Category: 26Kitchens

Kitchen #7: The Truman Show

The Truman Apartments, 200 East 100 North, Provo, Utah (or thereabouts)

October, 1985

I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans,
and followed in my imagination by the store detective.

– Alan Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California”


She is in a movie. She is 19 and a student at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.



Same thing.

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Kitchen 3: Cereal Polygamy

The first wife buried the second wife on the other side of the cemetery.

… and the moon comes up as the moon
(All its images are in the dump) and you see
As a man (not like an image of a man),
You see the moon rise in the empty sky.

Wallace Stevens, “The Man on the Dump”

Helaman Hall, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

The Bowl: Deep, but not too deep. Copious. But not too big so as to make your cereal seem small in the space provided. White. Artificial colors look so much brighter against pure white.

The Conversation in my Head: “Crunchberries fit into a food group.”

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Kitchen 2: Memory’s Core

 10 Depot Street, Manti, Utah

My grandmother could remove the peel from an apple in one piece. Over and over, her thumb and forefinger would push the blade to the perfect position, taking away what wasn’t the pie.

This story is an apple peeled, skin broken. I was eight when she fell and broke her hip in the hundred-year-old pink sandstone house her grandfather built.

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Kitchen 1: Fridgid-Airlines

5923 Drumheller, Spokane, Washington

The handle of our pink dishwasher has a long silver bar that spins around and around like a steering wheel, just at eye-level. A row of square silver buttons to the right promises flight and control. It hums and clanks, and gives off the comforting aroma of Cascade. I scoot a heavy wooden chair across the brown speckled linoleum, open lower cabinet doors on each side, close myself into the cockpit. I push button after button hard, and my fingers don’t seem strong enough, still, the rumbling shifts and starts; growling and gurgling steam warming my face from around its edges.

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Why 26Kitchens? How neither here nor there became home.

Aged cheese, aged fork

People say that a kitchen is the heart of the home. But I think it is also the head.

Sure, the warmth of the oven, the smells of good things bubbling and baking, the tug of good memories of conversations around a table are an umbilical cord to the past. Here nurturing happens. But in the act of nurturing, our brain grows, too. In my father’s kitchen, I learned why bread dough rises. In my mother’s kitchen I learned why onions caramelize. The heart, the head.

Oh, yes, and the hands. In my seventh kitchen (1015 Harrison), I almost sliced my finger off while chopping basil, and still have the dead nerve cells to prove it. But I also made semi-successful gnocchi for the first time in my fourth kitchen (555 1st North), awkwardly forming – with my fingers and a fork – sticky little dumplings into globby, messy balls that, nevertheless, rose to the top of the boiling pot when done and held a sauce well.

Continue reading “Why 26Kitchens? How neither here nor there became home.”