A little bit about The Crowded Kitchen. In combining our family, a his/hers/ours sort of deal, we spent a lot of time in the kitchen feeding the crew of 4 boys and 3 girls. Now that 5 of 7 of the kids are adults and one of the guys is now married, we like to have them over to eat approximately once a month. When everyone (or almost everyone) is over, the gathering place is in the kitchen where I am spending my time pouring my heart and soul into the food I'm going to stuff them with.
It's usually fairly raucous, everyone talking over each other; catching up; laughing; the youngest two girls (9 & 7) trying to get their siblings' attention; wine flowing; corny jokes being told; appetizers being consumed like a plague of locust had moved through. Occasionally there are surrogate kids (aka young friends of the family) included but the cacophony is usually such that we could add 5 or 6 friends and the volume level likely wouldn't change much.
Eventually, I shoo them out so I can get down to business and get dinner done (and sometimes because my head is killing me from the noise and I can't think straight :-). I always have someone wandering in to see if I need help, to sneak something out of the pan or beg for scraps or proclaim that they are starving to death and check when we'll be eating.
While feeding this many people is a lot of work, I wouldn't change the gathering/laughing/craziness for the world. It's a memorable and important time for me and for the kids (and hubby, too) and there are so many good memories associated with this time in the kitchen. So important, in fact, that in choosing a name for my food blog, this is the first name that came to mind. I knew it was perfect immediately.
A little sample of the craziness for you: The Crowded Kitchen