Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: The Kitchen

InlandEmpireGirl called my and Silver Valley Girl's attention to a blog called Sunday Scribblings.

Each week, around Friday or Saturday, the CEO's at Sunday Scribblings give a prompt for people around the world to write about. The writer then lets the CEO's know s/he has written a piece and the Bosses publish a link to the writer's blog.

I'm on spring break this week, lounging around in the SilverValleyGirl's palatial estate, currently occupying the guest room with my pal, Snug. It's a leisurely day. I'll give the latest prompt a go. It's kitchen.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the prompt, "kitchen", was this:

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah

Someone's in the kitchen I know oh oh oh
Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah
Strummin' on the old banjo

Is there more to this harmless lyric embedded in "I've Been Working on the Railroad" than met the eye when I was a youngster first learning this song? I'm not thinking this was one of those code songs like "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was for the Underground Railroad. I don't think it's a code song for LSD like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

But, I do wonder if it's a sexy interlude, a moment of reprieve from all that hard work on the railroad. What, after all, is suggested by the in the "oh oh oh" that extends "know"? Isn't that a lyrical wink, nod, and elbow in the ribs that, "Hey, guess what (wink)? Someone's (nod) in the kitchen (rib jab) with Dinah. . . . and, what's more, guess what he's doin' in the kitchen with Dinah? He's strummin' on the old banjo. . . .

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a banjo is just a banjo. But in the kitchen? With Dinah? I think "someone's" making more than music in that kitchen.

Now, why is my mind on sex in the kitchen? Rachael Ray. Before she dove into cooking up a lucious looking pork loin and couscous meal on yesterday's show, she had a sex therapist, Dennie Hughes, on.

One couple was videotaped in their kitchen. They like to make pizza together. All the kneading and rolling and carressing and pinching the dough and the putting of pizza slices into each other's mouths and the musky smells of pepperoni and garlic and shredded cheese combine to serve as an aphrodisiac for this couple. They bake pizza and they want to start strummin' on the old banjo.

They wondered if this was normal. Well, I never found out what Dennie Hughes said because I had one of those I'm-not-comfortable-watching-this-on-TV-with-Mom-in-the-room moments, so I went to the kitchen for a cold Diet Coke with Lime.

I've got to believe that that Dennie said what any red-blooded sex therapist would say: if pizza is the erotic zephyr that flies your kite, kids, you enjoy yourselves.

But this got me to thinking about the kitchen and sex a little more.

I think my favorite seduction scene in the movies is when Bill Murray seduces Sean Young with the spatualas, garlic presses, ice cream scoopers and other kitchen implements he pulls out of a kitchen drawer and pokes and carresses and pats her with.

And in my own experience, I know that when I've been in the kitchen with someone special drinking some wine and turning up the stove and getting oil hot in a pan ready to sautee onions, well, I have experienced the sharing of affection.

But when I think about the kitchen in the house our family moved into in 1962, when I was eight years old, I don't think about sex anymore.

A lot happened in that kitchen: we ate our meals there, not five feet from the very stove and oven that Mom used to prepare those meals. Our kitchen was hot (oops). We played endless games of Canasta in that kitchen. And Yahtzee. And Jeopardy. And Family Feud. I did homework there. Mom did her schoolwork in the kitchen. My father and I played cribbage in the kitchen and when I was old enough, we'd drink brandy or whiskey on ice while we played. When Dad got despondent about his work life after I'd left home to go to college, we went out and got drunk together and at 1 a.m. when he wanted to spill his guts, he did so in the kitchen. Our telephone was in the kitchen. I used the waste bin in the kitchen as a basket to shoot table scraps into and I dirtied the kitchen wall with T-bone bank shots.

In other words, a majority of our family's life as a family happened in the cramped kitchen of our home. The kitchen was our source of vitality: we ate, argued, laughed, sang, prayed, welcomed girlfriends and boyfriends, discussed, played, deliberated, studied, did everything in our kitchen.

Well, almost everything. I do not remember anyone bein' in the kitchen with anyone's Dinah, strummin' on an old banjo in our kitchen in Kellogg.

But, that's not true for Bridget and Conrad, the pizza lovers, and if you'd like to view their story, as told on the Rachael Ray show, just click here.


Katrina said...

First of all--thanks for the link to Sunday Scribblings! It is just what I need for the blogger's block that has been nipping around my toes lately. :)

Second, re: sex in the kitchen. I was introduced to the link between food and sensuality at way-too-young an age by the movie "9 1/2 Weeks," wherein Mickey Rourke's character famously blindfolds Kim Basinger and feeds her suprising bits of this and that out of the refrigerator.

I was in the middle of a giggly gaggle of high school girls, and I think my mom would have died to know what we were watching and talking about.

I guess educational experiences come in all sorts of packages.

Katrina said...

p.s. I love watching Rachel Ray cook. Her casual girl-next-door persona and the emphasis she puts on easy, fast, and simple make delicious food preparation seem approachable.

Although now I guess watching her show verges on voyeurism, since I'm trying to stay away from the carby treats that are her usual fare.