I’ve been told that the tips of my fingers constantly smell like garlic. I wear this as a badge of honor. I haven’t always had fingers of garlic, it has been something that I’ve acquired the more time I spend in the kitchen.
Cooking together was not a part of my childhood. My family enjoyed eating together, but the tasks of preparation was never delegated to others. Regardless, my interest in food was always piqued because of the memorable family gatherings around food.
I started off making apple pies that used a horrible blend of flour and water for the crust, chunks of apple pieces (that probably had bits of seed scattered about) and an insane amount of cinnamon. My parents ate it with a smile. “A good try, but not quite like Granny’s apple pie”. Later on, I developed a slight obsession with chicken and dumplings and my dedicated mother helped me to create a dish that I felt inclined to make twice a week for six months.
Throughout college I would occasionally cook for my roommates, but the attraction of take-out food was far too appealing. It wasn’t until I started to date my future spouse that I began to cook with someone.
We spent our evenings preparing meals in his cramped apartment kitchen. I guess this is where my garlic finger tips began to develop. The food isn’t what I remember the most about those early days of cooking. It was the feeling of being with a loved one, working side-by-side to create something enjoyable together.
By the time we were married and into our first year of cooking, we had developed a rhythm in the kitchen. Music playing and wine poured, we would attempt cookery with what we thought was precision and poise. We learned a great deal and over time, cooking with Randy became a part of our marriage. Date nights at home are spent opening a bottle of wine, eating cheese and prosciutto and preparing meals.
Now that we have children, we also pursue with them the art of cooking together. The kitchen is the perfect environment to work side-by-side and see what can be created as a family, while all pursuing the same purpose. It’s my intention to pass the scented garlic finger tips as an inheritance to my children and grandchildren.
It is time to gather again in the kitchen. Cook with others. Invite family and friends into your home — spend a leisurely dinner together free from time constraints and cook. Give your guests a gift of hospitality: time, conversation and homemade food.