Lots of things pop into my mind when I think of why I love to cook. Part of it brings me peace and a feeling of belonging to something bigger. I grew up with the family table a constant, fun and important place…but also a part of the day where everyone slowed down and caught up with each other. We reported our ups and downs of the school day, status of our daily homework…all the little details dotted in between bites, and laughs and sometimes scolding, lectures or general parenting stuff. We knew to expect this each day. I don’t remember thinking much about it at the time besides things like wishing I could have fast food or invite a friend over. Maybe even that age-old set of teenage thoughts about my family being boring.
Of course now, having the benefit of life behind (and ahead of) me…I know that the ceremony of what seemed mundane and required, gave me security, confidence, and a much-needed sense of family. The kitchen table. Where everyone gathers when they smell the onions, the baked chicken. Following the sounds of pots and pans and dishes hitting the table…to refuel and regroup. For me, that works like any well-tested system. Even when I lived alone in Los Angeles, I made sure that dinner didn’t become a lonely frozen microwave dinner experience. I cooked. I shopped for and ate good food. I planned my meals and often cooked with friends. When I started dating my husband, this impressed him. He loved that I had a little hibachi grill, and used it at least once a week out on the front porch of my apartment, even if just to grill a hand-made turkey burger. We cooked together at either of our apartments. The sharing of ideas, recipes, know-how and creating our own way…we were becoming a family right there in the kitchen, and at the table.
Now we’ve been together for over ten years, married for six. We’ve moved a lot for his work. Los Angeles to Massachusetts, then to Rhode Island, and now Austin, Texas. We have bought and sold two houses, and just bought our third. And always, we forgo other items in a house if the kitchen is awesome and big. We cook a lot. We make beer. We have friends over. We use our grill and smoker every chance we get…even in New England we got a system down for grilling in heavy snow or rain.
As social media evolved, I became a food snapshot poster. Being an artist by nature, I spend a lot of time on presentation of my cooking and baking. So naturally, I took a million pictures and shared them on twitter, facebook, instagram and so on. Late last year I started having some back problems triggered by working in my candle making studio (my day job is owning and operating a small business making candles here). While laying on the couch in pain, worrying that making thousands of candles per week (all by hand, all by myself) is taking a toll on me physically, I decided to take all of those food pictures, my love of cooking and the home kitchen, and start working towards transitioning from M Design Boutique to M Delish Boutique.
It is now mid-August of 2015 and my facebook page for M Delish Boutique just reached 500 followers. I am awaiting the arrival of my first printed cookbook tomorrow (you can purchase it here). I’m working on my growing line of spice blends and hot sauces (which you can purchase here). My work is paying off, and I’m incredibly grateful. I woke up today thinking about my long road ahead to being a seasoned blogger and cookbook/recipe writer. I decided to sit at my kitchen counter, where I do all of my cooking, and reflect.
So this is My Kitchen Love. When I feel these reflections coming on, I’ll come to my writing spot here in my kitchen, and share the love.
Thanks to everyone who supports my dreams with your comments, purchases, and visits here to see what fun is happening in M Delish Boutique. Whether you love to cook, look at food photos, read recipes or learn new things and old tricks…I hope you’ll keep coming back.