STEPHANIE SEDGWICK, formerly a recipe editor for the Washington Post’s food section, was always happy to help out people who called in with frantic recipe questions, explaining, “I know what’s it’s like to be alone and afraid in the kitchen.”
I can’t imagine Stephanie being afraid—of anything—but she was right that it’s hard to be alone in the kitchen when the meal, the family, the guests, even the dog, all depend on you.
How much cozier the room would seem if it had “friends” in it. By that I don’t mean people, although that is often nice. I mean friendly-looking things, objects that can do a job but also get credit for sitting around idle, just looking great, or reassuring.
You’ll notice, no doubt, that there’s a playful roundness to many of the items I selected. I chose them for the same reason I chose to buy a Mazda Miata years ago: People might have an attitude toward a speedy Porsche but they always awww-ed their way around the don’t-hurt-me aesthetic of the Miata, as if it were a puppy.
Perhaps my criteria don’t match your own, and you don’t find the humor or the grace or the aesthetic reassurance from the objects shown. That’s okay; now that you have “permission,” you can find your own friends—they’re out there!