For as long as I can remember, I have equated cooking in the home kitchen as a submissive womanly trait—that of a servant. Growing up in a one-income family my mom was the only one to cook. The kitchen was her domain. I can still hear her voice in my head when I reach for the refrigerator. “Did you wash your hands?” She yelled from the other side of the house. How did she know I was in the kitchen anyway?
Let’s put aside freakish mom traits for a moment and focus on the draw of the kitchen. It’s a living thing this—it emits smells, produces life, needs cleaned, and people gather around and in it.
There are emotions as well. You can hate or love it, cry over a bowl of ice cream eaten over the sink, create beautiful food art, get fat in it, celebrate a party or curse they day you bought that “smart” stove.
Although my favourite thing to do in the kitchen is change someone’s mood; to turn their day around by giving them a fresh slice of bread. Frankly, the thanks that they give could never equate to the pleasure I receive from changing their outlook.
With my years of thinking the kitchen a subservient domain, I have shifted my darkened paradigm. The kitchen is not male, female, dominant or submissive; but rather an outlet for a person who loves to show people that she cares deeply.
As I embark on changing country, I learn that food is a major aspect in one’s culture. How easy will it be to change years of conditioning? How I cook in the kitchen, serve food, portions, and even courses? Will this have an effect on my weight?
Ultimately, I hope so.
Photo: Medieval/Renaissance Food Clip-Art Collection