Several weeks ago I was doing a bit of a project that had me sorting through important memories from my past. What I found to be peculiar is that I can remember what I ate in the formative events in my life as much as I can remember who was there, or what I wore. I remember the foods of my childhood like dads gumbo and moms cornbread stuffing. I remember the Chocolate Chip cookies me and my friend Lisa made after my first break up. I remember the first meal I cooked for my husband. I remember food from trips like these phenomenal lemon cheese crepes in Tuscany or this to die for corn and bacon relish served with diver scallops in Mexico.
What makes this particularly interesting is that I’m not what people would call a foodie… I mean, I like good food as much as the next gal (or guy), but I don’t gasp at the idea of jarred spaghetti sauce or break and bake cookies. Ok, truth…I love break and bake cookies! I do love to cook, but some days, Praise Jesus for jarred spaghetti sauce. And I really can’t see spending hundreds of dollars at a restaurant for a meal, it just doesn’t seem worth it. Sure that meal might be amazing, but another meal is really good for $100 (and that’s like my max), do I really need to experience amazing for $400, no…I don’t. Wine is the same for me, a $30 bottle of wine is kind of my limit (when bought at the store of course, everything is more expensive at a restaurant). I just don’t spend more. I mean, I’ve had expensive mind-blowingly good bottles of wine, but I really like several cheaper bottles, so why would I spend more? Recently my favorite every day bottle of wine is Joel Gott Cab, I literally can’t get enough, and for $20 a bottle, I don’t have to.
What I like about cooking is that you put your heart into it, it’s laboring for something to nourish bodies and souls of those you love. To me, few things are more beautiful than that. Funny enough, five years ago I loathed cooking, like I really detested it. Matt was the cook for our house, which meant we had spaghetti night, taco night, and a grilled chicken night every week. Then I discovered Pintrest, and there were all of these great recipes that looked simple, inexpensive, and delicious. So I gave it a whirl, and what I discovered was that I didn’t hate cooking, I just really didn’t know how. Once I started cooking, I adored my family going back for seconds and thirds, saying how good dinner was. It made me feel good, and I was filling them with goodness. So now, I cook. Not every meal, or even every day, and not always from scratch. One day my kids will remember back to their childhood and I hope that they remember the meals I’ve made them and the heart I’ve put into it. I wonder if my eldest daughter will recreate her favorite meal that I make (Asian lettuce wraps) for her own kids, like I’ve done with my favorite childhood recipes? Or if my son will keep making Beignets (homemade powder sugar donuts) for his family, just like my mother did for me?