Center Table

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads:  Weekend Mini-Challenge –
“Grandma’s Kitchen”  (posted by Sherry)

“For your weekend mini-challenge, re-visit your grandmother’s kitchen. Was it your safe place? Is there one item that stands out for you, when you remember being in that warm, bright room?


Tell us about it, any form, any length. Take us back there. Make us see it. How did you feel, as a child, back then, in your grandmother’s kitchen?”

Each cozy room is arranged
around the kitchen, centerpiece
of Grandma’s home life. Soon
as you enter, delightful scents
assail your nostrils, and cause
loud stomach grumbles. An
immense aluminum table fills
the room. On holidays, the table
is set, large pots and pans
simmer on the stove. On regular
visits, we sit and watch
Grandma crack eggs into a
mound of flour, like snow. She
kneads an immense ball of dough.
That wooden rolling pin has
quite the workout as the dough
begins to appear paper-thin,
nearly translucent. Dough
is stretched across table,
and is cut for noodles, or
separated into rows where

different fillings can be
used for knishes.

All the rooms wrapped
you in comfort, like
a hand-stitched quilt.
No recipes were handed
down because none were
in writing. Grandma
could not write, but
she sure could cook.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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26 Responses to Center Table

  1. oldegg says:

    You are right grandmas needed no recipe books. My mum had a scrap book and cut them out of magazines and pasted them there, but more than likely they were just placed between the pages and fell out if not careful!


  2. Sherry Marr says:

    Oh I am in awe at people who make their own pasta. Wow. Grandmas do love to cook! The men in our family used to say “the stove never gets cold” at my grandma’s house. And my grandkids said of me “Grandma loves to feed people!” It seems to be a legacy. You made me SEE that table, and smell the good smells.


  3. rothpoetry says:

    Nicely done Sara! Reminds me of a song by John Denver, Grandma’s Feather Bed!


  4. jaerose37 says:

    What a wonderful sense of home and contentment


  5. kanzensakura says:

    My grandmother did not write recipes either, none of us did. This is a wonderful poem full of scents of cooking, full of love.


  6. Jim says:

    Loved reading this, Sara. My grandmother’s kitchen was entered by the front door or the back door or by two doorways inside the house.
    In our house the kitchen is central and just down the garage entrance hallway is the washing area and an overflow refrigerator.
    Last night we had 17 dinner guests, eight in the breakfast room and nine in the dining room.
    But as you do, we have modern ooking and dishwashing conveniences.


  7. kim881 says:

    I love the description of Grandma cracking eggs into a ‘mound of flour, like snow’ and kneading an immense ball of dough – home-made noodles must have been delicious, and all from her handed-down and memorised recipe!


  8. Helen L Dehner says:

    Your lovely poem reminded me of watching my grandmother make biscuits ~~~ magic.


  9. Susie Clevenger says:

    Oh, such a delightful place…My mother did much of her cooking without recipes. I rarely cook from a recipe.


  10. Vivian Zems says:

    The grandmas of yesterday were made of original stuff!
    Can you imagine making pasta from scratch? I’m too lazy for that.
    I love your memories.


  11. I do love the fact that recipes not are written… it’s very much how I cook myself (mostly)


  12. Recently, I found some of my aunt’s handwritten recipes. What’s amazing is that there are only ingredients with no specific measurements. I realize now this is where I get my ‘creative’ cooking skills! This is so lovely.


  13. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    Truly heartwarming – the mound of snow is wonderful and the wooden rolling pin – the busy Grandmother in the kitchen – with no recipe! I have about 30 cookbooks (got rid of almost 60 when I moved). I also google recipes.


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