Home > Uncategorized > My Place of Zen? Just Point Me Towards The Kitchen

My Place of Zen? Just Point Me Towards The Kitchen

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into without abandon or not at all.” – Harriet van Horne, American newspaper columnist

Allow me to state for the record that I love to cook which is ironic seeing as how I don’t eat nearly like I should. If you look on my 101 Things in 1,001 Days list you’ll see that #22 is to eat at least two meals a day every day for a month. Folks, that hasn’t happened since December 2006. And I wish I were making that up.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a not-so-secret dream to one day own my own restaurant.

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are of learning how to cook. Me and Mil had little foot stools at our grandparent’s house so that we could reach the counter tops to help her. Grandma C always told us that when you cook for someone you love, whether it is in the familial, platonic, or romantic, you add a bit of your soul to the food. Hence why a home cooked meal always taste better than one made by hired hands.

A bit of your soul. I didn’t understand when she first said that when I was a preschooler. But having Daybreak sit in my lap as I show her how to make apple pie from scratch, I get it now.

I love seeing people enjoy a meal I’d prepared. For that bit of time that they spend eating and talking with one another, I can watch them forget about some of their troubles. Whether it is that test looming ever closer or vexing situations with work, during a good meal the world’s stresses aren’t so pressing. I enjoy taking care of people, this is just one of the ways I go about doing so. I have a slight ‘Mother Hen’ complex; I’m man enough to admit it.

Quite simply, cooking is cathartic for me.

So after a rather hellish visit to my parents, I came back to my home here and started making a good Sunday dinner for my friends here.

We laughed as I teased The Bait for his extraordinary ineptness in the kitchen. We laughed during the fencing match me and Eva had with the spoons and we all gave chase as Faith made off with one of them. In preparation of caroling, all ten of us (Faith got in on the act as well) sang “Joy To The World” and “Silent Night”. Seated around me and The Bait’s living room, I felt the emotional baggage of yesterday fall away.

There is no divorce looming here. There are no harsh silences or loud arguments. There are no alcohol-fueled tears.

This is my home.

These lunatics are my family.

By God, I love them.

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  1. Tricia
    November 2, 2008 at 11:49 PM

    You seriously made my mouth water with those pictures.

    I cooked for my neighbors last night…it’s the first time in a long time I’ve cooked for people other than my children, so I’m kind of riding that same wave right now. I know exactly what you mean.

    Lunatics like that are what make up the best sort of family, in my opinion. Glad you had a fantastic Sunday!

  2. Diane
    November 3, 2008 at 2:44 AM

    Your chosen family is very, very lucky šŸ™‚

  3. nicoleantoinette
    November 3, 2008 at 5:13 AM

    I NEED that pie. Yes, right this second. Yum!!

  4. spanglishmama
    November 3, 2008 at 7:57 AM

    WOW. Your food looks Delish! You should def own a resturant. I would go just for the pie!

  5. D*
    November 3, 2008 at 8:45 AM

    Can you please send me a plate over ? =D

  6. Cayman's Girl
    November 3, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    That APPLE Pie looks delish!!!!

  7. The Odd Duck
    November 3, 2008 at 12:38 PM

    Diane – I think both parties are.

    Corazon, Dee, CG, Nicole – If y’all that thought that looks good just wait until I make cheesecake or banana pudding again.

  8. Emily
    November 3, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Awesome post! I feel you buddy, family conflicts are no fun, so its really good you’ve got such great friends to have fun with. Also, I am about to invite myself over for some food. Cool?

  9. The Odd Duck
    November 3, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    If you’re even in RTP in North Carolina Emily, just drop a line. I’ll be happy to cook for you.

  10. X.T.
    November 4, 2008 at 1:03 AM

    The kitchen is where I love to relax after a long day. What helps even more is when I cook for others. I don’t know how many times I’ve called or messaged my friends and said “Today was hell, I’m cooking, be here at 6.”

    As for your wish to some day be a resturanteur, I say go for it; especially if you are going to bring in your love for food, friends, and a fun environment.
    Cheers, and good luck with all you do.

  11. pink jellybaby
    November 4, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    Can I come round for dinner? Those pictures are amazing!

  12. Stu Pidasso
    November 5, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    That’s beautiful. I teach my kids that if you know how to cook, you will always have friends. To feed the “masses”, like you suggest, is to give of yourself for others pleasure (stir in a little soul, or a dash of I love you all). GB!!

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