by Elatia Harris
We value a bright kitchen for many reasons — ventilation, ease of cleaning, the unimpeded visibility of the food we prepare, and not least, the maintenance of the mood of the cook. The cook is almost always the owner of the kitchen, now. In a centuries-old kitchen, however, like this one at Townend in the UK (National Trust Photo), that was not the case. There were paid workers who lacked for light and fresh air, in the kitchen all day and into the night. In these circumstances, even a tiny slice of light makes a big difference. One candle, reflected in a glass bowl full of water. It was called a light enhancer, and it could bring deep joy.
Elatia Harris is a writer and consulting editor in Cambridge, Mass. She is most often at work on books and articles about food, wine and travel. Contact her at elatiaharrisATgmailDOTcom or via text at 617-599-7159.