Walking into my grandmother’s kitchen you’ll face a window with a view of an old willow that has – it seems – always been there, that has been through multiple cut-downs over the course of the years. Opening the navy blue fridge you’ll usually find beetroot, coleslaw, olives, pickled cucumbers and pickled peppers on the top shelf. Underneath, on the second shelf there are some eggs, several of them left in the carton, but never a full carton; a stick of butter, a tub of margarine, some lettuce, cottage cheese, sliced mortadella and smoked cheese. On the bottom shelf, above the bottle rack there’s usually meat, either turkey or pork. The bottles in the rack are filled with sparkling water and red wine. The door is filled from top to bottom and from left to right with groceries in this order: dark chocolate that’s most likely past its expiration date, several small bottles of hard liquor intended for baking purposes, tartar sauce, mayonnaise in a tube, mustard, horseradish, a small yellow plastic bottle of lemon juice, a small carton of heavy cream, a cup of sour cream, a jar of smooth peanut butter, a bottle of tabasco, several small tubs of jam and cheese spread, a small carton of whipping cream, a carton of milk, a bottle of rum and a bottle of scotch. The freezer is usually filled with sour cherries given to her by her friends with spacious backyards and small pensions who can cook well, but can’t speak to younger women without sounding condescending and mean. She also regularly buys frozen peas, tater-tots, spinach, vanilla ice-cream and vegetable mixes. Left of the refrigerator start the yellow kitchen elements looking awfully off against the tiles with blue details clearly meant for the bathroom. In the first cupboard most of the time there are sweets – biscuits, chocolate bars, cereal bars, sour jellies, peanuts or raisins covered in milk chocolate and fruit bonbons. Inside the bottom cabinets you’ll either find cookbooks and notebooks with hand-written recipes or various pots and pans. In the drawers: knife sharpener, knives, packets of baking powder, cutlery, nutcracker, sifter, ladles, colourful packets of various spices and brands, whisk, cinnamon sticks, canap√© forks, skewers, meat-grinder parts, powder yeast; then, box of matches, stapler, blue Texas Instruments calculator with yellow buttons, scissors, lighters and screw driver. The electrical oven facing the balcony door and the window is brown and always clean. The metal sink under the cabinet with coffee, powdered sugar and spare plastic bags facing her sewing machine station is never filled with filthy dishes, at least not for long periods of time. Under the sink flour, cereal, cocoa powder, vinegar, oil, salt, gloves, sponges and dish soap are kept. The retractable table is never cluttered with groceries, on top of the round pale yellow tablecloth there’s a pot, or sometimes a vase, with seasonal flowers sitting on a white wooden tray.

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