Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back at it. For a lot of reasons.

I've been cooking.  You wouldn't know it, though.  I've been oddly absent from here, from writing in general.  No excuses.  It's just the truth.
This is bad.  I love to write.  I always have.  I just...I just...I just

...lose it sometimes.  Motivation.  Will.  Drive.  Desire.

It's always in me, though.  I narrate everything in my head, see sentences in everything that happens around me.  I come up with story lines, song lyrics...

..that just don't go anywhere.

As of late, my cooking has also gone the way of the wind.  I've started cooking less for passion, more for necessity.  My pinterest is now full of affordable, dinner-type foods rather than the usual daring, creative, and fun desserts.  I became best friends with a crock pot. (So much so that I have not one but two - yes, TWO - crock pot boards on pinterest!)  While delicious, I haven't really been inspired by beauty and uniqueness of the dishes I was creating.  I took pictures - yes - but they were more for my personal reference than awesomeness and art.

No matter what I am cooking, I still get the fire in my belly and the silly smile that only comes from pulling a knife out of a block or a turning on an oven (or, um, lately, a crock pot).  It felt amazing.  Even if the goals had changed.

...So why am I back?  A few reasons.

12 new likes this week!
And it's only Wednesday!
First and foremost, I belong here.  I belong with words and food and this is exactly that.

Then, out of nowhere, I started getting notifications on Facebook that people are liking my cooking page.  I mean, lots of notifications.  As in, two, sometimes three a day.  Why???  It's not like I've been active on it at all.  And I don't know these people.  How are they finding me???  I started to feel like I owe them something.  These people have found me (again - HOW???), they obviously expect something in return, some kind of food talk.  Some kind of interesting tidbit.  Anything for crying out loud.

It was a weird nudge that maybe I should be saying something.

And finally, I have been helping the nicest woman move into a retirement community.  We hit it off immediately.  She has never married, doesn't have kids, is a fellow Beatle-maniac!  She's everything I want to be in 25 years!

In the process of downsizing, she gifted me a few very amazing items.  She gave me a Post magazine from 1964 - the first interview the Bealtes ever did for an American publication.  Wow. Seriously.  Wow.

Grandma Pope's Pantry
Workin' the sander
She gave me a pantry.  Literally.  This is a 70-plus year old piece that belonged to her grandmother, who passed it on to her, and she has passed it on to me.  It has some rust spots, so my dad is helping me refinish it - sand it down and paint it.  Unfortunately, it has done nothing but RAIN here lately, so we have had to hold off on the painting.  But very soon, I will have a pantry!
Hand-typed over 40 years ago.
Then, she handed me a pile of cookbooks. YAY!  At the bottom of this pile, I came upon a binder.  It is the binder of hand-written, and typed (on a typewriter!) recipes her own mother gave to her when she got her first apartment over 40 years ago.  Recipes from her childhood, that her mother made for her and she has made over and over through the years.  It is hands-down the most sentimental and loving gift one could give.  And she chose to give it to me.

Seven Layer Cookies Cooking
And in a gift box.

I decided to make something from it and take it to her.  I chose a seven layer cookie.  It felt so good to be in the kitchen, baking for fun, not for necessity.  For someone, not for myself.  When she bit into it, she closed her eyes and said, "That tastes just like mama's." with a big smile on her face.

Egg Custard
I also made an egg custard.  When I showed the binder to my parents, my dad made a comment that my grandma used to make that and he loved it.  I don't really like milk - and it was really milky.  He said it was delicious, though.  So I'll take that compliment.

Wow, writing this feels so good.  I'll try to come back more often.  It's where I belong.

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