What was dinner like for you as a child? Did your mother or father, grandmother or caregiver figure in your life cook for you? Was there love in your kitchen?
This summer, while my husband Joe and I were in Miami, we met up with a good friend of ours who I learned something new about. She was raving about decorating her new apartment and how getting placemats for the kitchen table was a big feat for her. I listened intently and felt happy for her, but had to cock my head a bit and think about the placemat comment. It was a “feat?” Why were placemats such a big deal. I asked and she went on to explain that the kitchen wasn’t her strong point. I’ve learned that this friend doesn’t love cooking. It wasn’t news to me that she had a bit of hesitation in the kitchen.
When she was young, the kitchen was a place of pain. She was setting the table for her family and putting the utensils and placemats out. The last placemat she brought to the table, she tossed up in the air before setting it down. As she giggled, and enjoyed her own playful energy; the mat hit the table, and she felt an unexpected whack across her face. Before she had realized what was happening, her mother scolded her, “that’s not to play with!”
She had no idea why she couldn’t enjoy herself and what she could have possibly done wrong, but learned quickly that the kitchen was not a place to have fun or be playful. Today, she eats standing, or out of the house, and hasn’t given much attention to the kitchen in her living space. Making the connection to this childhood memory, and her relationship with food; has helped her to shift her habits. She bought placemats that she loves and is now learning to cook!
Here’s some contrast. When I was five years old, I attempted to make eggs on the kitchen floor (and I
have a photo to prove it). I pulled the eggs out of the fridge, dropped them all on the floor by accident. My mom came in and found me, and she handed me a tool so I could stir them for that scrambled effect.
This wasn’t the only fond memory. I have hundreds. Mom ALWAYS let me make cookies with her and of course, I cracked the eggs. I also got to smell the vanilla and pour it in. My mom made cookies often and always made sure to include me. Thank you mom [teary eyed]!
Today, I love to experiment in the kitchen.
[Tweet “I dropped out of college partly because chemistry scared the shit out of me, but somehow chemistry in the kitchen has become my forté. “] (I dropped out of college partly because chemistry scared the shit out of me, but somehow chemistry in the kitchen has become my forté.)
I’m going back to school now that I found one that doesn’t require chemistry. Perhaps my next stop will be in the culinary arts?
What’s your kitchen story? How is it-or is it not playing out today? Did you ever scramble your eggs on the floor? Even more importantly, did your parents cook together? Did you watch or take part?
Just something to chew on…
We’d be ohhh so grateful if you’d share this article with someone who loves or hates the kitchen. It’s always fun to make the connection and either shift and grow or express gratitude either way <3