My maternal grandmother had the best kitchen in the world. It was the kind that young grandchildren can only dream of, even if Grandma Beatty didn’t think it was quite up to par with what a Grandma Kitchen should be like. (She was always saying she didn’t do enough Grandma things, like bake cookies with us.)
On her refrigerator were little magnets in the shape of Hershey Bars and Mr. Goodcents Bars, and in her utensil drawer, a mix of dainty silverware and Wendy’s plastic spoons nested together in perfect harmony. To this day, I love using Wendy’s spoons, because they remind me of eating Yoplait Custard Style Yogurt at Grandma’s.
She had a Lazy Susan on her dining table, with jam jars and sugar bowls; a metal bookshelf that held Avon garnet-colored goblets and a poster of all the United State’s presidents. She kept her linens in an antique dresser, with tiny key holes to unlock each drawer, even though the keys were long gone (the dresser now sits in Maggie’s room).
The radio was always going, playing Big Band Favorites from Wayne the Old Record Collector, and she had the daily newspaper opened to the crossword and jumble with a sharp pencil, always completed.
On her wall hung a tiny chalkboard, where she would write each day’s month, day and date. My sister and I would erase it every time we were there, and tried to re-create her curly-q scrolls and elegant handwriting. To this day, I still try to copy the paisley-style doodles she added to her chalk calendar.
But the best part of her kitchen was the smell. It always smelled of strong coffee and toast. I imagine the coffee scent is what led my sister and I to be such coffee addicts. This summer we have been making pots of coffee alongside whole-wheat toast for breakfast, and the smell is the *exact* same as Grandma’s kitchen.
It is the most glorious smell in the world, I have decided.