I've probably told you before that I'm bad in kitchen. But that's not entirely true. I am a good cook when I have the time and the patience. And I actually enjoy it sometimes. But those inspired moments are few and far between these days.
I live by myself and there is little economy in cooking for one. Unless I want to eat leftover spaghetti for a week or spend an hour cooking (and cleaning up) just to make a 15 minute meal that I'll eat in front of the TV, it's easier to live on cans of tuna, quesadillas and bowls of cereal.
My mother is a spectacular cook. She spoiled my brothers and me because she never even wanted help in the kitchen. We sat down to a home-cooked meal at least four times a week and she has even taken a stab at catering a few events in her career. She can make something out of nothing (sometimes a necessity in those leaner years) and would never force us to eat lame leftovers that hadn't been transformed into something a little more exciting. And because she loves to cook, it is her way of showing how she feels about us. Her way of providing for us when very little else was stable.
When I first moved away, my biggest source of homesickness was wishing I had my mother to make me dinner every night. The school cafeteria was lame (she always packed our lunches too) and I didn't have the means to eat out very often. When I finally had my own place, I struggled with what to buy at the grocery store and had to create my own routine every night.
So between my lack of time and inclination to cook these days, I derive a disproportionate amount of joy when someone cooks for me. There is very little I love more in this world than a friend making me dinner (or lunch, dessert, breakfast, a snack, whatever). Whether it's a simple burger or a complicated chili, there is nothing quite like sharing a home-cooked meal.
And I'm a lucky girl in this department. After our runs on Thursday nights, Vani (or Brady) includes me in their dinner plans. Gina is a phenomenal cook and Dolo is always whipping up something exciting. And when boys cook for me, I'm completely done for. Clearly, the way to my heart is through my stomach.
Now that the weather is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I'm looking forward to some big, satisfying meals with my friends and family. I even whipped up some spicy cherry chocolate brownies this weekend. Because the recipe made a ton, I was able to bring them over to share with the pumpkin carving party and have some left over to drop off to a certain someone and his roommate. I clearly also show my affection with food.