What a great subject, "The Kitchen"....... What comes to mind for me immediately, besides the best ever Chocolate Cake I (missed eating) at Shasta Abbey, is the Abbeys kitchen. The few times, "back then", when I was able to attend a retreat at the Abbey, I immediately understood that a lot of great teaching goes on in "the Kitchen", what with the amount of people involved trying to bring about order within chaos, and do ones best to bring about peace and harmony within this "welter of beings"all around trying to do the same. I had both, great admirationfor those that played a major role in this kitchen world and was at the same time a bit intimidated when being sent there on work duty, never quite knowing what might befall a new trainee. Of course I admired how much attention was being given to the careful use of food, how quantities were determined and allocated, and how awareness comes in pretty handy of where to place or not to place the forty eight thousand implements at large at any time. I have to confess that my two favorite things when being assigned kitchen duty was the walk in the brisk early morning air from the Vimalakirti Hall to the kitchen and absorbing the sights, sounds and smells of Mt. Shasta, Shasta Abbey, the pungent smell of the fresh earth and the woodpiles and last but not least the possibility of being offered a cup of coffee before breakfast while doing some chore.
All this, and much more, many moons ago.........................
With a bow to the kitchen "god"