Also, notes from Paris. A fantastic spice resource. And a vintage menu.
About ten years ago I taught a very young friend how to cook in my galley kitchen in NYC, which has good pots, sharp knives, and a well stocked larder, by inviting him over every Saturday afternoon and preparing a multi course lunch and an elaborate dessert together. (His mother was always scolding him for wasting his time with an old Jewish lady when he should have been trolling the city for the mother of her future grandchildren.) He is now married with two kids and he and his wife just closed on their first house. He hates the new kitchen with all of its counter space and modern appliances because he has such wonderful memories of the afternoons we spent in my little one butt operation. He’s actually planning to convert the laundry room into a separate kitchen and model it after mine.
I’m planning to be in Paris over Thanksgiving and will try to make a reservation at the restaurant in Rue Mouffetard. Thank you for the recommendation!
Ruth, this is so perfect, at least for me right now. I love your reminiscing about all your kitchens,
and of course, watching you again in your ideal one now. When you and Pat were last here, you gave me inspiration to get back into cooking. This post cinches the idea.
YES! You would be at home in my kitchen. Minimal appliances, a locally quarried stone counter that is great for rolling dough and not worrying about hot pans, and a not top-of-the-line six burner stove. If I stretch, I can touch both the stove and the sink. It's not completely open to the house but the aromas manage to waft into the dining room and up the stairs and it was designed for cooking for a mob of family and friends. It makes me SO happy. The view is also lovely. Can't stand the clutter of single use things when a knife does the trick.
I love the part about kitchens. I use the triangle method and a smaller kitchen is 100 times more efficient.
Love your blog, love your books ,loved Gourmet ( still have every issue sind the mid 70s )love this essay about your kitchen.
A sharp knife, a good pan, a glass of wine .some good music and people you love to feed is all you need
Rue Mouffetard is also my favorite street in Paris. Had friends who lived on the street for about 4 years when he was recruited by a French modeling agency and left his chemical engineering job. His now wife joined him and I would visit them every year. It was a joy to pop into the various shops along the street and come back to their small studio apartment and create a great meal. Fun memories!
Was in Paris for only a day and a half last month. Had dinner at Dominique Crenn's new restaurant Golden Poppy. The food was spectacular. Service was still a little spotty, being a fairly new place and staff, but we were really glad to be there. Her food never disappoints.
The only ‘newfangled’ appliance I use is an air fryer. My husband of 60 years is sadly in long term care and so it’s just me...I’m determined to eat properly and my baby Ninja does the trick. Otherwise the stand mixer, Cuisinart, etc. etc. can all be found in my daughter‘s kitchens !!
loved the story of your kitchens
Loved it when you said, kitchen is an invitation to cook. It definitely is. Thoroughly enjoyed the read.
Loved this piece. Thank you for reminding us that simple is best. (And for kindly smiling with me at a friend, who recently told me that she wanted to make hummus this week, but couldn't because her food processor was broken. Hahaha.)
I love the picture you paint of the New York kitchen - so hard to imagine anyone living like that now, no more spaces like that left in big cities, artists and cooks chased out to the burbs... I finally have my dream kitchen, it only took about 50 years to get here! It's big, chaotic, colourful, some gadgets but no air fryer and it's in West Wales.
Love your newsletter! Thank you for sharing your love of cooking. ♥♥
I always adore your writing however this last post had me weeping. So true about clinical/perfect kitchens. I have had many kitchens in my life and quite honestly the more pokey and difficult the better the food and the love that came into it. The absolute worst being a kitchen on an old boat/cruiser that we had. Two burners an old fashioned ice box ! Then you finished me off by talking of the all the women/cooks who are there with you in spirit. As I am rubbing lemon juicevover a leg of lamb, my grandmother. Scenting milk with herbs my other grandmother on and on. Thank you Ruth. Truly great writing
Best use for my dishwasher: storage for madeleine molds, tart rings, those curvy bread sheets (which I use to shape Tuiles aux Amandes), etc.
In the book "Pears on a Willow Tree" by Leslie Pietrzyk, the family matriarch says all you need to be a good cook is a good sharp knife and a sturdy pot.
My theory about homes with big, fancy kitchens is that the bigger and fancier the kitchen, the less likely the family is to to cook in it!