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Why Congregate In The Kitchen?

Updated on October 5, 2009

Does your family and friends gather in the kitchen? What is it about people wanting to be in the area where the food is eaten and/or cooked? Is it the warm welcome smell of what's cooking? It's where all kinds of topics come up: mom's cooking, what's cooking, helpers, when will it be ready, what's that delicious smell, even politics, religion, family issues, what's in the news, the list goes on and on.

Family Tradition

It's our family tradition to have a first Sunday meal together. We never know who's going to show up. The meal is cooked after church service and typically my immediate family does the cooking or helping. It's a great time to try new recipes. One Sunday, the chosen recipe was, "Bobby's Hog Heaven Chili." The home chef, my husband, cooked it to perfection. The aroma went out to the curb where my brother-in-law and I were test riding a unique scooter. I didn't have the patience to watch him go any further down the street with the anticipation of tasting the chili being prepared. I quickly hurried him off the scooter, and we went directly to the kitchen following the savoring smell.

Simmering to tenderness on the stove, the chili was not ready for consumption. We all migrated near the kitchen in the great room with stomachs growling for a taste. I was asked to sample the spicy mixture. I didn't hesitate one moment to do so. All of the flavors from the spices, meats, pasta, and beans came together creating a taste of their own. I announced, "It's ready. Let's eat."

About The Recipe

After eating our meal, everyone asked the question, "How did you make this?" Actually, my husband was asked that question several ways: "Where did you get the recipe? Did you use sausage? Did you put elbow macaroni in..? What kind of peppers did you use? Were all the seasonings indicated in the recipe or did you add others? (Leave a comment below for the ingredients.)

I explained the recipe was titled, "Bobby's Hog Heaven Chili; however, it's a coincidence that it's named after my brother-in-law. My husband clarified the origination of the recipe. Much to my surprise between conversations about family, politics, and religion it was made clear to us that the recipe was created by my brother-in-law, and it was recognized by the New York Times. I went into the kitchen to join others in reading the recipe. We all felt very special and was proud to learn that a family member actually concocted the best chili meal we've ever eaten.

All conversation pointed at the hidden chef in the room with admiration. Family gatherings in the kitchen start juices to flowing and aromas simmering causing our taste buds of talents, creativity, and inspirations to flourish. We become unified in our thoughts and conversation because of a single meal that brings us all together.

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