As a child, I would have done anything to avoid the kitchen. So much so that I used to drink orange juice for breakfast to avoid the toaster. Still, nothing like the smell of cookies in the oven or a stew simmering in the pot would make me feel right at home.
As I grew older I bought candles that smelled like food to emulate the smell of my my mother’s kitchen. Warm sugar cookie from Yankee Candle brought back each memory I faced in the kitchen, the good and the bad.
That’s the funny thing about food, it invokes memory. For every food or dish that hold a special place in our heart, a memory is tied to it. Think back to your favorite food, where were you? What was going on around you? Who were you with? Have you tried to recreate that dish or food? What were you after or inspired by?
I didn’t love cooking until I became pregnant. I’m almost positive it was a combination of the toxic relationship I was in during that time that encouraged me to seek out positive memories through food and cooking. I would make apple pie, banana bread, (attempted) chocolate chip cookies, anything sweet really. Then I had Fox and moved on from baking to cooking.
At first, I felt that it was more of a moving on from passionate baking to forced cooking. Cooking the same meal over and over became monotonous and made feel as if I were rehashing emotional strains over and over. So, I tossed out everything that was the same and brought in color.
Color gave new life and varying levels of taste to each dish I made. I didn’t and don’t use recipes, I create based off moods or memories or who I’m cooking for. I look to making food as a means of showing my heart, to feel nostalgic, and to attempt innovation in the mixture of sweet and spice I choose to involve in each dish.
My love for cooking, just as my love for anything else thus far in life comes from a desire to recreate a part of my personal history, and create new pieces of history to look back on and relish in.
What food takes you back?