Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why I Cook

Sometimes I feel a little out of place in today's eat-out world...maybe a little old fashioned or that people think I judge them when I talk about how much I cook, knowing they may not cook like I do.  So read on to know 
Why I Cook!
There have been three amazing cooks in my life, both of my grandmothers and my mom.  I have spent many hours watching all of them sweat over a stove out of pure love for their families.  Or so I thought.  Before having my own family, I used to view their cooking as sort of bothersome really.  It seemed to always mean that we had to come home early from doing something fun because they "had to get supper going." 
And yes, they all use this term.  
The foundation of my cooking every night and eating with my family, children included, began in May of 1991.  My mom and I went from a family of 2 to a family of 5!  Yes an only child had to learn to share at the ripe age of 12...with 2 boys!  Of the many years that we spent together there are more memories centered around our kitchen table then anywhere else and we made a LOT of memories.  Three kids going three different directions and two hard working parents could easily slip into an eat-out frenzy night after night.  But what I saw was a woman work ten plus hours a day, come in and cook a full course meal and we all sat down at the same time, together, and ate.  And NO, you could not get up if you were the first one done.  You sat and waited for everyone else, because that is when the magic happened.  This is where we bonded, argued, fought, and loved each other.  Right there around an oval table that was old, old, old. 
I began to progress in my thinking when I was in college.  
In my first year I began traveling every Wednesday to my grandmother's house for dinner and a visit.  I would email my granddad my dinner menu request, including a dessert, and there it would sit on Wednesday night.  I realized that I was looking forward to the visit more than the food when I had a hard time coming up with what I wanted to eat. At this same time my mother's parents moved to our town and I began frequent visits to their home during meal time as well.  Same good foods but this is where I began to actually enjoy my grandfather's very long stories about well...everything. 
So what I strive for today is to not make it all about the food, although I hope to make favorites for my girls that they will yearn for while in college or call for the recipe one day, it is about the time and our undivided attention that we are giving them night after night.  And while I feel like I am giving them the gift that I was given, I must say that I am the one that has been given the gift.  It is at our table that I first heard Olivia pray, watched all of our faces when we realized that what I made was just awful, hear the tales of the playground, watched Addison grow from eating in the Bumbo seat on top of the table to sitting by herself in a chair, and the best gift to date has to be hearing Addison pray the prayer that she has heard her big sister say for two years, and the smile that comes on her face when she is done, oh and the loud voice she uses to say 
We all have a relationship with food, good, bad, sometimes really good, and sometimes really bad (like my friend who thinks we can still eat 6 Oreos at a time, yes that was our rule...when we were 10).  I'm no chef, I don't cook from my head, and I can't make it taste good without a recipe.  But, I can follow a recipe, I know how to use an oven, a microwave, and a stove.  That means I can put food on my table every night, five courses or doesn't matter.  What matters is the part just before the first bite and all the stories that follow.  I promise you will leave full...full of promise, hope, satisfaction, joy, and memories that will last forever!    

P.S. I am not judging you, just wanting you to leave as "full" as I do.  :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm jealous!! I promise to do better & maybe my husband's work schedule will cooperate!!!


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