A cook’s working kitchen

One of my favorite past times is browsing through house designs. I frequent sites like this, this, this and this and I imagine what it would be like to live in one of those fabulous homes featured in them. ALL THAT SPACE. ALL THOSE GORGEOUS FURNITURE. NO MESS. NOTHING OUT OF PLACE. I go through kitchen designs and I imagine myself prepping meat and veggies on those shiny work surfaces, using bowls and plates that match the walls and the cabinets, and cooking on state-of-the-art appliances. You know, stove tops where splatters seem to magically disappear.

There are times when my living room and my kitchen look like those featured homes. The funny thing is that those picture perfect moments are very, very fleeting. Not one room in this house is organized and orderly and mess free 24/7. Especially the kitchen. We have granite countertops and they are shiny because I clean them everyday. But, most of the time, it’s hard to see the shiny surfaces because they’re covered with a hundred different things.


In those house design websites that I frequent, you won’t see anything on the counters and the island except for a few pieces of carefully chosen bowls with perfectly fresh fruits. Everything is pristine — so pristine that it seems sterile. Not that those kitchens don’t exist at all in the real world. They do. I know they do because I’ve seen kitchens like that. Showcase kitchens that aren’t really used in houses with a “dirty kitchen” where the domestic helpers prepare the food day in and day out.


Much as I dream of making my kitchen look like it came out of the pages of a catalog or an interior design magazine, I can’t.


Because I use my kitchen every single day. Several times a day. Much as I wish I can put everything away in drawers and cabinets after every use, I can’t. There are objects that I want to be within reach every time I cook. Like the jars of salt and sugar, the pepper mill, the basket of vegetables, the rice cooker…


And I think about those picture perfect kitchens and I realize that beautiful as they are, they are as impersonal as hotel rooms. Real kitchens bear the personality of the person or persons that use them.


Our kitchen isn’t picture perfect. Well, sometimes it is for, like, 15 minutes every month or so. Apart from that, our kitchen looks like there is something going on every minute of the day. Because that’s how it really is. Our kitchen isn’t something for display — it is something for actual use. And we actually use it — and everything in it. Including the mini food processor that makes so much noise that Sam wants to be warned before it is turned on so that she can at least cover her ears if there is no time for her to hie off to her room, shut the door and shut out the noise.

Much as I wish I had an even better kitchen with hot tap water and a modern dishwasher, I really can’t complain about what I have. This kitchen has been good to us. We have spent a lot of together times hovering over that island — baking, cooking, bantering. It is this kitchen that keeps this blog alive.

Maybe, someday, we will have it remodeled. Every house needs remodeling after a while as part of its maintenance. Maybe, someday, we can tear out the plumbing so we can have that hot-cold tap water and a dishwasher. Or, maybe, we’ll move elsewhere with all of that. For now, this is our kitchen. It’s not pristine but, heck, it works for us.


  1. says

    your kitchen looks neat and functional! i guess beautiful kitchens that look impersonal belong only to magazines and artisan houses. i love looking at them but i don’t think I can work in them. :)

  2. kitchen pantry cabinet says

    agree with you – “Real kitchens bear the personality of the person or persons that use them.” I do like your kitchen Connie.

  3. nina says

    my mom renovated her kitchen but also had a dirty kitchen made :) i hate the fact that the stove in the new kitchen can’t be used. soetimes when i bake, i aso needed the stove :)

    i told my husband, when we build our own house, i want a real nice big kitchen with walk-in pantry, etc. he said, gusto mo kitchen na lang ipagawa natin :)

  4. Albert Rendal says

    I agree with you – “Real kitchens bear the personality of the person or persons that use them.” I do like your kitchen Connie. :)

  5. says

    you are right, Ms Connie! Real kitchens bear the personality of the person or persons that use them. I have a simple kitchen where good memories linger . . .

  6. Rhea says

    you are absolutely right, and I agree with you. It doesn’t matter how your kitchen looks but how you feed the hungry stomach and put a smile on their faces. I love your kitchen, Connie. Mine is not as beautiful as what you have but someday I believe I will have a better one. Keep cooking, keep blogging, you really have inspired me most. God bless you and Merry Christmas.

  7. Connie says

    Nina, a dirty kitchen is useful for the real dirty jobs. We have one (it’s really more of a utility area) and that’s where we wash and air dry the pans and everything.

    Pinayhekmi, the first thing I did after reading your comment was to go to your blog to looks for photos hahahaha

  8. SHEILA says

    kitchens are for cooking and not for display. if your kitchen can talk it will probably tell u thank you because by using her u have appreciated her function.

  9. Rochelle says

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    Sorry if this may sound cheesy or sentimental but I’ve been reading a lot about your blogs and found inspiration in them. I am actually excited to try every dish you have blogged (especially my favorite ones) but since my husband and I are just starting out as family, I really couldn’t afford to experiment (we’re living on a tight budget), only on the simple ones, with ingredients that are common to me. :P

    I just want you to know that I consider you as a mentor in homemaking in general even though we don’t know each other personally. I dream that one day I will also have my own kitchen like yours where I can experiment (not as grand), and your chinawares (I so envy them :D)…

    So, thank you for being an inspiration to other people. May God bless you and your family always. :)