“They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes,
But I laugh & eat well & and grow strong …” – Langston Hughes
Where do people congregate at parties?
[No, not in the closet or under coats piled up in the bedroom like those “nobody’s home at Johnny’s house” 10th grade parties.]
Where do the best conversations and impromptu dances and stolen kisses take place at family parties, neighborhood parties, holiday parties and what-the-hell-let’s-have-a party parties?
Where’s the action?
In the kitchen.
It’s where I did my grade-school homework while listening to Orioles baseball on my mother’s 1940s Philco radio perched atop the refrigerator.
Where in high school I had to explain why my report cards weren’t up-to-par over Friday night meals of fried fish, baked beans and boiled potatoes.
Where my father would give my mother a kiss after an especially superb meal – Mom can work a stove, baby — as he tied an apron around his waist to do the dishes.
La cocina: the heart of the home.
Where we want you – and you and you and you — to take a photograph from now on through Mother’s Day 2012.
The project is called the Baltimore Kitchen and it grew out of the success of last year’s Daily Camden, a similar experiment in which locals took a photo of Oriole Park everyday from the first pitch of the season to the last out.
At an exhibition of the ballpark photos – held last month at Ikaros Restaurant in Greektown – the new idea was announced.
This year’s model will feature a photo of a different kitchen in the Baltimore metropolitan area every morning from Mother’s Day 2011 – today – until the second Sunday in May rolls around next year.
Some 365 photographs of Baltimore area kitchens – residential and industrial along with aging Vulcans in the back of diners and restaurants — by anyone with the desire.
In keeping with the Mother’s Day theme, we are especially looking for kitchen portraits of beloved Moms. This angle is not necessary but encouraged.
The gig is sponsored by DiPasquale’s Marketplace on Gough Street near Conkling in Highlandtown.
There, Joe DiPasquale is keeping the family business going almost a century after Luigi Di Pasquali, Sr. began selling Italian staples and delicacies in an area first developed as a suburb of Baltimore.
Over the next 12 months, Joe will provide photos of some of his favorite kitchens along with stories of many a hot stove upon which he has fried sausage and peppers.
At the end of the year, several dozen choice cuts will be chosen for a party and exhibit. Sales of the displayed photographs will be split 50/50 between the photographer and local charities.
Trust me, we’re cooking with gas.