The Cooking time of life
Oct. 31, 2011 8:22 am
Updated: Nov. 16, 2011 2:58 pm
I grew up in a family where cooking was important - one set of grandparents owned a cafe, the other grandmother was a fantastic cook & hostess and my mom was a wicked good baker. I ran from cooking as hard and fast as I could.
Then I met my husband - who is a superb cook. He grew up with two parents who were accomplished and took it like a duck takes to water. I considered marrying Tim a magnificent choice on my part for many reasons but having a husband who was the chief chef
made me the envy of many friends. When we joined a "gourmet cooking club" - a group of Tim's friends from a previous job - I was paralyzed with fear. I think I managed to do peaches in champagne for the first meeting (literally, sugar, peaches & champagne
for dessert) and told Tim that I would just prefer to be the wine steward in the future because cooking made me very nervous.
This past weekend, I made roasted chicken breasts with grape tomatoes & lemon thyme and a batch of turkey sausage-bean soup and froze it all for a friend having surgery. Then I baked brown sugar cookies for a meeting. And finally I made a rump roast in the
slow cooker and a rice spinach gruyere side dish for Sunday dinner.
Something has happened to me and I'm not quite sure when or why - but I slowly turned into a woman who cooks - I'm not my husband nor my mother nor my grandmothers...but I know what I do well and I do it. I realized I had crossed over a big wall when friends
began to come to me for recipe ideas - I keep a large computer database of recipes (I like that more than cooking!) or ask me where they could find certain ingredients...and often I had a suggestion or answer. I'm still nervous, but less so. I'm more wary
of baking because of the necessary precision - I like salads & soups because they are forgiving - but more importantly, I am now confident enough that I can change a recipe to add something from my refrigerator or just because I think it will taste better
- and I'm right more often than wrong.
I will be 55 in December - you can call that mid-life if you like - but instead of having a crisis, I seem to have found some peace & joy in an activity that used to make me break out in hives. And that is a gift I'm happy to take.