Themes - Gracious and Good, Just Good Food
Food/Tech Tie In – Basic Prep & Cooking Skills
Homage - Engaging and inspiring young hands in the kitchen everywhere
Wow…She’s all grown up now. Maybe not GROWN grown, but an adult for real. To my chagrin, the numbers don’t lie. My heart smiles as we talk about the days when she stood on a stool and her little hands pressed cutters into Christmas cookie dough, decorating them with royal icing and sprinkles once baked. Santa always half ate, spilling milk and leaving crumbs. Messy as that was, my goal was to make it seem as real as possible. There is a story in there about the ones Santa ate that had ants in them, but that’s a tale for another time. 🤣
As she grew and prior to the teenage years setting in (yall know what happens then), I knew, if I was able to find ways of getting her in the kitchen to be part of the cooking process, she would develop the skills needed to feed herself, evolve her palette in a way that would allow her to embrace foods and flavors from around the worlds, cause that how we rolled, and more importantly, find joy in the art of making good food.
The stool became shorter and while her hands grew larger they were still small compared to mine. Those little hands were absolute wonders as they mixed up a batch of what we called “Lee Lee’s Loaf”. A Turkey meatloaf in its essence, the base of which was passed down from a friend of years gone by, as we carefully measured our ingredients, adding in the diced and minced aromatics (ok I did the dicing and mincing cause like most parents, I wasn’t ready for sliced fingers), we anticipated the aromas that would fill the kitchen as it baked and caramelized in the oven. As we cleaned up, we talked about silly stuff, girly stuff, and prepared for all the Lee Lee’s Loaf yums that were to come, when we sat down to enjoy it for dinner. A little potato action on the side, roasted veggies, that no matter what had to have ketchup on them (don’t get me started) was all that was needed to complete the meal. I know it tasted better because she made it…because we made it together.
During those teen age years, the stool was no longer needed and the kitchen was not anywhere close to being her jam other than Christmas cookies and Lee Lee’s Loaf. TV shows, the movies, music, talking on the phone with her besties for EH - VAH, replaced all of that. As we reminisce, we laugh about her time in the kitchen knowing it was the tradition of it all as well as having a namesake dish to brag about to others that kept Christmas cookies and Lee Lee’s Loaf on the list of things she would make an exception for, in terms of hanging out in the kitchen.
Now an adult and in her own space, guess what? Shes in the kitchen!!!. Food delivery services etc…are in the mix, but…she in the kitchen y’all. I gush when get the calls, the request for the recipes, the “no don’t hang up cause I want to make sure I get it right”, as she makes the dishes she grew up with, many of which Im bringing to you this Fall/Winter season HereInMyKitchen.
Its real my foodie friends. My Kitchen, your kitchen, our kitchens….are where memories are made, heart print moments occur, warm smiles and hugs, virtual and otherwise are exchanged.
Cooking is magic and the story of Lee Lee’s Loaf is no better example of its power. 👩🏽🍳🪄