It isn’t very often that I get to lose myself in the kitchen any more. Usually it is a rush to just get dinner on the table, let alone spend some quality time baking. The kids are at an age where they are curious (Zach) and wanting to be helpful (Clara) but really, we all know that cooking with kids is the opposite of relaxing. Memorable, absolutely, but not so much the relaxing “Me time” that it used to be.
Every now and then though, something happens and I have a tiny taste of what days in the kitchen were like before these little people existed. I think back to dinners of homemade pasta, or dumplings, or soufflé. Of sashimi stuffed tofu pockets, made to recreate a starter I ordered in a restaurant. Meals were more adventurous, sure….but quieter. Quieter in a way that I don’t miss. This chaos in our home and in the kitchen is exhilarating and messy and loving, and when those little arms wrap around my neck and a sweet “you’re my bestest friend, mama” in my ear, I can’t wish for anything more.
Today, they both napped at the same time, for over an hour. Zach, cheek down and bum up in his crib; Clara, starfished in the middle of our king size bed. And me, downstairs with a hot cup of Red Rose with milk, and a clean kitchen. A clean kitchen just begging for some quality time together.
After grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch today, it used the very last of the bread. Right down to that end piece that no one ever really wants. And so, it was bread baking day. We go through 2-3 loaves a week, so I have been trying to bake more. I baked some bread. I made some applesauce.
Dinner tonight was supposed to be “breakfast” but upon realizing we can actually have breakfast AT breakfast this weekend (no farmers market this week!), I made a batch of our favourite yeasted waffle batter, perfect to sit on the counter overnight.
Those are three posts ready to be written this week, promise.
Maybe it was the need to lay low, reconnect and count small blessings – this week has been a doozy – but my power hour in the kitchen worked. An hour and a half later, we had chia bread proofing by the fireplace, roasted applesauce cooling in a bowl, waffles almost ready for weekend breakfast…..and a level of calm sanity I had forgotten existed.
In a week like this, turning off the TV, setting down the phone, and tuning in to some quiet reflection while kneading bread dough by hand is the best therapy you can get.