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My Grandmother’s Kitchen


Soon it will be 1 year since my Grandmother died. She was 84 and living by herself in a remote village in hills of western Bosnia. Whenever I think about a peaceful place to visit or a place that’s sincere, close to nature, a place of simple love, I think of that particular house, suited in the middle of an old orchard of plum trees. The grass growing beneath them is so soft and tender having been ‘brazed’ by generations of sheep year after year. The smell of wild herbs fill the air.

Of course, I am more than aware that living there is far away from romantic images of being close to nature that many people have in their heads nowdays. She didn’t have runing water in the house – she had to get it from the well every day. All the water – for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, cleaning the floor, washing her clothes, personal hygiene. She had to get up every day to light the fire in the stove to warm the house up and cook the water for coffe. Sometimes (qute often, probably), she even had to chop the wood for the fire. In the snow. In the rain. In the freezing cold. In the evening after a very long hot day of working in the field.

That’s why I feel such respect for her and smetimes even some kind of desire for a simpler life, not cluttered with things that have to be changed, replaced, thrown out or otherwise become obsolete. Her kitchen is a symbol of that desire for me. Here she made some of the best meals that I have tasted (and surely, some of my relatives too). Here is where she cooked vegetables which were grown by her hands.

Whenever I look at my life now I try to focus on the important things. How to reach them and how to keep them. Health, satisfaction, genuine interest for other people. Also fear. I cannot but think about how many things are we preoccupied with – picking up the right cups, wishing for that cappuchino machine, being sad for not getting the right shade of the mixer on the sale… All so important in the moment. And unimportant in the long term perspective. Long time ago I read a very good post on ‘All the dumb things’ that describes almost exactly my feelings regarding the important stuff in our lives.

Think about your kitchen.

What do you do there and how long will your doing it take you? Until you are 84? I hope so.

Cupoard in my grandmothers house

Cupoard in my grandmothers house

10 Comments leave one →
  1. 27/02/2009 18:07

    :) i agree with you. I have taken that stand too- things are not important and one needs very very few of them. i dont shop -for kitchen,home or myself- very often. if i do i buy what i need and will use definitly. i think your grandmother lifed a wonderful life, life is never easy- but hers was real. those shoppingmalls and glitzyglamour- as entertaining as they can be- fade to nothingness, only real things have meaning in the long run…have a nice weekend

  2. 28/02/2009 07:17

    Sorry to hear about your grandmother. Mine died a little over a year ago too. And I still can’t come to terms with it.

    As for the main topic of the post, it is so challenging to keep focused on the big picture. I succeed only occasionally.

  3. 28/02/2009 10:12

    Čitajući tvoj post setila sam se svoje babe i hleba iz smederevca. Uh, šta bih dala da mogu da osetim taj miris i ukus!

  4. 28/02/2009 17:11

    I so enjoyed reading this post about your grandmother. Lately, I’ve been thinking of getting a panini machine and how nice it would be to have grilled sandwiches!! Good Grief. You just saved me the money I shouldn’t have spent in the first place and gave me a much needed slap upside of the head. I also love the post you cited from all the dumb things!

  5. 03/03/2009 21:22

    Now you made me blush, with my recent musings about what Artisan’s colour to choose or what kitchen cupboards to buy for our new flat…

    • 06/03/2009 14:03

      Joanna, actually, I think it’s good to think througly about things you buy and how long will you use them, and if you need them, really. Sometimes, in my opinion, people are just buying stuff without considering much the use (or the effects) of the products.

  6. 05/03/2009 03:44

    I liked what you wrote here. Simpler life can lead us to deeper life maybe? But Tamara will, later in her life, think back to her birthday cake you made in your kitchen. I love kitchen which is full of memory, even if it is filled with things, or equipped with very little ;-)

    • 06/03/2009 14:06

      I hope she does. :) You know, our kitchen is pretty simple. Maybe I’ll post about it someday.

  7. Natalia permalink
    11/03/2009 23:56

    oh i love this post! and i agree, agree so much.

    when you write about your kitchen, don’t forget your cutting board :) the cute yellow one, or was it green? :)

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