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Can I help with dinner? Yes.
From the time I was 5, I said those words almost everyday to my mother around 4:30.
I love kitchens. I love ingredients. I love recipe cards, recipe books, and recipes scrawled on the back of envelopes. I love aprons. I love whisks, pastry blenders, cutting boards, mixing bowls.
I love grocery stores. Seriously, I freaking .love. grocery stores. Locally owned grocery stores are my favorite: Dick’s Market, Macy’s, Mariano’s. I love the displays of fruits and vegetables, a mess of color. I love the sound of the squeaking carts. Sometimes, I will carry a basket when I am feeling romantic or sentimental. I love weaving through every isle and admiring the fantastic packaging, obviously a trait I inherited from my graphic designer of a father. I love free sample day and tasting the over-priced cheese balls and chicken nuggets. I love fantasizing over new products and guessing how I could incorporate them into new recipes or just justify the impulse buy. I love running into friends and neighbors, quickly greeting each other because you know the other is in a rush. I love putting the items onto the conveyor belt and trying to predict what the total will be. I love trying to carry them all into my apartment in one trip. I love pulling them out of their sacks and organizing them in the (hopefully clean) fridge. When I go to use them, a feeling of intense domestic goodness flows through my veins. It is as if they put a spell on me, making me want to adopt handicap animals and go clean my grandmothers home, all the while singing something from the Sound of Music.
Then, a flood of memories wash over me. My first recipe, scrambled eggs. My dad taught me how to make them when I was 4. About a year later, my grandpa g taught me how to make “grandpa’s eggs” with eggs, mustard, pickles, onions, green olives, bacon, and lots of cheese. My sister, grandma s and I made a batch of cookies once with whatever sounded good at the time. We ended up with hundreds of cookies and mailed them to our uncle serving an LDS mission. In jr. high, my best friend and I made cakes on valentines day for our boyfriends. Although they ended up looking like perfect replicas of Sleeping Beauty’s birthday cake because we forgot to put in the eggs, we gifted the cakes to them anyway, awkwardly giggling the whole time. It was a loaf of banana bread that first brought my husband into my life. While we were dating, I tried to win over his roommates and made dinner for them every night. During our engagement, we would make each other dinner every night and it resulted in wonderful conversing, dancing, and of course, blissful kissing.
Now, I love being able to create something that will touch the soul of my husband. My kitchen is my studio and cooking is my medium.
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