I’m as passionate about food as I am life, in a way I guess I find the two analogous. Food, or more specifically – cooking, baking, and devouring really flavorful and interesting dishes, has long been an important part of my life and a passion that has only grown over the years. I remember picking bright red tomatoes, plump green peppers, and potatoes covered in nutrient rich dirt from my grandfather’s carefully crafted garden when I was a kid. At the time I was just a “helper” but it’s amazing the things that affect you and then stay with you years later. I have my own garden now and although the items I choose to grow rotate so I can have a little fun experimenting, two things I grow every year are tomatoes and peppers. I grow them largely because of their amazing can’t-beat-that-taste in the hot summer months, but I can’t help but think the fond memory of picking those things as a kid with someone I cared so much about helped develop my senses too.
While I loved to be in the kitchen, I also grew up a pretty artistic kid, acting out monologues or scenes to whoever might be willing, even begrudgingly, to listen. I got older and tried different pieces of the pie- acting, directing, and writing. In the end I came to the realization that I loved all of the pieces. More than anything I just loved to create, to be a part of something new, or even something classic and old but somehow reinvented. The idea of creating something special in whatever you do has always been important to me and I guess it’s fitting that the girl who so loved the possibilities of the theater is also the girl who became more and more excited by all of the possibilities in the kitchen. Both allowed for incredible creativity...and therapy!
I am in love with that moment when someone takes a bite of something I’ve prepared and there is a pause where their eyes roll back, get wide in subtle wonder, or close altogether with a slight groan of pleasure added in for good measure. I feel such pride, appreciation, and happiness all in that little moment. And I suppose that is why the biggest and most loved interest of mine has become enjoying great food with great friends. A group you care about gets to stuff their faces endlessly with an array of delicious bites, all while laughing the night away in each other’s company. How can you not love that? And when the friends aren’t around, I’m still just as happy wielding my spatula just for the love of it. After all, who doesn't love to bake and, perhaps mistakenly, devour half a dish of outrageously chocolately brownies when no one is around? That’s a sacred right to any baker. And call me crazy but making a gorgeous fruit tart with ripe summer fruit gives me the most amazing sense of accomplishment. It’s something that makes you stand back and just marvel. Whatever frustrating thing has happened to you that day or that week, you’ve been able to create this wonderful beautiful thing in the midst of it all –it feels therapeutic and it feels damn good.
There are so many parts of life that we can’t avoid that are stressful and even, at times, seemingly cruel. We have to endure and, as life tells us an annoying number of times, learn something from those experiences, and then start another day. But if every day we can make an effort to include at least a small piece of that something, whatever that something is, that we love to do and are proud of, then I think every day can begin to be just a little bit better, and if you’re like me, a little bit tastier.