Home & Garden

Kitchen study probes ‘heart of the home’

The idea of baking on a snowy day is appealing.
The idea of baking on a snowy day is appealing. OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

I think about making soup and baking bread pretty much every time the forecast tells us a blizzard will blow through. Miserable conditions outside make me long for time in a warm, relaxing kitchen.

It doesn’t always work out that way, even on the snowiest days. Like so many people, I’m usually figuring out what I can use as a sled to keep things on track.

I’d like for my kitchen to be the heart of our home. On the weekends it can be a hangout, and I’ll spend maybe an hour there before work most days.

This seems to fit with how many of us describe our use of the kitchen these days, according to researchers in a recent study.

Only 19 percent said they hang out in the kitchen often and conversations happen there frequently, according to the Charlotte-based Research Institute For Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence.

The largest group of the survey takers – 50 percent – described their kitchens as a place mainly to eat and drink. The middle group, 31 percent, said they spend a fair amount of time doing things other than eating and drinking in this area.

Those more likely to think of their kitchens as the center of the home are women, families with children under age 18, cooking enthusiasts and kitchen-focused consumers.

Of course, many of us still want a well-designed and carefully appointed kitchen at least as a rest stop as we start and end the day. That’s because even a few minutes together over a quick meal can nourish us enough against the most bitter days.

Karen’s blog: homelifeclt.blogspot.com; on Twitter @sullivan_kms