I told the fam I was coming home in a few weeks:
Dad~ "Great we can hang out and make chicken wings!
Melane~ "OOO! Could you make that popcorn... Maddie really likes it." (Right.... for Maddie)
Jarom ~"Really? Want to know why I am so excited? Because then you can make me that coffee cake."
Logan~ "Okay but don't play with my Bionicles! You don't know how to play with boy toys!"
Anyway Why do I love to cook so much? My grandma was the most amazing cook ever! She made three dinners every night. One for grandpa cause he is a really really picky eater, one for the family, and one for my dad when he got home from football practice. She would sit at the table with him and talk while he ate. She could just whip up stuff out of the blue that would blow your mind. Or so I have been told. I don't remember her really well, but I do remember her biscuits. My daddy, who is also an amazing cook, often tries to duplicate them. And while Dad's biscuits are also good I don't think he ever managed to recreate what it is he is really craving when he makes them.
My mom made this cranberry mouse every year on holidays it literally has become as much of a staple as the mashed potatoes. In fact I think it is the only thing my brother Jacob eats on holidays. And it is the one leftover we all fight over. "Hey! Hey! Who finished the cranberry mouse? I've been thinking about it all day." "That's a shame, you should have been eating it all day like I have." Poor dad I bet it sucks to have to go to work and put a roof over the heads of the people who eat all your cranberry mouse.
Mom is gone now but her mouse has survived! For years to come there will be a bowl of cranberry mouse at my table. Maybe one of my kids will make it for their family and they can fight over the leftovers and me and mom can watch from the spirit world together and try to pick out which of my grandkids are our favorites. Although it probably won't be hard, I'm sure we'll pick the naughtiest boy to be our favorite.
Growing up Dad always had a ton of church meetings. My favorite part of Sunday was cooking with dad when he got home. We would normally cook some pasta and then cut up whatever we had around the kitchen and then put some kinda sauce all over it. Something spicy and soy sauce was always our favorite. Some of the best memories I have are of sitting on the counter on Saturday morning and making pancakes with dad. Me and Katy would take turns stirring and adding the next ingredient.
I remember when Dad would teach night classes mom would say "I don't want to cook if your dad isn't here." So we would sneak over to our favorite shady Mexican restaurant in Delaware. It was a Mexican grocery store with two tables in the back. I loved that time with mom.
Why were we sitting on the counter with dad on Saturday morning? It would have been so much easier to cook them on his own. We were there because he loved us. Why didn't mom want to cook when dad was gone? Because without knowing how happy it made her husband she doesn't enjoy it as much. Did we drive all the way to Delaware for Mexican food or for great company? Is mom's cranberry mouse really the best thing we have ever had or does having it at the table mean she is still around? Why did I love cooking with Dad so much on Sunday afternoons? Because we made amazing food? Well we did but I think I just liked having dad back home where we didn't have to share his time and attention anymore.
I could go on and on. I won't lie. I think I am a great cook. I have a hard time cooking for other people though. Why? Because for me cooking is so strongly associated with love. If I cook something for someone and they don't like it I feel like my love is being rejected. Crazy? I don't think so.