Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I spent yesterday afternoon baking thyme & olive foccacia (from The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress-Free Strategies for Busy People) and homemade tomato soup. I always seem to forget how relaxing it is to make a slow meal for my family. And I'm not the only one who feels the effects. My daughter is more relaxed and happy on these afternoons. I think she is comforted by the smells and gentle clanging sounds that come from the kitchen. They are proof that Mama is near and, on a primitive level, I think she knows it means her very basic needs are being met.
I don't feel as drained after an afternoon of cooking as I do after spending a few hours in front of the TV watching mindless reality shows. One would think all that stirring and kneading would be taxing, but for me, it's energizing. I relax and read in my "nesting chair" as bread rises and soup simmers. I know at the end of it all, my family is going to have full and happy bellies. Everything slows down during these afternoons. I don't wonder where the time went. I find the space to appreciate the little things that matter in my life.
I watch my daughter at her desk in the kitchen as she draws her "best picture ever" (there's a new "best" everyday). Then we put on our aprons and punch little dimples into the thyme-scented bread dough and fill them with olives, and slide the bread into the oven. I watch as my daughter dances around the kitchen chatting about her day as she sets the table. The front door opens and my husband, in his deep, calm voice announces his arrival home by exclaiming, "something smells good".
It's all good.