With Thanksgiving two days away, I took a day off training and hunkered down in the kitchen to do some major prep work. Cooking, like running or hiking, takes me completely away by making me totally focused. I notice that my trains of thought are chugging along at the same time I am figuring out the timing on one dish while chopping onions for another. I also wish one of the dogs could suddenly take notes for me as those moments of clarity pop up and my hands are engaged with a knife or some kind of food goo rendering me unable to jot them down. When will they learn that trick? I mean, they can already hug on command. Writing cannot be far behind.
I love to cook. I wish I did it more and with increasing skill and repertoire and for more people. My family is filled with excellent cooks, even an uncle who is a chef. The real cook of love is my grandmother, who although she doesn’t cook anymore, filled our bellies and hearts with the most delicious, beautiful, bountiful meals and did it out of kitchen smaller than the size of most walk-in closets. I have never since seen a cook as effortless as her. It is as if she created every morsel by magic because I never, not once ever saw as much as a bead of sweat when she cooked. Every meal also had multiple dishes, drinks and lunch or dinner meant dessert too. This is one of the first times I have tried to describe it and am struggling. Which was the exact opposite of what I observed in her tiny kitchen.
Sadly, I have not been back East to see her in almost three years and had to cancel a trip last November at the very last second due to a lack of funds. (Oh here comes the sting of tears.) I chose to go to my school reunion in late June as the one trip I took as a vacation this year and the only other trip I took out of state was back in February. Both trips were nailbiters expense wise, and I didn’t relax most of the time I was away as a result. Add this to the fact that pretty much several days a week, I feel awful that I have not been able to get there to see her. I know she won’t necessarily even know it is me, and that will be, to grossly understate it, hard, but I need to see her. I need a hug from my Nanny.
I am happy that when I cook I think about her a lot. I feel like she’s right here with me. And I hope I am putting as much love into my food as she did into hers. That is always the secret ingredient.
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