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Love is in the small parts.

collander

I’m not even putting this in the recipe plugin. I honestly to not care if one person pins this or not.

This post is 100% selfishly posted for me. See, there’s a story here. It’s a love story.

Once upon a time, we lived in an RV. I tried. I mean, I really tried to keep up with the flamboyant meals and pretty dishes. But, life being the way it was, cooking became a chore instead of a source of happiness I enjoyed for many years.

Cooking became boring. And it showed. I gained weight. Stephen didn’t because he was working his regular (physical) job and then working his off shift days building a dang house. This lasted for almost 2 years. The RV stove was just too small to do anything other than one-pot. The oven was too small. I just never did settle into the love of cooking I enjoyed for years.  I cooked for the basest of reasons and did it as fast as possible and with as few dishes as possible since we had to hand wash all those dishes.

shrimp


But now, the dream kitchen is finished. And I mean literally a dream. I DREAMED about this kitchen from the time I was old enough to cook for my family after school while Mom worked. I have every single thing I ever wished, right down to a gas stove like my grandmother taught me to use. Stephen made them all happen.

The dishes are unpacked. We made it through the holidays at warp speed and now here it is March. A plain, regular time of the year. It must be something about this birthday week that made me start moving in that direction I desperately wanted to go.

The final spark in this truly beautiful story is the arrival of this. In August, my other one gave up after 10 years of pictures and meals. We made a lot of memories and blog posts and published recipes together.

2018-03-06 07.24.40-2

Now all the pieces are in place. It took a few days before I noticed something happening in my hands and mind and feet and thoughts.

Before I knew it, drastic changes were happening. One minute, I was looking at my phone and the next, I had my hands on pages of an old cookbook. I was touching those pages, noticing how they felt. They felt like home and summer and rain and all the good things that happen around a dinner table.

I don’t remember turning on the Boom speaker with some soulful jazz flowing, but it was flowing. How long has it been since THAT happened?

What made me change out of my sloppy sweat pants and oversize sweatshirt? I had this thought “I want to enjoy this”. 10 minutes later, I was wearing my most comfortable jeans, tank top, hair up, and bare feet ready for toe tapping. I lost 15lbs just by changing clothes and standing up straight.

I noticed the sound of the coffee mug on the granite counters. I love that sound. A wine glass sounds even better. A whiskey tumbler would heal souls.

roasted veg

I caught myself running my hands over my pans and bypassing the tacky one-pan-for-all-things-including-teflon-cancer, and reaching for the cold handles of my Al-Clad beauty. I could see myself in the reflection. This is what cooking should feel like, I told myself.

I don’t remember grabbing the wood butcher block cutting board and I’m not sure when I changed my knife cuts from uneven jagged stabs to fluid consistent slicing that would rival that Guy Fietti-sphagetti dude on Food Network.

For some reason, the balance was restored this night. Clarity achieved. My former clouds of cooking volunteered for Tribute and vanished away to the sounds of blues and knife slices, sizzling butter, roasting vegetables.  I threw protein in a pan and let it sizzle in butter. The vegetables roasted at 450* for about 20 minutes after being tossed with simple olive oil and sea salt. The Brats were an after thought but they went in the same oven for about 15 minutes.

I made noodles and a garlic alfredo sauce for Stephen because he loves that stuff like catfish love hot dogs (they do. trust me). I made my bowl with some grated parmesan.

Out of a bag.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps. I can’t even find the cheese grater so that will be next on the list to find.

Shrimp sausage

But now my love story is over. And I couldn’t go to sleep for thinking about all the things I want to cook next week. I feel energized. I feel awake. That’s the best way to describe it.

Awake.

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