I can still remember clear as day the first time I tasted egg with grilled tomato. It was in my parents' kitchen in Christchurch. We lived on Wainoni Road and I must have been about 7 or 8 years old. The eggs were fried in those days rather than poached but it is a combination which has stuck with me to this day and every time I have eggs and grilled tomato I am transported back to that day. It was my brothers favourite breakfast and I delighted when that meant I got to have them too. I have just eaten eggs and grilled tomato at my favourite café. That kitchen actually has many memories for me. The kitchen is often the centre of the house and certainly in our family, with a mother who did not work outside the home and 6 boys, it was very much so. It wasn't the widest or flashiest kitchen in the world but we could see the Port Hills from the window above the sink and anyone arriving. We had an incinerator which heated the hot water and it would run constantly through winter. Fed pretty much with anything that would burn (they was simpler days) I would delight in being able to stoke it and sometimes boil water on the top in a kettle.
One of my older brothers had more "swish" tastes than the rest and would often bring home pizza after work. This Pizza thing was new and all a bit foreign. My father was having none of it, he liked real food. But I loved opening the fridge to find a white pizza box with this exotic food inside.
And then there was my brother Darryl. The pub drinker who would often come home having won a crayfish or maybe procuring one out of someone's boot. Dad was much more happy about that. Again, I can still remember the first time I sucked the meat out of a feeler or whatever they are called.
The kitchen was not always a happy place of course and I can see myself sitting at the table not being able to leave until I had eaten my cabbage. My mother was many lovely things, but a preparer of good cabbage was not one of them. As was typical in NZ, she cooked it until it was well and truly dead. Limp beyond belief. I would often stage a sit in refusing to eat the stuff. Pumpkin was also a point of contention which I would refuse to eat. Although, now as an adult I can admit that I spent many years refusing to eat it, never having actually tasted it. There was a principle at stake :-)
Lastly, phones were different things in the 1970's. Wired to the wall and only as movable as the length of the cord, ours resided in the kitchen. All phone calls were conducted there or sitting just into the hallway where the cord would stretch to. Many a teenage hour was spent there, my father or mother getting increasingly frustrated at the length of time I was spending on the call. Just like any home with teenagers. The dial seemed so antiquated and I longed for a push button phone like on the U.S. sitcoms. Little did I realise in later life, I would look at dial phones longingly....
I love that I still have these memories