a kid growing up in South Carolina, the kitchen was an avoided room.
Even the doorway was forbidding, hidden behind a large folding screen,
because on the other side one might find humiliating evidence of
life—smudged walls, the pandemonium of a sink, and that busted back door
that might admit people of other races, deliverymen, or clandestine
midnight visitors. But, as I found out with my girls, the kitchen is the
best room in which to domesticate beastly primates and to teach, well,
everything: learning to wield a dangerous tool, long-range planning,
focusing on a task, discovery, invention, being the star of the moment
(I'll cook), working the back bench (I'll clean).