Forever Cooking the Story

A visit to the pumpkin patch is the closest I've come to doing yard work in years!

How does a 10 year old get out of doing yard work? If that 10 year old is like I was, she’ll find a diversion in the kitchen.

One morning my parents and brother were doing yard work while I was within the bounds of the air-conditioner hoping they wouldn’t notice my absence. I was feeling a bit guilty and was about to go help when I thought of the ultimate excuse: I would make them lunch!

Like a toddler at Toys R Us I ran around grabbing everything I needed. Paper, markers and stickers were used to create a tantalizing menu which was then taped outside the back door. A pot was put on the stove to boil. And then all of my creative genius was harnessed as I made the meal magical: I added some Mr. Noodles to the pot and then tossed in some frozen peas, diced ham and the contents of the seasoning packet.

I stirred, squinted at the directions printed on plastic, waited, stirred and squinted at the plastic again. I was positive that I’d done everything right. I sampled an al dente Slinky of a noodle and decided to make my move. Contrary to the way my mom served Mr. Noodles (as soup in bowls, of course) I poured mine through a strainer and served it on plates. Batting my eyelashes, I congratulated myself for being très chic.

My parents came in and oohed and aahed over the pretty menu and the steaming plates of noodles (my little brother seemed less impressed but that was normal). From that moment on, I was hooked. I became a constant cook.

I cook and develop recipes because I love eating but also because I love making others happy. What better way to beckon a smile than to offer it a plate of deliciousness? Ooooooo, I know: You could offer it a page about that deliciousness!

Ever since those first kitchen ventures, which were always accompanied by a pretty menu, writing and food have been wedded for me. Now, there’s always a pad of paper on the counter (except when my toddler has taken it to make “snowballs”) so that I can scratch out methods, ingredients and thoughts as I wend my way from cupboard to stove to fridge to toddler to sink. Writing and cooking, cooking and writing. That’s what I do and that’s what I have always loved.

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