Presentation on theme: "The Franco-American Kitchen. The kitchen is arguably the most important room to past generations of Francos. It is where the entire family, or even extended."— Presentation transcript:
The Franco-American Kitchen
The kitchen is arguably the most important room to past generations of Francos. It is where the entire family, or even extended family meets at days end and enjoys each others company and the bountiful meal at hand. The atmosphere is always festive, no matter the occasion and the memories are always clear in the mind.
My father Norman Poulin grew up in the area of Augusta known as Sand Hill. This was a neighborhood that forty years ago was almost 100% Franco and mostly made of tenement buildings. My father had an older sister and a younger sister. While not being dirt poor, the family didnt have a whole lot of money and what they did have strictly went to household necessities. Food was obviously the big one here. My father would go onto say that regardless of how his day was at school, coming home to a home cooked meal made it all worth it.
By no means was the kitchen only for eating. From back in my dads time and still going on today, many games were played in the kitchen. It didnt matter if it was a Monday or Friday, youd see classic games like gin rummy and cribbage at the table.
Although any night could be a festivity in itself, the holidays were clearly the most. During Thanksgiving or Christmas, the meals were bigger, the songs were sung louder and laughs lasted even longer. And these events were never in the living room. They always had to take place in the kitchen.
My Pépère had a different outlook on the kitchen. It was a place of relaxation for him. He said I woke up each day at 2:30 and came home around 5. My bowl of spaghetti with a salad or meat and potatoes was all I thought about. I cant blame him at all for thinking this was and I was personally glad to hear a different perspective on the kitchen.
My aunt Lisa said to me that the kitchen was home. At first I was puzzled but she later elaborated that the kitchen was the one where everything and everyone came together. Whether it is was supper on Wednesday or brunch on Sunday with her COUNTLESS aunts and uncles. She would also say that the living room was merely a place to wind down and get ready for bed. Id have to say thats quite the contrast now.
The kitchen has unfortunately lost a lot of allure in the modern day. In my generation today the festivities still exist, but exclusively for holidays and birthdays now. In my family we all eat together, but it is in the living room with MSNBC or ESPN on. The role of family is still very important in this day and age, but the intimacy factor has definitely gone away. We still enjoy a hearty meal and each others presence but things are not the same. My Mémère says that this is so because most Franco households arent in the dire straights as they were in my day. In my time what we had was much more appreciated and was never taken for granted. In fact, we celebrated all the things we had.
It is unlikely that todays generation can recapture the intimacy that the kitchen once possessed. In our technological society that would be too optimistic. The best thing to do is use the oral history we have presented to us by our elders and always keep it in mind. With that we can still have our own kitchens.