Open Kitchen

Our next door neighbors decided that their kitchen was getting too small for their growing brood and, as soon as their youngest boy reached first grade age, they did some renovating.

They took down the walls between the kitchen and the dining room, and those between the dining room and the living room. The result is a bright airy space which showcases their collections in a cohesive display from the living room art work to the dining room stemware, silver and china cabinet, on to the new kitchen island with their vintage copper pots and pans hanging from overhead hooks.

At the party they threw to celebrate the new look, I told them that I had smelled something delicious cooking the minute I entered the door and it was making me hungry. I said this was the perk in having an open kitchen. They said the downside was that despite the overhead chimney/exhaust, some cooking aromas escape and don’t travel well to the living room.

They showed us a cooking range they had set up beside the barbecue grill on the patio, for cooking aromatic dishes like curry, dried or fermented fish, and garlic roasted peanuts.

They said that of all the cooking aromas that circulate well in the three areas, the smell of stewing beef is the best.

I totally agreed with them because, standing next to the terra cotta wall of their living room with drink in hand, the smell of beef stew wafting my way made it hard to wait for dinner to be served.