We all love food right? I, however, feel that I fall under a different category. I do not love food...I am completely and totally obsessed with food.
'Why the obsession?' you might ask. I promise it isn't completely random. I was born to two chefs, so to put it bluntly, it was inevitable. Growing up I was never the kid that was told "two more bites then you're all done." Not a problem here. I would clear my plate and get seconds.
My sister and I grew up in the restaurant. All we ever knew was the restaurant business. As soon as we were old enough, we went to work. At that time I had no desire to cook, just to eat. I enjoyed losing myself in the perfectly cooked blackened ribeye and watching others enjoy their food just as much. I remember going out to restaurants with our parents and listening as they critiqued everything from how full the ketchup bottles were to how the server first introduced herself-something I still catch myself doing today.
When I was 24, my mother passed away. I don't think it's necessary to write about that level of heartache, as I am sure you can imagine. I associated food with my mother. We had a home cooked meal every night. I watched her prep food every day in the restaurant. I watched as she intensely examined each and every plate that came out of the kitchen, so quickly and efficiently, to ensure each one was perfect. I watched as she demanded more parsley be showered over the dishes that, in her eyes, didn't quite have enough.
During the healing process following her death I seemed to gravitate towards cooking. Was it because it reminded me of her? Was it because it was comforting? Maybe it was just a coincidence. I don't know. The problem? I was a little late. I did not have her recipes and have grown to regret not cooking with her when I had the chance. As a result, I have had to teach myself. I would mimic techniques I had witnessed and go with my gut and hope for the best. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but for me, that's the fun in cooking. I don't like recipes, they are boring and restricting. Luckily for me, cooking is in my blood.
This is why including my children with me in the kitchen is so important to me. Not only for the bonding time, but I hope it provides memories that will last long after I am gone. And hey, my two year old doesn't mind. This means she is the head of my quality control department and the official cupcake tester every week. I do my best to encourage them to eat what we are eating every night in hopes that their palate will one day provide them with the same love of food. Though my children never had the chance to meet my mother, we are all in a way together when we are in the kitchen. For that, I am grateful. Bon Appetite!