Wanda (not her real name) is one good cook. Just ask Tanner (not his real name either), he will be the first to say so. Bubba (another alias name) would be the second one to agree with that opinion. They are not alone, I agree as well.
Wanda is one good cook.
Tanner is Wanda’s husband. Bubba is the fortunate single brother-in-law that gets invited to supper with them often. So she gets to hear from two men just how great her cooking is. They are good at telling her so too.
Cooking is an art and science. There is also a sense of wonder and surprise to it as well. Sort of like the wonder one feels when watching a soft snow quietly, and gently falling through the air to the ground. It has a way of making one feel content. The smells of cooking throughout the house has that same sort of feeling. The feeling of comfort and contentment. I recall, as a child living in the suburbs, how smells of a supper cooking somewhere wafted on the air while playing outside. We all hoped we were getting that good meal when called in for supper.
So whatever happened to cooking at home?
I cannot help but first wonder whatever happened to “home”? I have read that ‘sayings’ should not be used in writing. But why not? They say so much, i.e. “Home is where the heart is”. Well, where is our heart? Are we afraid of the answers our hearts may whisper to us? Have we even given our heart a chance to answer? Sometimes that takes a while.
I am not talking about feelings. Feelings can be most misleading. I have found that my feelings many times are negative: ‘I don’t feel like getting started on this day’; ‘I feel ugly’; ‘I don’t feel like being nice today’; I don’t feel up to visiting anyone; ‘I don’t feel like cooking’; ‘I feel fat’….on and on those feelings ramble through my thoughts. Do you have similar feelings? I have more than I would like to admit.
I am now a senior citizen. Wow! I thought getting old would take longer! Anyway, when I was young, cooking was not high on the list of fun, interesting things to do. Except for bread baking. That was an early kitchen joy for me. Baking bread was truly magical back then and still is. All the same, I did notice how well my momma cooked. She made it seem easy, getting everything together at the same time, and having it taste so good. Funny thing though, she did not like cooking, and as soon as we girls got old enough, it became our job. Fair enough, we took our turns and learned.
Wanda is young. She has two little robust boys in her happy home. Wanda knows the power she holds by being a good cook. She knows the affect cooking has upon her house. Did you know that homes sell better when there is the smell of home-baked cookies in the air? How about that? Apparently home feels more homey with the smells of food in the air.
I was like Wanda when I was young. Most especially after children started arriving. It became important to eat well, and stay well (it was not easy managing five children and one doctors appointment). I also noticed how important my cooking was to the family unit. Once a week we had a big meal with my in-laws. There was not one person who did not look forward to that meal. To this day the smell of fresh green beans cooking on the stove, and home-made rolls takes me back into my sweet mother-in-laws happy, steamy, busy kitchen. It was the heart of her home. It is the heart of mine as well, and of Wanda’s.
With fast food, and quick dinners available at our fingertips, and working mothers outside the home, cooking has fallen out of favor. But it is not impossible nor over complicated to prepare a meal for your family. In many ways it is a mind game. What do I mean by that? The most difficult part of cooking (for me at least) is the planning. It must be done every single day, unless you think smarter! Bulk recipes. For example, lasagne, chili, beef stews, spaghetti, soups of all sorts, pot roasts, macaroni & cheese. These recipes afford leftovers. Not only that, they are simple and easy to make.
I have been made fun of by my more culinary minded cooks for the simplicity of my food. Wanda has been teased as well, but she is strong and knows her mission. I am proud of Wanda. I am proud of any woman, or man that goes against the grain of current popular thought and follows their heart.
Cooking for one’s family is not for every one. It takes time, effort and planning. Men do a lot of cooking when they get home from work these days. They tell me it is calming, therapeutic, and they like to make people happy. How great is that? Would you like to try? I promise one of the sweetest sounds you will hear is this: “Man! It smells GOOD in here! I could smell it as soon as I got out of the car!”
I actually heard those very words last week while cooking just onions in the iron skillet at my twinsters house. Music to my ears. Oh! Did I mention that cooking is musical too?
Wanda knows all this and it has made her life rich and full. This joy is found in cooking for yourself and your loved ones. Would you like to try? Is your heart urging you? Start small. There is power in little. Pick one day, plan a simple one pot meal, have fun. Light a candle! It is fun cooking with a candle burning. Be sure to serve your meal with candles on the table as well. It is lovely and adds to the joy of it all.
Just ask Wanda, Tanner or Bubba. They will tell you.