Friday, 1 February 2008

Cooking in the Kitchen

I think I've missed my other calling in life. I have recently found that I love to cook. I dabbled in this hobby growing up, usually because cooking a meal once a week was a chore in our household. I think back then I probably made a lot of spaghetti, or maybe threw some frozen meat in the oven and added a can of vegetables.

Now, I'm reveling in it. Each week I take a half hour or so and browse through different recipes, choosing some favourites, adding something new, and crafting a balanced, healthy, adventurous and yummy menu for the week. I love the challenge of having something different each day, mixing up vegetarian meals with meat, traditional English dinners with exotic stir-fries, French or Spanish or Mexican or Indian or Asian cuisines.

I love to take time to cook. I often leave myself an hour to prepare dinner, so that I can do it leisurely. (I have become quite adept at tuning out the noise of a family during this time. This is James' time to be parent to both kids).

Aromas fill the house as things cook up on the stove. My fingers browse through the spice rack, pulling out this or that to add into the pot. Little bowls fill with ingredients, freshly chopped or sliced or peeled. One pot boils as the skillet hisses and the oven warms up. A symphony of colour begins to build around me. Plates are carefully (and sometimes skillfully) created to be served up to waiting mouths.

I find true pleasure in preparing to feed my family physically. It is enchanting to see their smiles of joy when I've cooked their favourite foods, or to hear their decisions on a new meal idea. I revel in the successes (Empanadas) and laugh at the failures (Pad-Thai). I have found I'm even coming to the point where I can create my own meals - most meeting with success.

I know in a few years it will be an important learning experience for my children to help me cook and prepare meals, but for now I'll use this time as my own little daily escape.

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