Thursday, July 17, 2008

A woman's heart is in her kitchen

The heart of the home is the kitchen. It used to be literally true.Women have a need to personalise their kitchens; the pretty coffee mugs displayed, the dresser with it's company crockery, dainty tablecloths & baskets of fruit, a pot of mint beside the sink. The centuries may have passed but some things never change.
Sigurd Towrie
When I go back to Scotland this is the kitchen I most want to visit! O.k, I know it's roofless & exposed to the inclement Scottish weather but this is the kitchen guaranteed to change your ideas about Neolithic man. I could really go for a stone dresser like this!
Skara Brae is the village that disappeared for centuries under Orcadian sand until the great storm of 1850 brought it to light again. The archaeologists have had a field day with it! It has the oldest Neolithic houses in Britain.

In the centre of the home is the kitchen & make no mistake; this was a home. In the centre is the hearth with the special stone for cooking good Scots griddle cakes, which are a picklet or small pancake. Perhaps they had honey on them; heather honey. There is the clay lined pit for holding water & perhaps fresh seafood. There is the huge stone dresser & big stone storage bins. I guess they'd keep the mice out.

I want to wander in this kitchen & imagine what the woman who ruled the hearth here displayed on her dresser. She would have had something she treasured that she kept here: a whalebone comb intricately carved, a pretty bowl, a necklace of beads & feathers & bits of bone, a sharp flint knife, an idol maybe, something that drew her eyes & made her heart sing as she changed the heather bedding, aired the animal skin covers, prepared meals & tended her folk. We aren't that different. The centuries shrink to fit in a woman's kitchen.


MamaOlive said...

That's pretty cool. I wonder how many generations separated these people from Babel... Couldn't be too many. What a time that must have been! I think I'm glad it wasn't me.

Persuaded said...

ganeida... you post about the coolest things. i can just feel what it might have been like to have that kitchen as my own, and you're right it certainly does change my thoughts and impressions of what it might have been like to be a "homemaker" in that era.

Ganeida said...

lol, Diane, that is why i love archaeology. Done well it makes the past so alive & then you begin to understand why people did the things they did. Um, yeah I can rattle on & on...