My sister gave me a great book for my birthday - The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. I am about 3/4 of the way done, and I am really loving it. It has a great cast of characters that you get to meet individually and find out how they found their way to cooking classes taught by Lillian.
Yesterday when I was fully into it, one of the characters was explaining his wife's love of cooking and how she was always thinking of food; what would be for lunch, then dinner, then the following breakfast. As I was reading this, I felt that I could completely relate. I love cooking - I rarely stress about what to make for dinner or am upset that I have to cook another meal. I love it. Don't get me wrong - there are days when I want to eat toast and dip it into hot chocolate (hello - one of the reasons why I gained so much weight in college) - but I know that Chris works hard and is so appreciative of being able to come home to a home-cooked meal at the end of a long day. For me, it's never a chore - I realized when thinking of this further, that I don't think 'what is dinner going to be' - but more 'I have tomatoes, sausage, fresh basil..what can I make with that?' I feel really blessed to have started to realize this - and this blog has definitely helped.
Last night as I laid in bed, I closed my eyes and pictured my dad sitting at the end of the patio table at the end of a family dinner. I wasn't thinking of him - so was happily surprised when he 'appeared out of the blue' in a blue t-shirt, blue jogging pants and a yellow jacket around his waist - he must have just rode his bike over - b/c that is something that he definitely would have worn on one of his treks.
Instantly, I thought - would he like what I cooked for him? Would he turn his nose up and say 'Jesus Christ, goddammit almighty child' (please don't be offended - that was something my dad pretty much said all the time - in good and in bad times). My dad didn't like onion or garlic - he disliked tasting the flavours that lingered well after the meal was done. Growing up, my mom never cooked with onion or garlic - in fact only until my mom moved down here and made a great pasta casserole that had onions in it - did I really start cooking with them. The garlic - that was introduced to my repertoire years before.
So... I just wonder - would he like everything? I think that the answer would be yes. I like to think that he would recognize my efforts and my love for wanting to create the perfect meal - and know that the onions and garlic would be well worth it. I so wish that I would have been able to cook him a turkey dinner, or bbq a flank steak that had marinated all day, or bake him an apple pie, or prepare him a stew with chicken or pork that was just as good as his beef stew. I wished that I had had the opportunity to cook more for him than I had, and I hope that there will come a day when we all sit down and feast on a feast that we have all dreamed of for so long.
Tonight, as I am writing this in the darkness of my backyard, feeling the cool summer evening, waiting for Chris to come home to a plate full of leftovers - I am writing to my dad - 'Are you there Dad, it's me Cherzies' (aka Almighty - of 'Jesus Christ, Goddammit, Almighty'). I'm sure that he is reading this as I write it, over my left shoulder.
Is there anyone that you wish that you could cook for - and what would it be?
Love cooking for those who you cook for - it will always mean so much.