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  • February 3rd, 2009 | 12:03 AM
Tuesday memory challenge

Tuesday memory challenge

Since last week was about remembering our childhood bedrooms I thought it only right to move to another important room in the house - the kitchen.

The majority of my childhood was spent at my grandmother's house and that's the kitchen that I remember most of all. There was a sliding pocket door that separated it from the dining room and another door to separate it from the inside back porch where we had the washer and dryer. I'm remembering the floor as being blue, white and black flecked linoleum.

Nope. I just found this picture and it was actually blue and white alternating squares.

There was a big walk in pantry with all kinds of food in it. Later my grandmother put the built-in refrigerator there and I always missed that pantry.

There was a small little closet, maybe it was a broom closet, no, it was for the ironing board I think. I remember that my grandfather kept some kinds of tools in there and whenever I had to take a Band-aid off he would go into that little closet and get the Energine to help remove the leftover sticky stuff.

There was a breakfast nook just big enough for the table and chairs. A window that looked out into the backyard and little corner shelves up high near the ceiling. One one of them was a set of chickens and a rooster, three of them brightly colored. I have them now and think of my grandmother's kitchen every time I look at them.

The phone was in the kitchen nook and I would sit on a chair there to talk (this was back when the phones had cords attached to them.) I remember the telephone number was 685-7880. I think it used to  be MU something but I can't remember the rest.

The stove was big, with two ovens, black and white. It had a big over and a small narrow one. It's the small one I remember because my grandmother had perfected the timing of making her yellow cake from scratch. She'd get it all ready and pop it into the over while we ate and it would come out of the oven all hot in time for dessert. No icing, just some butter on the top. Yum, yum.

I can't remember where the refrigerator was at all. Maybe it is was on the back porch?

Before she had the kitchen remodeled my grandmother got a portable dishwasher that she would wheel out from the back porch and hook up to the kitchen sink.

The countertop had little white hexagon tiles. I remember my grandmother rinsing out paper milk cartons so she could stuff fish or duck or pheasant into them, fill them with water, and then put them in the freezer in the basement. There was a window over the sink that looked out at the Tuey's house. There was an open space under the sink and I remember having a bird, a baby perhaps, in a cardboard box. Maybe we put the black rabbit we found there too.

I remember someone, either my grandmother or my grandfather or maybe both, brushing their teeth at the kitchen sink with Pepsodent tooth powder.

I remember the cabinet to the left of the sink, up high, was where we had the little grater jar and we would grate our walnuts for putting on our ice cream sundaes. Vanilla ice cream, Bosco syrup, and fresh walnuts.

That's all I can remember about a kitchen from my childhood.

Your turn.

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 9 comments — Leave comment )
February 3rd, 2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Warning: Really depressing story ahead --

Many people have memories of good things in their parents' kitchens. I probably do too, but it's all overshadowed by one instance. Our kitchen was the way in and out. It led to a small concrete porch, where we left our boots. Our coats were hung on the back of the door that lead downstairs into the basement -- directly across from the door leading out.

I don't remember colours, or anything else. I remember our stove was gas, but that's it.

I was sixteen, and coming home from a date with my then boyfriend. I remember stepping into the kitchen and it smelled like muffins. Blueberry, strawberry, lemonseed, banana... Mom made them to take around to the shut-ins of the parish. They lined the small table in the kitchen, and all over the counters. Our oven had a timer on it and as I came in it went off, Mom coming in to rescue her muffins.

She asked me if I was okay. I asked to talk to her and Dad. There was only a doorway separating living room and kitchen. She put in another batch of muffins, and said 'of course, dear'.

I remember not leaving the doorway to the kitchen. I wanted the heat at my back (this was February of 94, and coooooooooold). I stood in that doorway and told my parents I was pregnant at 16.

That was the last time I was in that kitchen. I hit my head on the doorway when my mother smacked me across the face. Our boots were kept under our coats, but I turned the wrong way and ended up outside, in jeans a sweatshirt, and tennis shoes (again, February, northeast Ohio, COLD) and the door locked behind me.

I have never been in that kitchen since.
February 3rd, 2009 10:19 am (UTC)
I just realised, I said we left our boots in two places. I'm trying to remember, but cannot remember which one was the correct place. I wanna say inside, under the coats, but I may be wrong.
(Deleted comment)
February 3rd, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
That baby is going to be fifteen this year. Her younger sister is going to be 13. The twins'll be nine. The road has been long, bumpy, and heartbreakingly slow at times... but absolutely. It's gotten so much better. And I think I had some pretty darn lookin' kids:

(Deleted comment)
February 12th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
I thought I had answered this but obviously not. Bad blogger, sigh.

I think you ask good questions. We always ate at the table unless we had company. I was very happy in that kitchen. It was pretty much the heart of the house. All the good things happened in that room.

February 3rd, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is fun. I'm just going to post one memory. When I was little, in the "old house," my mom had a cat named Freddy. Yes, it was her cat. Tommy was all of ours, but Freddy was mean and cranky and old and only loved Mom. (He disappeared once for like six months and came back, paws totally munched from walking to get back to her--seriuosly!) Everybody else he bit.

I must have been pretty young for this memory--we had a picture window in the kitchen with a pretty low sill. Freddy would lie on that sill, in the sunshine. His eyes were closed, but his tail would twitch...back and forth, back and forth. I remember standing with that tail right at eye-level and just being mesmerized. I wanted to touch that tail as it twitched. Not catch it or pull it, just touch it. But I knew I'd get bit. I so remember that push-pull feeling, that Oh, I want to, but NO WAY. :)
February 12th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
I can totally picture you wanting but not touching!!!
February 3rd, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, my heart goes out to Cat_McDougall. I'm sorry your kitchen memory is not a happy one.

For once, I have a happy memory about my mom (no whipping me with a belt in the dark this time, woo hoo!)...

Our kitchen was Brady-tastic. Dark, dark cabinets, mustard yellow tile with really dark grout. The fridge was avocado green when we moved in, but we put it downstairs in the garage and eventually got a matching, beautiful mustard yellow side-by-side with faux-wood panelling on the handles.

My mom was studying to get her real estate license, and when she was done with class, she would pick me up from school and we would make french bread pizza together. Totally ghetto pizza: Parisian brand French bread, Ragu spaghetti sauce, Monterey Jack cheese, and canned mushrooms. She let me put the mushrooms on. In hindsight, the mushrooms were gross: rubbery, slimy, and tinny tasting, but I thought it was the best pizza in the whole world because my mom and I made it together.
February 12th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
Bad blogger here taking a week to get back to comments. Sigh.

I love this memory and it makes me feel better to know that you have a happy mommy memory like this. :0
May 25th, 2011 08:02 am (UTC)
Love this!
( 9 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

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