A Travellerspoint blog

In the Kitchen

I love to cook, but what I love even more is to watch other people cook. While most children spent their childhood watching Cartoon Network, my TV was permanently tuned to a variety of cooking programs where I developed a love relationship with the kitchen. I may have had a bit of OCD growing up (ok I still do) and I admired the organization and cleanliness of the TV kitchen. Here every ingredient sat pre sliced and diced in a variety of bowls as the chef moved amongst the kitchen with a sort of streamlined ease. Perhaps my fascination stemmed from the fact that growing up I consumed approximately three dishes on a weekly basis – pizza, pasta, and hamburgers. It wasn’t just that I was a picky eater, which I was, but I think it also resulted from lack of creativity and time on my mom’s part. Regardless of the cause, the kitchen became my playground and rather than run about like a normal child, I spent hours experimenting with ingredients – sometimes to disastrous results.

There were times when my poor mom, fed up with my floury messes, forced me out of the kitchen. Left to my own devices I developed a series of recipes in my sand box utilizing all sorts of twigs, rocks, and flower arrangements. I would spend hours outside mimicking the motions of James Barber while making a lovely mud pie. My obsession verged on insanity however when my mom would drag me against my will back inside due to below freezing temperatures. I just loved to cook and whether real or pretend it was all the same to me.

Although I no longer have cable TV to waste away hours in front of the Food Network, I am afraid that my new obsession is to read anything food related. From chef memoirs to gourmet magazines my nightstand has become a chef’s reference library. Two of my most favorite recent reads were Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child. Reading both gave me a glimpse into the life of Julia Child and her legacy that remains.

How fitting then that while touring the American History Museum in Washington DC I stumbled upon Julia Child’s kitchen. There it was, exactly as described in her biography. Child’s tools were varied and unique and her workspaces sweeping. I spent hours – yes hours – standing in awe of the space where such a beloved and acclaimed chef called home. The exhibit was crowded with bustling visitors who quickly took a glance of the kitchen and then excitedly announced: “That’s Meryl Streep’s kitchen from that movie Julie and Julia!” Well I could have died right there. I have yet to see Julie and Julia, I don’t doubt it would be a fun film, but I am still savoring the freshness of having just completed her biography.

I had a hard time pulling myself away from the exhibit. I was transfixed by the idea that so much of Julia’s history was worn into those tables and pans and had a hard time accepting that others could just walk in and out as though it were a fast food joint. Just as Julia spent years perfecting her French cooking, I too savored every moment at the exhibit in appreciation of her effort and devotion.

Cooking for me is an artistic pursuit. Just as the artist mixes paint to create a masterpiece, a chef mixes ingredients to create a meal. Cooking is creative, hands on, and best of all, you get to eat the results, and what could be better than that? Bon Appetit!


Posted by Jennylynn 06:52 Archived in USA Tagged food

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Jennifer, I'm a stranger who discovered your blog by chance. Love your entries and observations. Keep writing.

by Littlevu

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