Kitchen envy

night window

It’s night time.  I pull up in front of my house on the way back from running errands.  My French neighbor has dinner guests.  I can see them through his open window.  Bathed in warm yellow light are tiny snippets of his evening — a tablecloth covered with a red Provencal fabric, a bread basket and a bottle of wine.  Faint sounds of  animated French conversation and jazz music drift out the window.  It’s obviously one of those long drawn out French meals punctuated by good food and great conversation.  Encapsulated in this window is a scene of coziness and warmth, hospitality and friendship — all the wonderful things that food is a conduit for.

I’m so jealous.  In my current kitchenless state, I’m looking at a world divided between those with kitchens and those without kitchens.  When rationality returns to my brain, I realize that a kitchen and a dining room are just tools.  It’s people and company that bring them to life.

Without a kitchen, I feel like an orphan, shuffling myself to other people’s kitchens, i.e. restaurants.  Tonight, the older man at the Vietnamese pho place I frequent recited my usual order right when I sat down.  After I agreed to it, he returned within 5 minutes with my food.  I have to admit, it was comforting to have someone recognize you and know what you like to eat. 

Pho Van
4233 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 281-9420

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8 responses to “Kitchen envy

  1. Oh yes, those long French meals. I’m surprised you didn’t march to your neighbors house and knock on the door…strong arm your way in (that’s what I would have done 🙂 You’ll have you kitchen soon. I can’t wait to see it.

  2. You’re hilarious, Shake ‘n Bake! I suppose I should have just popped my head in the window and say “Hey, something smells good. Are you going to eat that?” and pick up a piece of food off of someone’s plate.

  3. Hi Audrey,
    At first we thought we’d wait until everything was perfect before we started entertaining. But our backyard is still a disaster after four years here and we need to do more than plant a few bushes, and there’s no longer any such thing as a HELoC. So we invite people over anyway and it’s just like you said. It’s the people who make the party. Some of the bold ones even make good gardening suggestions, and the benevolent ones have given me free plants. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the comment Petrea. I know getting a house up to speed is a process. I probably won’t wait until all is perfect before I start inviting people over. I just have to figure out how to save up for a dining table soon. I’ve never had one because every apartment I’ve lived in has been too small for one.

  5. Hi Audrey, I enjoy reading what you wrote in your blog particularly this one. I can’t be more agree with you that without a kitchen we can feel like an orphan but you’re so smart and positive by going out finding a Vietnamese restaurant instead of nursing self pity – by the way last August I visited Saigon for a week (and so far I have been there for 8 times in the past 8 years). I love Saigon, the people and the food. One day, I will post a recipe of which I learned there.

  6. Thank you Wina. I’m so jealous of your frequent visits to Saigon. I’ve always wanted to visit Vietnam. It looks like a really beautiful place and the food is very refreshing. I look forward to your recipe posts on Vietnamese food.

  7. This is my favorite entry so far! Be careful what you ask for. Your hungry brother & I will soon be coming over to eat up all your gourmet food!

  8. I love cooking for you guys! The last time I made that heavy breakfast at your house, you both passed out shortly afterward. I better get that second bedroom set up if you come over for dinner.

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