In my late 20s I found that I had a small love of cooking – not a big one, mind you. You wouldn’t see me in the kitchen for five hours preparing a gourmet meal, but making a dish that would gather people around the table and make them “mmm” was surprisingly satisfying to me. After marriage, I liked cooking even more, now that my mismatched college collection of dishes was gone and I had real pots and pans and gadgets with which to play, now that my dollhouse-sized kitchen grew into a real kitchen. Like any good Jewish woman, I’d make army-sized portions, even when it was just the two of us at the table (which we only ate at during the first year of marriage; now we eat at the coffee table). I would pour over cookbooks and magazines, was always eager to try something new, and got a thrill making an edible concoction out of nothing (I would have been a great Depression-era cook).
Then we moved into an apartment, back into a kitchen the size of a shoebox, and my love of cooking started to dwindle. Add to that the fact that I had begun working outside the home again, and the microwave became my most frequently used cooking appliance. Our pantry was bare, but boy was our freezer full!
This non-cooking phase has lasted an embarrassingly long time, but thanks to my recent obsessions with Pinterest and MasterChef, the longing to cook has come back. “So domestic,” I again became in the kitchen this week, with homemade egg salad, fried rice, tuna croquettes, and crockpot ranch potatoes.
A MasterChef, I’ll never be (I’m lucky when I don’t ruin spaghetti). But as someone who lives to eat, I’m thankful my apron is finally finding its way back around my neck.