When I was visiting my friend this past weekend we were sitting up talking one night about stuff. We got on the subject of grocery shopping and what we make for dinner. I said to her, "I love cooking dinner. It's my time. It's when I get to do something I really enjoy, when I get time alone. It's relaxing for me, it makes me happy."
I think my love for cooking must have started back in my mother's kitchen. I remember sitting watching her cook and wanting to help. I always say to Trevor, "I learned how to cook by watching my mom cook," and it's true. A lot of what I make for dinner for my kids are things my mom made for us. And often times I don't need recipes because it's already there, already known by watching and doing it a hundred times before. When my little sister and I were the last ones home my mom told us we needed to start making dinner. We did and even though my sister was already a better cook than I was, I learned a lot from those dinners we made together.
In college I learned how to take simple ingredients and make a meal. My roommate Jamie and I would combine our food and I would make something of it. It wasn't always fabulous and gourmet, but it was good for what we had. But I really started to love cooking when I lived alone. I live alone for a year before I got married and that was the year I started making a menu. Each week I would sit down and decide what I wanted for dinner that week and I would make a menu, then my grocery list. And when I lived alone I made dinner for myself almost every night. I tried new recipes, I grilled outside, I tried new food that I had never tried before and I started watching cooking shows. I would get excited thinking about what I would cook for dinner that night and when I sat down to eat, very often alone, I always felt proud of what I was able to do.
I'm not the best cook and I don't make very fancy meals, but it's something I really do enjoy. There are very often days that are filled with things like laundry, cleaning toilets and vacuuming, listening to fights, changing diapers and all of those mom things that are not always fun and exciting. But when I can stop all of that for a moment and step into my kitchen and cook dinner I start to feel like I'm really doing something. And even when no one seems to like what I made, at least I got my time.