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Cooking: a letter to my first…kitchen

Contributed by: Mary Payne Moran

I brought you to life five years ago. I dreamed of you and when you finally arrived you were better than I could have ever imagined and sadly sometime soon someone else will be cooking with in you.

Ten years ago when we moved into our house you were a sad excuse for a kitchen. You had weird gray Formica, a 1970’s type electric stove, a terrible black wall oven, you were poorly laid out and even though all of this was true you were still mine and I still learned to make delicious food in spite of you.

(c) HMFG copyright 2015

(c) HMFG copyright 2015

Remember the time we had our first cooking job? I was right out of culinary school and we were hired to cater a 200 person wedding with a sit down dinner. We didn’t know each other very well so we ended up having lots of challenges. When I went to cook everything I am pretty sure we ended up with either over or under cooked food, which made us start over again, it was so frustrating. I learned quickly about your good and bad sides.  Your stove was hotter than any gas stove I had worked with and your air vent made a lot of noise but didn’t remove any smoke. We were both frustrated. However, in the end the wedding was a huge success with delicious food and from then on we were friends.

There was the time when my husband left for three months to work on a film and we were left alone. We would eat together almost every meal. We would sit quietly and miss him. We learned how to cook for one.

We started my company together, made our first You Tube videos together and I wrote my first book about you (sadly never published). Despite your ugliness I knew your true potential. You were small but always amazing.

Then one day after months of planning, finding the right cabinets, the drawer pulls, the right layout and the perfect (for what we could afford) oven your true self was revealed. You were lined with off white cabinets, gray and white curtains, a dish washer that could be opened while you were at the sink. You were more amazing than I could ever imagine.

(c) HMFG copyright 2015 photo by: Tarin Anderson

(c) HMFG copyright 2015 photo by: Tarin Anderson

As my husband and I were waiting for our first child and you were just barely finished my friends threw us an amazing baby shower. Do you remember? You weren’t happy with someone else cooking in you and so of course your oven stopped working when the whole menu was suppose to be hot! My friends had to use the stove-top to make the food for about 50 people.

Then we brought our first child home and you watched quietly as we walked our child to sleep for months. You were dark and quiet but always there. You were there when I learned how to make baby food and you were there when my child started pulling on your drawers and untwisting your handles.

My dearest kitchen I love that we were best friends from the moment the contractor finished you. I have loved you at meal times and in-between. You have been the heart of my home.

I know it’s tough for you to have someone new cook within you.  We have been together for ten wonderful years filled with ups and downs. Sadly one day soon it will be time for my family to move on and someone else will get to love you just as much as I have loved you. Of course change is hard, it will be hard for me as well. But, in time you will learn to love your new owner and I will learn to love my new kitchen.  For now let’s relish our last days together and cook our hearts out. When it’s time to move I will always remember that an ugly small kitchen can have great potential and despite its looks it can still make wonderful food, just like you.

Your friend,


If you liked this article take a look at Cooking with a child on my hip or Which cook are you?

And please tell us about your first kitchen.