Through the Fire
“The lineage of women in the kitchen is powerful. I love carrying that history forward with me, bringing my ancestors and all the women who have gone before. So much happens in the kitchen besides making food. Stories and secrets are told. There is always a lot of crying and laughing.”
excerpt from Through The Fire, cooking our way into a new relationship with food ***
When I cook, I am never alone. I carry my history, I carry my culture, and I carry my dreams. When I put on my apron or get out the cutting board, I have help. Most often, it is my mother who is there with me in spirit. She taught me to cook. She passed on her skills and enthusiasms. It is not often that I use a recipe of hers but when I decide to change an ingredient or don’t bother measuring, that is her influence. When I get asparagus or strawberries out of the garden and they barely make it into the kitchen, I am remembering her doing the same thing. When I cook for someone else and take great pleasure in feeding them, that is also thanks to her. She had a myriad of issues around food and pleasure but she was a fabulous hostess and love cooking for others.
I have friends who love to cook as well. Most of them are far away and so I don’t get that opportunity. I bring them into the kitchen either via a recipe of theirs or perhaps a technique that they either taught me or recommended. My personal chef community has provided me with both virtual and actual cooking experiences. We have a long history of sharing stories, recipes, laughter, tears, and glasses of wine on line and in person when we can. I have such great memories of cooking together in Providence Rhode Island, Houston Texas several times, eating together in Philadelphia, and Charlottesville.
My Oregon sister in law is a wonderful cook and fellow foodie. We share a sweet history of talking about food, shopping, exploring, sharing recipes and cooking together. She studied at the Cordon Bleu so I have gotten some really good advice and education from her! I love cooking together with her and cooking for her. She is often present in my mind and my heart when I am in the kitchen.
Sadly, we are no longer friends but much of my newer styles of eating and cooking in the last few years are connected to a loved one who also taught me much and opened many doors of exploring new foods and ideas. I thought of her this morning when I was making a smoothie with an interesting combination of ingredients. I owe her a lot and will always welcome her spirit in my kitchen.
Who comes into your kitchen with you ?? Family, friends, teachers, loved ones ?? I’d really love to know. Please comment with your thoughts and memories.
*** Through The Fire, cooking our way into a new relationship with food is my book which was published this spring by Balboa Press and is available HERE. It is a blend of personal stories, information about eating psychology’s approach to nutrition, and some practical suggestions about healing your relationship with food and eating through cooking.