Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Do You Smell It?

Do you smell it?  NO?  Let me help you...coffee... chocolate... chicken and lemon with garlic...now do you smell those scents wafting from my kitchen? 
Okay, I confess.  Yesterday I baked a batch of mocha brownies simply to have a reason to turn on the oven.  It was cold and damp in the flat.  This IS England, so of course grey skies and rain are normal.  To help remove some of the condensation that collects on the windows, we open the windows.  Hence, the cold in our flat that led to a desire for a hot oven. 
Recently I’ve been sharing my kitchen with some very special people.  This sharing and teaching is a joy to me.  Relationships are built in the kitchen—relationships between mothers and children, sister-to-sister, two best friends.  There is something about creating good food together that creates a bond. Sharing my cooking skills with others eager to learn excites and motivates me. 
Miss JD & Miss VL
                        Miss JD always enjoyed my butternut squash and sweet potato soup.  Although I had e-mailed the recipe to her, it didn’t prove to be a successful result for her.  She asked for a tutoring session in my kitchen.  As we discussed setting a date, Miss VL mentioned that it sounded like fun.  The three of us agreed on a date that worked for all three of us—a Tuesday evening.  We chatted and bantered while I gave instructions and they peeled, chopped, stirred and then blitzed the lovely orange soup, seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Well, we enjoyed it—cooking and talking—so much that we decided to do another session.
The next lesson was for making American buttermilk biscuits.  I’d made a batch and took them to our Hillsong Connect group.  Both JD and VL were keen to learn how to make them.  Little did they know the mild trepidation that rippled through my brain.  The tall, light and fluffy biscuits I took to group had been the best batch I’d made to that day.  I could only hope that when we did it together we’d get a good result. 
Hot and ready for you!
On the night, I pulled out my copy of The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook  We read the recipe and I told them to shift the flour, baking powders, and baking soda together twice.  And the results were marvellous!  What a great smell!  What joy!  published by Hearst Books, Copyright 1980.
The other thing that happened was that we had a meaningful conversation about singleness.  As a woman who had not married until age 44, I believe I have a solid platform to discuss the struggles and conveniences of singleness.  The warmth of the kitchen, the informal setting, and trust establish through friendship created on opportunity for openness and sharing.  All that is motherly in my heart was allowed to flow.  We’ve scheduled another session—and I’m looking forward to our evening of cooking and sharing together.  
In the meantime, the smell of coffee is wafting into my office from the kitchen.  It is time for a cup of java, and of course a brownie to go with it.  

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