Tools, Riffs & References - Towels

This is a BLOG about towels. Not just any towels, certainly not bathroom towels with their warm, fluffy loveliness, nor paper towels with their under appreciated utilitarian existence, but Kitchen towels. You know, the towels purchased to coordinated with your color scheme, tucked nicely into a drawer pull or perhaps draped on the oven door handle. On occasion they get thrown over your shoulder, used to shoo a fly or dare I say it…pop somebody right quick. (I have something to say about some of that later)…those are the towels this blog is about.


I can remember back in the day, kitchen towels were purchased from the 5 and 10, the five and dime, the store in town that had a little bit of everything one needed to exist in life except food, cause you bought that at the mom and pop grocery store next door (Canned Tuna and Kool-Aid didn’t count). Sometimes they had oven mitts or pot holders to match. Most often they were solid, striped or checkered and if they were more for display, had a chicken printed on them that at some point got so ratty from the rings left by hot pots place on top of them, or food stains when they were used too often to handle said hot pot, they became part of the regular towels, right in there with the solids, stripes and checks. There were also the fancy ones purchased for the holidays namely, Thanksgiving, think turkeys and horns of plenty and Christmas, think holly leaves and Santa Clause…and you better not touch them either cause they were for “show”. I. Said. Don’t. Touch. Them....said many a parent to ‘erbody.


When I first started out on my own, I followed suit with ensuring my towels coordinated with my kitchen color themes. I don’t remember all of them, but I do remember a set that was red check, and not the dime store printed red checks on white terry cloth, but the department store woven red and white checks, flat in nature, but yet reflecting texture from the over and under process of making the cloth. I had solid red oven mitts to match y’all. Not even my favorite color, but they matched a set of red enamel painted strainers I had, so…red it was.


Many evolutions of self and abodes later, I found that I had drifted into an aubergine space, purple if you will. Having graduated from the five and ten, to mid level, then upper tier department and specialty stores, I would seek and find every version of purple kitchen towel you cld imagine. No saving for company or allocating for show only here. Every towel had job to do, but was supported and encouraged (by me) to do it in style. You didn’t know towels could be encouraged did you ? Even when I was in Culinary School, where having 2 side towels was part of your daily uniform…two fresh purple towels were in my knife kit every single day. Along with adding a little pizazz to the uniform…they couldn’t really disappear, as side towels are wanton to do…in a Culinary School Lab setting.


Here In My Kitchen, I churn through towels like other folks churn through…socks, especially when Im testing a recipe, or cooking to capture images for, the final recipe, website, social media etc. I grab a new set every day, sometimes twice a day as…towels carry stuff with them. Yup, that’s right, they carry things with them. While towels, be they solid, printed or novelty, bring forth (aka carry) memories, such as those that inspired me to write this blog, those memories wont take you out like a little salmonella left on a towel used to wipe hands after cracking eggs. Needless to say, tucking a used towel in handles or throwing it over your shoulder Near. Your. Face. isn’t encouraged either. Microbes transfer. Nuff Said (this stand as a "note to self" as well 😉👩🏽‍🍳)


Back to kitchen towel joy…Freshly laundered, folded or rolled, each towel has been part of a food story tale or awaits to be part of a new food memory in the making. Saturated in color like my ongoing collection or faded from years of being a part of prep and serving, also like my ongoing collection, my wonderful beautiful, always at the ready purple towels...are part of everything that is Gracious and Good HereInMy Kitchen.






9 views1 comment