Saturday, March 24, 2007
In the Kitchen
As a girl and a young woman, I would not have characterized myself as a particularly creative person. Now, as an adult, I think that I am more creative, and certainly more willing to take creative risks. And, though it might seem like an odd development, I think that my willingness to be creative is from learning to cook and being willing to take risks in the kitchen.
I first learned to cook from my mother and my paternal grandmother. Later on, when I was in my 20s I learned more from my friend Kyle and her mother, Betty. By the time I was 25, I was a confident cook, willing to take risks and trust my judgment. I began to develop a list of things that I could cook well ---- specialties of my kitchen. I began to collect cookbooks and I was willing to try new things. Now, at the age of 39, I am a confident cook. I often use recipes and still love to read cookbooks and cooking magazines (Cooking Light and Cook's Country are my favorites). Lately, I've developed a growing list of food blogs to regularly read, including Simply Recipes, Homesick Texan, and Smittenkitchen. But just as often, I use my own desires as start for finding just the right taste.
I cook for the joy of the process and for the pleasure of feeding others. I love to sit down at the table with my family and friends. One of my greatest pleasures in life is a good meal prepared by my hands. I think that a great deal of my enjoyment is because I like to feed the people whom I love. I've begun to share my kitchen with my sonand to teach him the pleasure of cooking for others (that's him helping me make cookies while wearing his pirate costume. It feels like I am sharing a tradition and a process that will last him a lifetime.
All of this means that by design, my kitchen and my dining room are the center of my home, and the place where I most often express my creative energies.