Thursday, March 3, 2011
My Love Affair with the Kitchen
Cooking and baking. These are two things that give me endless amounts of joy. But, it hasn't always been that way. In fact, when was I younger I firmly decided to never be found in a kitchen, wearing an apron. My mom worked tirelessly in the kitchen, for hours it seemed every day. Everything we ate was made from scratch. She even ground her own flour for making bread. As much as I enjoyed the fruits of her labor, I solemnly swore to myself that I would never become a slave to the kitchen. It seemed to me that no amount of appreciative "Mmmms" could make up for the time it took to prepare meals each and every day. Besides, I planned to be a Super-Woman who had no time for things like that anyway.
I continued to nurse these feelings of extreme aversion towards cooking through college, surviving on a diet that mostly consisted of Ramen Noodles and Pop Tarts. Once I was living on my own with a couple of roommates, I would occasionally make soup or throw together a pasta salad, but nothing that was too time consuming. It was just food, right?
Then, my whole world turned upside down.
This adorable man walked into my life. He must have awakened some primal voice deep inside me, because suddenly all I wanted to do was fill his stomach with lots and lots of delicious, homemade food. And his face with lots and lots of kisses. Ahem.
Something was different. Instead of mentally planning out my outfits or my weekend plans, I found myself thinking things like, "I wonder if he likes banana bread?" I had never even made banana bread before.
The first time I had him over to my apartment for dinner, everything had to be absolutely perfect. I don't even remember what I cooked for dinner itself, but I do know that there was not a speck of dirt in the whole entire place because I had cleaned every nook and cranny like a deranged woman the night before.
I actually took off from work early that day so I could go home and prepare for our dinner. I spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen, baking and cooking up a storm. The windows were open, the birds were singing, and I was chopping onions and feeling like the happiest girl in the world. It just felt so right.
Even once I had won his heart (he claims it wasn't my cooking, but my smile), my love for cooking and baking only continued to increase. I hadn't cared one whit about food before, but suddenly I had a reason to care. I had someone to take care of, and that alone was enough to propel me into a deep desire and appreciation for the art of food preparation.
So that's part of my story! Of course, it hasn't always been an easy road. Sometimes my adventures in the kitchen turn out to be more, uh, mishaps. But, it's a learning process! And the best part is, now I can tell my Mom that I know exactly how she feels. It's not about being appreciated or even applauded (although that is nice!), it's about providing for the people we love and knowing that even though life isn't always a piece of cake, a slice of homemade pie can brighten up any day.