Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Kitchen Flashback—and Some Thoughts

Last week here in Boston, it was pretty crappy. Weather-wise, that is.

When it came to the Reiton household, however, we were great! My parents were here! Woohoo! It's always so fun to have my mom and my dad here: they appreciate everything, they love to eat, and my dad grew up here, so it's like he is coming home. It's just awesome.

What was like coming home for me, this week, was cooking with my mom.  Actually, I specifically mean baking with my mom.

Until this weekend, dear readers, this was a sight I had not seen in 25 years:

Learning to knead dough from my mom

The only difference 25 years ago was that my mom's bowl was much bigger because she was most likely making a double batch. And maybe she wasn't so vein-y 25 years ago. That's about it. What I do remember being exactly the same: she was always on the floor with the bowl between her knees. Her sleeves were rolled up. And she was madly kneading dough for the week's bread.

That bread dough is something that I have dreamt about for years.  I've tried to make it, but it just doesn't come out the same as Mom's.  I think she has done it for so long, she's just got that thing where she just knows when it is right. Which only comes with practice. And failures. And lots of French toast and croutons.

But you know what? That's what makes cooking worth it. Things never come out perfectly the first time

And you know what? Who the hell cares??? It's food for YOU. You aren't cooking in the Queen's kitchen, for God's sake. And if it all really comes out crappy, it still fills your belly AND is a cooking lesson, to boot.  So if you just can't get your fill because it's just too God-damn-AWFUL, go eat a bowl of cereal, for crying out loud! Quit complaining! There are people who will have eaten nothing for a week in this world, so get over it. Seriously. 

Those whiny words: "I can't..." ??? 


If you keep practicing, one day it will come out great. No doubt about it. Pay attention and keep trying.

And that's my cooking lesson for you for today. Straight from my mom. Who has no idea that she's influenced this sailor-mouthed, gin-and-tonic-influenced blog post about trying and failing in the kitchen.

And learning. Always, always learning.

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