Goats, Coffee & Kitchen Nooks

Goats, Coffee & Kitchen Nooks

An Arabian shepherd found his goats dancing joyously around a shrub with bright red berries. Shepherds are very observant. It did not take long before he determined that his goats had surely eaten some of the berries, which in turn caused the euphoria. A taste promptly confirmed his theory. Within a short period of time, the news spread and area monks began to use the joy-filled berry to stay awake during the long hours they spent in prayer. The discovery was shared with other monasteries around the world and coffee was born.

Of course, recent botanical evidence suggests what might be a more realistic origin for one of the most popular beverages in America, but it seems fitting that it should have a legend of its own. Interestingly, coffee is also the one beverage that has generated the creation of its own appliances and its own rightful place in the corner of our homes we call the kitchen. Few people have a wine cellar, but almost every household has a coffee-maker or, at the very least, a coffee pot.

The concept of “interior design” is fairly new, but it evolved rapidly so that rooms that were essentially purely functional, such as the kitchen, have become havens. However, the kitchen, where our grand-parents and ancestors assembled to chat by the stove at the end of the day, retains its function as a place of gathering to this day.

Perhaps this is because the kitchen also represents abundance and sustenance. It is where we find nourishment in the purest form, in addition to the nourishment of connection with the family and friends who share our homes.

We migrate to the kitchen to wrap our hands around fresh-brewed coffee as we used to gather around the stove to soak in the first waves of warmth of the day. For many, this is the starting point. The simple act of sitting or standing there, first thing, is a statement. It is our claim to what the day holds; our silent yet deeply felt, “Here I am.” For some, this may happen in a different room, but there is an undeniable pull to the kitchen, and this is why it is one of the rooms that lend the most value to a home.

The kitchen will undeniably undergo many transformations over the years to come, but its function as a place of nourishment, literally and metaphorically, will likely remain. As with the sacred, restorative ritual of savoring a fresh-brewed, rich blend of coffee, shortcuts simply will not do.

Minimizing the true function of the kitchen as a place of ritual and nourishment, it seems, would be like offering those minutely-bottled, caffeine-rich energy drinks to the dancing goats. There would be no brightly-colored berries to gaze upon, no delight in discovering the fresh burst of flavor of the day and no reason to dance together.

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