Everyone has a ritual, something they do that provides an oasis when things are chaotic. Cooking is my oasis! Just like Superman I have my own Fortress of Solitude, it’s the kitchen that is my oasis. A place where cooking puts me in a calm reflective state and I’m able to do my best work. My home becomes the center of smells that bring strangers to my door in hopes of tasting what has tantalized their noses.
Looking back into my childhood I believe cooking became my safety zone because it’s one of the times I was able to share my feelings with my parents. After getting home from school I would take off my uniform pleated skirt (those things are hard to iron) and sit on the kitchen floor by the door in my shorts and white shirt and tell my mom all about my day. Or the weekends when my daddy was making bread and he would talk about his childhood. Those times were filled with something I can’t verbalize but it’s an emotion that wraps around me every time I cook.
That feeling of love and safety I believe comes through fingers and is sprinkled into my food. Perhaps, that is why sometimes when I provide the recipe to a dish my friends say, “you didn’t give me everything, you missed something.” I haven’t but my food taste like Olga. Who I am comes through in the food but that’s not to say when you make something it doesn’t taste right. It’s simply the dish now has your stamp on it and that’s ok.
Good food doesn’t have to taste just one way. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have so many restaurants, chefs or recipes. My Caribbean cooking allows me to capture or re-capture an image, a feeling on a plate and share it with others.
What’s your zone?