Stop and Smell the Roses… or Roast!

I have not had a “regular”, 40+ hour a week job since December. Granted, I’ve had a lot to process emotionally during the past 2 1/2 months – losing the folks and leaving a job that had consumed me emotionally and physically for over two years. During this time I have made it a point to relax and center myself by doing things that I have always loved to do: reading, spending time in spiritual reflection, writing, and especially cooking.

I come from a food family – we owned a grocery store for over 85 years, my mom’s folks were great cooks, my mom was a great cook, and my brother is an outstanding chef and consultant. To say that I am just a foodie would be a HUGE understatement. My grandparents passed to my brother and me the love of creating food via trial and error; in other words, pick out ingredients you love and get your hands dirty. Mom was more inclined to choose a recipe and stick to it – she was a great cook, but a cautious one!!

I really have not had the time to spend in the kitchen cooking and creating for about 5 years or so. During that time, my forays into the kitchen were usually on a Saturday or Sunday and I would cook enough for my husband and me, as well as my folks. At some point my mom declared the end of her career in the kitchen. Face it, she had it made during the holidays because Ricky and I would take over!!!

This sabbatical (ok, I really will go back to a real job one day) has provided me with the time and energy to get busy back in my kitchen. Having the time to flip through cookbooks and watch The Food Network has re-acquainted me with a passion I had stifled. My kitchen time has been healing; it has provided me with memories that are comforting, and has reminded me the simple joy of creating goodness using the 5 senses God has provided me. More than anything, cooking has been instrumental in bringing back joy to my life.

So maybe we’ve gained a few pounds here and there (the vet even said our big boy Oscar needs to lose a few), but reconnecting with my love for cooking has brought laughter and joy back in our home.

Moral to my story – don’t neglect to do the things that make you happy and bring you joy. I cannot begin to tell you what homemade Chicken and Noodles, Chianti Pot Roast, and an Asian-inspired pork tenderloin has done for my spirits. Not only am I beginning to feel like the old Kim again, I have prepared food for the people I love and we all have experienced that feeling only a home-cooked meal can bring!!!

As one of my favorite chefs of all times would say – “Bon Appetit!”. I need to get back to making my grocery list for the week!!