If I could give my younger self a bit of advice...it would be to stop worrying about things that don’t matter—enjoy the journey.
Being a new mom with a toddler and a baby on the way I’m learning to relax and enjoy the small things each day brings. As life happens all around us all the time, I take a minute to appreciate these things that shape us and our little ones.
I don’t really remember cooking with my mom or grandparents but I do remember my grandma’s recipe box. It sat in front of all her Jean Pare cookbooks. I’m sure it was just lack of space but in my 14 year old mind it was on display and it had value. I remember her old blue tins (originally Royal Dansk butter cookies sold at Christmas) that now housed homemade goodies year round.
I remember the smell of turkey pot pie a few days after a holiday, and the endless jube jubes that always sat on the coffee table.
My love of cooking comes from watching my dad light up when someone would compliment his twist on a classic. It made me realize you can take pride in everything you do even if it’s creating a meal that everyone loves. He can taste a sauce and know exactly what it needs.
My mom took care of weekday meals, which I’m so much more appreciative of how much work that truly was for her now that I’m doing it for my family. Even with all that, she always made a point to include us, even if it was just a choice of which vegetable to have; it made a difference.
Being in the kitchen gave me the confidence to try new recipes and think on my own and see what I could create. At dinner time, my parents, brother and I would sit around the table, talk about the day and then take turns guessing the ingredients in whatever condiment landed on the table that night. It was a highlight - our own version of meal time trivia.
These are the types of memories I hope to pass along to my boys... to teach them to indulge in little moments:
- watching little fingers lick cookie dough from spoons,
- the smile on a little face when he dumps a cup of sugar in a bowl for the first time,
- the grin when he steals a bite.
These are the things that matter; not finishing the laundry or any of the other chores. Everything else can wait. Make memories with the people who matter...this is what I’d tell my younger self.