Last night I was cooking. There are a few appliances in my kitchen that I couldn’t live without. Well, I guess I could but I certainly wouldn’t want to. One is my KitchenAid stand mixer. This was a wedding present from my parents and I use it constantly. I have many of the fun attachments and am always wanting more. Another is my Cuisinart food processor, which was a Mother’s Day present to myself. The worst cut I’ve ever received came from the blade of this thing but as mothers always tend to do, I forgave him and love him just the same. The third, is my radio.
It’s nearly summer in Texas. This means that the grill gets a much better workout than the oven. Outdoor cooking is a way of life and, it seems, nearly a necessity when the temps get above 95. So last night we were doing hamburgers. Few things are better on a hot summer night than thick, juicy homemade burgers. I was inside, slicing fresh tomato, shredding lettuce and cooking beans. It was monotonous work and I’m the first to admit that while I love to cook for a crowd or for “other” people, cooking dinner every night for my family is a chore and something I rarely enjoy. Far too many times, I’ve passed the buck on the evening meal – sad but true.
Then I heard it – those first few beats on the radio of The Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz. A crazy tune that lends itself to wild bouts of unbridled dancing around the house. I cranked it up and gave in to the urge to move. I chopped to the beat and sang as loudly as I could while still keeping in relatively good tune. My rubber spatula doubled as a microphone, much to the shocked stares of my two preteen boys. That song was immediately followed by Prince’s Raspberry Beret and Escape Club’s Wild Wild West. You can only image the ecstasy that poured from the kitchen during those. By the time the third song had finished a delicious dinner was on the table and I realized that I just had a great time making it.
Cooking, like most things in life, is what you make it. Most people who say they don’t like to cook just haven’t found a way to make it fun. You may not enjoy singing and dancing and acting like an idiot but there probably is something that can take the things you dislike and turn them into good experiences. I plan to remember this the next time I’m “forced” to do something I dislike and hope that this realization makes my life just a little bit happier in the process