One of my earliest childhood memories is of standing on a step stool in my grandmother’s kitchen as she helped me make “Smish Smash” (egg salad) for sandwiches. With her hands over mine on the potato masher, she would say, in a sing song voice, “smish…smash…” with each mash of the eggs. Being in her kitchen was my favorite place to be, with its comforting smell of brewed coffee acting as a background to the fragrance of whatever else was cooking at the time. As with so many, my kitchen is a place not just for cooking and eating but also a place to talk, dream, argue a point, watch my kids play and grow, and provide a warm cozy place where I spend time with family and friends – usually over something yummy to eat.
Food brings comfort-the taste and smell of certain dishes can transport you to another time and place. Food brings nourishment-wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious desserts and treats feed both body and soul. Food brings inspiration-change of seasons and holidays bring opportunities (or in my case the compulsion) to alter our menus, making ordinary days special and celebrations memorable. Food brings happiness-to the person who is eating it and to the person who made it – one of my greatest joys is hearing someone say they love what I’ve made, or that it reminds them of someone or something cherished in their life.
Coming from a family with many cooks, I’ve been cooking and baking for as long as I can remember, so it isn’t surprising that cooking is soothing to my soul. Over the years it has become more so; the challenges of daily life, while they certainly offer opportunities to grow as a person, also leave us looking for simple things that bring a sense of comfort and peace to our respective worlds. For me, that is cooking, especially baking.
In today’s world there is no shortage of conflicting messages of excess and deprivation. Huge restaurant portions and all you can eat buffets fight with diet books of every kind that tell you to what (and what not) to eat, when to eat it, and how much. Magazines are filled with pictures of models that exemplify a standard of physical perfection that few can hope to attain; those same magazines tell us to be ourselves and be proud of who we are. In our careers we are encouraged to have a healthy balance between work and life, but only over time do we realize how hard we have to fight to make that happen. And we get so caught up in the every day routine of all that we have to do-that it’s easy to lose sight of our dreams and feel like we don’t have the time to pursue them. It’s no wonder that we are tired and feel lost
as to how to find balance and a sense of peace and well-being. And how can we even begin to provide that for others if we don’t have it ourselves?
This is why I want to tell you that it’s okay to eat the cupcake! Not the whole dozen at one sitting, but in moderation? Of course! And I’m not just talking about cupcakes, as I’m sure you’ve probably guessed. That statement is just my metaphor for taking care of yourself. And that’s what I will write about here-the many ways in which it is absolutely okay to take care of yourself. In taking good care of yourself, you become happier and healthier-physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally-and when you are happier and healthier, so are the people in your life.
In writing my blog, I’m excited to follow one of my dreams-sharing my thoughts and recipes (mostly for sweets, so be forewarned!), my experiences and cooking tips with others. I hope that they will resonate with and inspire you-to cook and share with those you love, to take care of and find out about yourself
as a person, to live life to the fullest, and to share your thoughts with me.
So here’s to learning from each other. Don’t just eat the cupcake-savor it! Bon appetit!