Lately I’ve been pulled in by Saffron’s exotic beauty. I consider it a culinary masterpiece: it’s ability to dazzle the eyes in raw form, and then, all at once under the presence of heat, release it’s perfect bitterness and color to Spanish Paella and French Bouillabaisse.
The word “exotic” calls to mind the jingle-jangle of bangles, big smiles, fast talking, blue eyeshadow and foreign grandmothers. I sometimes crave being a young girl sitting on a wooden stool in the kitchen of a Spanish villa, with the sounds and sights of cooking: chop,whir,pound,sizzle, and chatter…in my childhood imagery there’s always chatter, smiling and laughter.
There is something comforting about cooking together. The pressure to produce something wonderful at your own hand is diminished, there’s freedom to explore, and there is a carefree spirit about the whole process.
I often wish there was a cooking show without a “personality” or host. A show where you could just listen and watch the cooking process; the comforting sights and sounds of cooking.
Our American culture is a far cry from my childhood imagination. We are busy, and usually alone in the kitchen tasked with the sole purpose of filling empty stomachs, like a mama bird bringing worms to her young with beaks wide open.
Saffron reminds me to create, enjoy, love the cooking process, and pass that love on to my children.
I believe I’m seeing a glimpse of this love of cooking. The other morning my oldest daughter set out to make pancakes for the family. She doubled the recipe, and since we were out of cooking oil, she used Olive Oil, which, “made the pancakes better, mom.” They were wonderful pancakes, I must say, and I can’t wait for what we’ll create together as they all get older.
So while I’m not a little girl anymore, and I’ve never been to Spain (in a villa no less), and I don’t where bangles, I’m vowing to create this “exotic” presence in the very real experience of my own children. I want us to have fun in the kitchen together, and one day, maybe my little granddaughter will be sitting on a wooden stool in the kitchen of our Spanish villa, watching us chop, whir, pound, sizzle and chatter.
I guess I’ll have to change my rule about bangles and wear one or two!
Get cooking together!