Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cooking As Therapy... or the Lament of the Dusty House

Ok... So while I'm not as strong as I thought I was, I think things are slowly moving in the right direction.

Of course there are always speedbumps on the road to healing... and we have had our fair share. A week and a half ago, my sister's father-in-law passed away. While I didn't know the man well, I know that my brother-in-law would be devastated and wanted to do as much as I could for them, even from a distance. This amounted to a lot of listening as my sister ranted about her husband's screwy family and the craziness that ensued their patriarch's passing. I will save you the drama, but suffice it to say their family has Jerry Springer on speed-dial.

Then, just a few days ago, my Darling One's great aunt passed away. This was not unexpected. She was 91 and had been in slowly declining health for the last few years. But nonetheless, she was a rock in the family and her death has hit us all. Auntie K was the closest thing my Beloved has had to a grandmother, and she was a second mother to my mother-in-law (she was actually the mid-wife at my MIL's birth). Today there was a beautiful service to commemorate her life.

Now, any of you who know my mom know that when she is upset she cleans. So does my sister. I imagine my sister's house is spotless right now with all the stress she's been under. To my chagrin, I don't clean when I'm stressed... instead I cook.

I have been blessed to have the last week off work. I had great grandiose plans for what I was going to do with my week off. I was going to clean out the storage room (I swear it's getting done tomorrow morning!), reorganize the linen closet, and tackle the spare bedroom that has never really been dealt with since we moved in. I was going to do some reading (have only made it halfway through a reread of Memoirs of a Geisha) and writing (story ideas don't come until the end of my vacation time... I should know that by now). And in general I was just going to get my life back to normal.

What did I do instead? Watched waaaaaaaay too much daytime tv, spent too much time with Mario and his crazy brother Luigi trying to defeat Bowser and rescue Princess Peach, and listening to the same CD over and over while playing Mahjongg.

BUT... I did have a productive day in the middle of the week. Instead of dusting and vaccuuming like I had planned, I suddenly felt inspired to cook. I mean really cook. I love cooking for my loved ones. I love trying new recipes. I love experimenting (as this evening's dinner can prove, my experiments don't always work) and I love feeding people.

So, in one day I am proud to say that I made:
  • 1 dozen Crusty French Rolls
  • a pot of Beef Stew
  • a ginormous pot of Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup (zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, etc)
  • a medium pot of Beef Barley Soup
  • a loaf of Brioche (which turned out amazing for a first try)
And I just have one word... YUM! Considering the veritable multitude of things that could have gone wrong with making that many different recipes at once, I am proud to say that they all turned out and turned out well. I now have two weeks worth of homemade soup in my freezer and a husband who is ecstatic that I have promised not to order pizza again in the next month.

I found something in the process of chopping veggies and separating eggs. I found a moment of contentment. I had some peace, in the midst of the chaos I created in the kitchen. I felt like me again. I may never be a mom, but damn it I can cook and I can be proud of that.

And that humble readers is the point of this rambling story. Come for dinner any time. I'll hook you up with some pretty good food, if I do say so myself.

(Oh, and Mom, if you are reading this... I did the dusting and vaccuuming after I cleaned up the kitchen)

1 comment :

  1. Even me? Am I invited? :)-

    And you WILL be a Mom. It WILL happen. And them kids will grow up with some pretty fantastic meals! I can see them now, just I did when I was young, standing beside the stove, asking what you're putting in there and how much. Just enjoying spending the the time with you.


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