Smack in the throes of a year that I didn't really feel like myself in many ways the kitchen remained my place of contentment. I come from a long line of women who can cook and I find the kitchen a place of rituals that are comforting. From making a cup of tea to putting together a birthday dinner for company, there is nowhere that I feel more at ease than in the kitchen.
I think the challenge for the coming year is to push myself by relying less on recipes and more on creativity when I cook. I'm slowing moving away from following a recipe step by step to thinking intuitively about what should come next and what might make a nice flavor combination.
On Saturday, Ali and I were in the car listening to The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Kasper on NPR. She is such a poet with food and she was explaining to a young man who wanted to impress his girlfriend with a meal how he could easily make Fettucini Alfredo. She laid out the steps, without amounts of ingredients, just beautiful descriptions. I looked over at Ali and she (who can't cook a lick) was entranced. She looked at me and said, "I want that!" We got the ingredients and with very little help from me, she did it.
I feel at home in the kitchen. And I like that.