When she goes about her kitchen duties, chopping, carving, mixing, whisking, she moves with the grace and precision of a ballet dancer, her fingers plying the food with the dexterity of a croupier.
— the late Craig Claiborne, New York Times food critic
We continue to honor the Element of Earth, the Guardian of the North and Winter, time of hearth and home. The art of feng shui is one way to have our homes reflect our Higher Self and enhance the home’s positive life force energy, called Qi.
And according to the principles of feng shui, the kitchen is the most important room for creating prosperity and abundance. So, besides the all-important stove, you can improve your kitchen’s energy with many other adjustments.
For instance, it seems obvious, but one of the most important enhancements is to create a kitchen that is warm and welcoming. Do you like to spend time in it? When you have friends over, is that where people tend to gravitate? Then you are doing things right!
On the other hand, is it overwhelming to be in, or inconvenient for entertaining and cooking? How many cooks in your family need to be able to use the kitchen at any given time? Do you wish you had more help from family members? If everyone is stumbling over one another, the flow of Qi is clearly inhibited. Not only will it be difficult to get the participation you desire, it can block the flow of abundance.
See if you can rearrange things in a more logical placement. In both private and professional kitchens, designers speak of a “work triangle,” which consists of the stove, sink, and refrigerator. Of course you’ll also need to take into account your other favorite, frequently used appliances, like the microwave and dishwasher; or the baking area if that’s your specialty, or possibly an oven that may be separate from your stovetop.
“The best cook’s kitchens operate like conveyor belts,” explains Jan Weimer, a Los Angeles based restaurant consultant, former chef and author. “They’re organized to accommodate cooking, cleanup and storage without your having to constantly double back.”
Professional kitchens are divided into work zones defined by those three activities, and all the needed items are handy to the appropriate zone for which they are intended. For instance, knives, cutting boards, compost bowls, and colanders for draining washed veggies would all be in the “prep zone.” Drinking glasses are near the sink. Cutlery is closer to the dining table, than, say, the prep zone. Pots and pans are within reach of the stove.
Infrequently used items, like turkey roasters, or Christmas-tree shaped cake pans, can be stored in your basement or other general storage place, if (like most people) your kitchen cabinet space is at a premium. Besides organizing your kitchen by tasks and major appliances, there are other important ways to energize it with good, prosperous vibes. More about them tomorrow!