Sunday, October 24, 2010

my "therapeutic dance"

i saw something today that used the words "therapeutic dance" to describe that something you do that soothes, calms, comforts you. my therapeutic dance is homemaking. or, to be more specific, working in the kitchen. just this morning, i got giddy dreaming of things like pumpkin cheesecakes with gingersnap crusts and vanilla sour cream toppings. or items like homemade enchiladas, made the traditional way. or just staring at the items i purchased at the farmer's market yesterday, because today i'll get to mold and manipulate them from carrots and onions and green beans and cucumbers to a roast and fresh fall side items that satisfy like nothing from a can is able to.

i even love sitting in my kitchen. after my freezer cooking days, i love to open my freezer and just look. planning menus excites me. mixing meatloaf brings me joy. not following recipes is one of the best ways for me to express my creativity.

i've grown in so many ways in the kitchen. i used to call my mom to ask whether to salt the water or not. i needed to know at exactly what temperature and for exactly how long to cook anything. "til it's done" was never an option. i lived my life following recipes. i would get frustrated because i'd get a small flicker of an idea in my head, but not have the ability to follow through because i was fairly ignorant in the logistics of it. for this, i apologize to my mom. for my lack of interest in learning her amazing cooking skills, her planning, and the way she worked a full day, then came home and made a home cooked dinner for us every day.

now, i do that. i work. two jobs, actually. i'm finishing my master's. just like my mom was. and i cook. every day. just like she did. so see? i sort of did learn. it just took me about 20 years longer than it takes many children who help in the kitchen.

i've decided that if i have a girl, i'm having a kitchen helper. i don't care how fun i have to make it seem. i want her to have the kitchen creativity when she's 7, not 27. i want a girly-girl. i don't care if i have to duct tape her to the kitchen stool, she is helping. kidding. sort of.


  1. Girl? I can't tell you how much O loves to help in the kitchen. We measure, and mix and pour and he always has to try the finished product. We already have kitchen traditions around the holidays. Just last night he was helping me while to crumbled, mixed and rolled cake balls. It's a good way to teach some math concepts too! (fractions, counting etc)

  2. Cooking is definitely comforting as long as I don't have to go to the store and I can get away with doing it alone. When I can I love it. I'm trying to do it less because I'm always stuck with food then and thats BAD NEWS because I also comfort eat ;-)

  3. The only thing that upsets me now is that I am too far away for you to have Dad and me over for dinner. You make me smile. I love you more each day. I am glad that you have Chris to try out new recipes on.

  4. Yeah, you don't have to have a girl to have a kitchen helper. You can raise a boy to be helpful in the kitchen and then his future wife will be VERY thankful.

    I wish I had your passion for the kitchen. Alas, I do not have the time, money, patience, or creativity when it comes to cooking. I have to follow the recipe to a "t" or I'm scared that I'll have wasted food that tastes awful. I'm still that person who calls her mother and needs exact measurements, temperatures, etc.

  5. You know Erin, I can remember seeing your mom sitting at the computer in the kitchen and planning her menus. That is where I learned it from too. What would we have done without your mom's great example? I remember her great cooking too! :-)


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