Lately I've struggled with both taking and making time and meals. I don't know if it's just been the usual reasons -- stress, busy lives, tight budget -- or a more undefined, general lack of interest in standing in the kitchen for hours at a time. Whatever the reason, I avoided the stove rather a lot lately... and I'm not proud. A coffee cake here, and put of rice there, and I felt I'd somehow done enough. So last night, I put a little more effort into dinner, and I'm glad I did. It was good to be home again.
The dinner wasn't anything new, groundbreaking, or fancy, but it was exactly what I needed to remind myself that I enjoy cooking (most of the time) and that my skills aren't really all that bad. I learned to be a drill sergeant about timing from my mother, and that ability has been vital to the success of my meals. I made a basic onion-roasted potato dish, simple chicken breast, and indulged in a rare baking of my mother's special secret Thanksgiving Rolls. But aside from the taste of good home cookin', the real success was that I did it.
Before I began, I ran through all the recipes in my head. I did a quick calculation for the timing and when we wanted to eat, tied on my apron, and had my mise en place in perfect order.
It's all in the prep
I paused a moment to shoo away a certain persistent little monster who thought it was his dinnertime.
Not now, Perkins.
And in a short hour and a half, J was seated at the table, cider in hand, salivating over a napkin-lined bowl of our favorite treat.
Mom, you're a genius.
I didn't take any pictures of anything else. I was too busy enjoying a quiet meal with my husband -- my mouth was full, my hands were full, and wouldn't you know it, my heart was finally full too.