we put inside the cabinets? All sorts of things. Anything from the heavy kitchen equipment like the food processor, the blender, the juicer, the slow cooker, and the waffle maker. Then there are the pots and pans like the frying pan, the wok, baking dishes, and casserole dishes. If you know much about cooking, you will know that there are many other small pieces of kitchen equipment: the sieve, the cheese grater, cake pans, the garlic crusher, and the list goes on and on. Cutlery or the silverware are stored in the various drawers, and there is usually a separate drawer for the larger kitchen cultery, such as the wooden or cooking spoons, spatulas, carving or chopping knives, serving spoons and hand held whiskers. Gosh, we can certainly do a lot of cooking with all of this equipment. Of course, there is no point cooking unless we have something to put the food on. The dinner plates, side/ salad plates, dessert and cereal bowls, glasses, cups, saucers, china, and wine glasses all have to be stored in cabinets as well.

There is so much to talk about when we are in the kitchen. And we haven't even cooked anything yet! We will continue our Tour of Homes in the kitchen the week after next when we will spend some time talking about the main appliances that we use every single day, and the verbs and vocabulary that go with them.