Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Stock Pot

There are certain things that I make in my kitchen that inspire me. I know that this just looks like a pool of scraps to most but as we all know there is something wonderful about the smell of simmering chicken stock. As the aroma of this simmering stock began to fill my kitchen it made me think back on the things in my life that bring me comfort. Obviously, there is homemade chicken noodle soup. I loved it when my mother would make chicken soup, especially if she also made those large noodles to pour the hot soup over. Then there is the delightful smell of baking cinnamon buns. It was an all day affair to make, but the pay off was always worth it. Both of these bring back such fond memories of fall at home in the kitchen with my mother.

These times were often uninterrupted by my little brother (because it looked too much like work) or the friends that would often pop in to have coffee. I got to have my mom all to myself, something that was pretty rare at times. I remember her rolling out the freshly risen dough onto the table that I was allowed to lightly flour. My job was to spread the warm melted butter over the surface of the sweet smelling dough. As I got older, I was permitted to spread the brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins and even later, to roll and cut them into pieces and leave to rise. This was a right of passage for me and it was a great learning experience that will, thankfully never be unlearned. This time was often used to catch up or talk about anything that came to our minds, but even if we never said a word, it was always a bonding time between mother & daughter.

Clearly food has always played a pretty large role in my life. It's usually the smell of foods made from my childhood that elicit the more intense comfort responses. You can not put enough emphasis on the importance of the time spent with your loved ones in the kitchen. Not only did I learn how to make wonderful, yummy homemade foods, but I learned to take comfort in the conversations and the quietness between loved ones. While my children might still be pretty young I know how important this is and will be to them as they grow. So, as fall comes along, I find myself wanting to make soup and cinnamon buns and even perogies with my children. The conversations aren't deep and their attention spans aren't too long, but they are working side by side with their mother in the kitchen, making foods that they will remember for the rest of their lives and that is really cool!

My mother saved a set of these Campbell Soup
bowls from my childhood of me.