I’m back in the kitchen making dinner every night and I�m not complaining.
It’s actually fun buying real food and cooking real meals, flipping through cookbooks, attempting new recipes, introducing more vegetables at every meal.
It’s been a long time since I did this, a long time since I wanted to do this. For me, meals were always such a ‘family’ thing. My dad was an incredible cook:wrote his own cookbook, made up his own recipes, spent as much free time in the kitchen as he could when he wasn’t writing or teaching.
When I was younger I liked to bake. I preferred making mousse over meatloaf, berry cobbler over roasts. But then I got married and men like to eat so I started to cook and bake. I discovered that cooking real meals every night was a lot of work. There was the shopping and the prep time and the wash up time. When you’re trying to work and being pregnant and being Super Wife cooking can lose its appeal. It did for me. By my 10th wedding anniversary I’d cook for a party or weekend get together but I resented having to cook every night. I had books that were due. My son’s homework spilled onto the dining room table. Email called. Email became more interesting than cooking and washing.
That’s all changed. It’s almost three years since the boys and I moved into our own house and after nearly three years I know we’re a family, we feel like a family and I feel like a real mom again.
Which means I’m not serving the kids pizza every week now or a bi-weekly mac and cheese anymore.
I didn’t like that food, and I didn’t eat that food so I’d stand at the counter with my bowl of cereal while they gobbled their Kraft macaroni so they could return to their rooms and resume playing.
It was lonely eating cereal or sandwiches on my own. I missed real food, meals that tasted good. That’s why I started buying more at the grocery store, more meats, more fresh vegetables, even exotic fruits. I want to be real again. I want to be me again. I want the rest of my life back…with or without a man.
Which is how I ended up back in the kitchen and this time I’m happy to be here.
Now it’s a small joy and a surprising comfort to walk away from my computer at 5:30 to confront my fridge, cookbook shelf and produce bin. Chopping, stirring, simmering is all relaxing because I’m not at my desk and I’m feeling productive and frankly, it definitely gives a more immediate gratification than writing a book.
Thanks to my readers and friends, I’m getting wonderful new vegetable recipes to try, too. One of my long time friends in NY, Paz, has her own blog with recipes to die for. She sent me a link to two eggplant recipes on her site and I can’t wait to try those but I have to stop drooling over all the yummy photos of yummy food she has there. Paz’s blog is: http://thecookingadventuresofchefpaz.blogspot.com
And then Seattle reader, writer and friend Jennifer Stewart sent me the link to a Seattle based organic vegetable company with amazing recipes on their website: http://www.newrootsorganics.com/recipes.html
Others have sent me their favorite recipes from their own recipe files and I’ve got at least a dozen delicious eggplant recipes to try, plus recipes for beet salads and more.
Thank you to everyone for sharing your recipes and making me feel good in my kitchen again.
It’s good to be more than a writer, and it’s great to feel like a woman again instead of single mom/divorcee. Somehow cooking is healing those little hurt parts of me I didn’t know how to fix.