By now you know I dislike cooking, but you also know that I love music. All kinds of music.
Put those two things together and I am actually quite happy with domestic duties and can achieve domestic goddess heights with my culinary concoctions. I make great flavourful meals while I sing my heart out with a wooden spoon. A kitchen party for one.
In fact, lately the Carpenter has been treated to so many home cooked meals, he is starting to get paranoid. He won’t say anything, but his perplexed expression each time I announce the dinner menu du jour tells me I am making him uncomfortable. Happy, but uncomfortable. In other words, I have him exactly where I want him.
The Sunday when I baked a cake complete with buttercream icing really threw him off. I could see the wheels of conspiracy turning in his head. His wife was either trying to poison him slowly, stirring his demise with meticulous measurements so she could take up with a plumber (because she wants a bathroom reno). Or, she’s sucking up to him yet again to get that bathroom reno.
I can’t explain this recent desire to cook. Maybe it’s a seasonal thing. Winter is coming; time to thicken the gravy and the body fat. Perhaps it’s a need to embrace my inner introvert. When I crank the tunes and cook solo, it’s the perfect headspace to focus on one task and forget all life’s dramas. I select the perfect music playlist and get to work. Music fills my heart and fabulous smells fill the room.
I’ve been busy. Soups and sauces. Roast beef dinners and chicken entrees. Lasagna and cannelloni. Shepherd’s pie and proper British toad in the hole (with Yorkshire pudding and sausages). Sometimes, I even threw in vegetables right out of their frozen bags. Yeah, that’s right, I’m capable of more than I let on.
Time is a big factor. Making time to cook full meals has never been high on my priority list. I tend to over-book my time or, as I am often told, I don’t plan effectively. Eye roll. I don’t plan, period. But lately, I’m reminded there is something inwardly rewarding about putting a little love into home-cooked meals and serving them to my grateful, albeit slightly suspicious, family so they can pour ketchup all over it.
They say happiness is contagious and it appears I’ve inspired some. This weekend, my teens asked to join my kitchen party. They even made their own dinner. Brother and sister working together. Willingly. Wait, it gets weirder: we created a playlist for future kitchen parties, which means they are committing to doing this again. Get this: we went country. We grooved along with some classic favourites, including Dwight Yoakam. Then, we flipped to classic Queen, because Bohemian Rhapsody is a film we all want to see. We sang in butchered harmony. And we danced and laughed. The kitchen was a disaster, but my heart was full.
If you think the Carpenter was paranoid before, you should have seen him when he walked in on this kitchen party. He left quickly, shaking his head. But he ate all his dinner that night, so I’m ordering the vanity today. I’ll let you guess who will install it.