I was recently asked where my love of cooking started. The answer to that was really hard for me to pinpoint, as I have so many beautiful memories that revolve around food. Beachside dinners in the Caribbean with my husband, late night greasy spoons with friends in college, and large family gatherings centered at our dining room table all came to mind.
Really, though – and I suspect that many of you can relate – my love affair with food started when I was a little girl, playing with pots & pans in our kitchen. Grabbing as much flour as I could fit into my little eager hands, I remember how much fun I had mixing, stirring, and playing with food. While my mother was preparing dinner for the family, I would pop a “cake” made of flour and water into my Easy-Bake oven. Voila! Dessert for the whole family.
Over the years my flour and water concoctions were gradually replaced by more elaborate dishes, which were either a hit or miss, and sometimes surprisingly spectacular (according to my very obliging family). My skills in the kitchen evolved over time, and the “misses” were fewer and far between. It took one really great dish for me to realize that I was onto something, giving me the confidence to try new things and venture out of my comfort zone.
Now that my husband and I have three hungry kids to feed, it’s truly amazing to watch their culinary curiosity develop while exposing them to great, wholesome food. There’s something incredibly comforting to watch them pull out the pots and pans like I did when I was little. While my Easy-Bake oven retired long ago, our kitchen is the place that brings everyone together. It is most definitely the heart of our home.