In the midst of the chaos that is my October, I am finding respite in the chopping and measuring and other menial tasks that turn ingredients into a meal. Sometimes a feeling is so familiar I think to check whether I have visited it before, which is how I found my way to this.
(Reposted from December 8, 2011)
A few months ago while chopping onions I realized something in the midst of my crisis. I enjoyed it – the chopping onions, not the crying. I knew I loved food and recipes and anything related to either. Sometimes though, in the midst of the everyday I forget that I really do take pleasure in cooking. Time constraints, budgeting, sifting through the junk trying to figure out what to buy and from where is exhausting. In spite of the distractions, every once and awhile I find myself getting lost in the process.
I got pleasantly lost this week. Yesterday afternoon I took the time to chop and wash and put away all of the turnips and beets and kale and collards and mustard greens that came in our weekly share. It felt good. Then I turned some of the greens and squash and sausage into a soup. The whole endeavor took hours. I needed to walk Wrigley and call about getting our furnace checked, but taking care of the food was just more enticing.
Then I spent all of today in the kitchen. I roasted a pumpkin and pureed the soft flesh into orange mush, which mixed with flour and sugar and spices became two fat chocolate chip pumpkin loaves. I kept the oven hot to roast the beets for a large salad on Saturday. Tonight I made fresh dough for pizza. I loathe the dishes it creates, but if I let myself forget about the time I find being in the kitchen soothing. There is just something empowering about maneuvering ingredients into a dish.
Somehow I convinced my toddler to put on her new dress, pull on her boots and sit amongst some pumpkins in the too bright sun for at least one more year of pumpkin patch photos.
She was such a good sport I might even try it again when the sun is more forgiving. I just like pushing my luck like that.
“You willa willa dirty…Mommy not dirty. Mommy sweaty. You (Daddy) dirty…You needa take a shower! You willa sweaty! You (Mommy) not dirty. Daddy dirty.”
“Where’s my frozer? That’s where mango go!” (holding up a felt pineapple)
After playing catch with Daddy for about 10 or 15 minutes,“I need to sit down and relax.”
“I be right back Mommy. I’m get buh (her lovey).”
Leila: “I need red paint.” Papa: “You need red paint.” Leila: “Yes. Rojo.”
Referring to the green smoothie I just made. “Remember last time you spilt it? Over the…over the…over the…”
“I like to feel cozy in the bath!”
“I love babies. I love Target babies!”
“I love Daddy playing with me.”
As Daddy buckles Leila in, while Mommy gets into the front seat, “I don’t want to crash into Baba Joon’s car.”
“I want to go back to Daddy, I’m so excited to see Daddy!”
“Simon calls me La La. My name Ayah.”
“My bottom is dirty, and I got to clean it, sometimes.”
“That’s not a park one (outfit). This my swimsuit.”
“I a big girl. I like this candy!” (Referring to the hard candies we foolishly chose to eat in front of Leila.) “I like this chocolate. I not choke!” (Post-consumption of aforementioned candy.)