Monday, August 31, 2009

If I had one person to cook for...

'Are you there God, it's me Margaret'. I remember the book - I didn't read it, but I remember my friends all reading those series and talking about them and wishing at the time that I liked to read. I was never much of a reader - my childhood friend, Shannon, can attest to that. I used to get the cliff note version of any of the books that we were reading in school - she loved to read - always had a book in hand. She never steered me in the wrong direction - thanks Shannon.  I do read now - more during the summer than in the winter - I find it easier to lay out on a lounger with a good book than laying on the couch. Not sure why - it's got to be some psychological thing - who knows.

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.



Jenny said...

Beautiful post Cheryl!!
I, too, would love to cook one more dinner for my dad. He loved mashed potatoes and whenever I'd make mashed potatoes I'd try and do something different...add chives, some garlic. He'd always say to my mom, " should REALLY try and do something different to your Patatas." She would look so pissed off that it was comical.

rashmi said...

Ok well my dearest I'm continuuing to catch up...all your blogs r beautiful, it's like your sitting with me n we're chatting. I really enjoy reading about "Big A"... I instantly go back to our little town of Kitimat n for some reason it is so bright n sunny...thanx for sharing your heart with all of us...Jesus Christ goddammit I can't stop crying...I luv ya friend!