Kitchen 101: A (penultimate) personal goodbye

 

I don’t know that I can recall the very first time I ever picked up a whisk, but I can remember all the years since that I’ve spent learning and growing with every cracked egg.

I’ve been cooking for a long time and it’s always meant a lot to me. Even before I could do it myself, I watched my grandmother work her magic. When I had hands large enough to grasp her wooden spoon, I became her Jiffy Cornbread Master at every family dinner.

As my body grew and time progressed so did my curiosity and love for all things food. Throughout the years, cooking and food became entangled with the feelings of closeness and affection I felt when sitting down to eat or learning side by side with the people I cared for most.

When I started Kitchen 101, I wanted to bring all of that love and passion to Echo readers in a way they could enjoy. Little did I know that soon it would become even more.

On the afternoon of Halloween 2011, my grandmother passed away. As is to be expected, I was distraught. Initially, I turned to talking about my feelings in a separate column where I explored my feelings of grief, longing and heart-stopping sadness. As time went on, those debilitating feelings subsided and I began to find comfort in remembering.

For the past year or so, Kitchen 101 has been a way for me to remember all the wonderful things I loved about my grandmother. It allowed me to remember her smile, the odd way she answered the phone and how she could out-MacGuyver nearly anyone in the kitchen.

It was a way for me to stay connected with her even though she was no longer with us, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that oppurtunity.

Whenever bad things happen to me, I have a way of making myself forget. If I would have done that with my grandmother’s memory, there’d forever be a metaphorical hole in my heart. I didn’t realize it at first, but Kitchen 101 saved me from forgetting one of the most important people in my life.

Today, as I write the penultimate edition of Kitchen 101 for The Echo, I’m overcome with many of the same feelings I felt the day I got the call about my grandmother. Although I’m writing this through watering eyes and feeling incredibly vulnerable, I also feel happy that I got to have the experience.

I want say thank you to all of you who tune in (mostly) every week. I know that from your end, I was helping you. But, from my end, you were helping me.

Next issue, we’ll have one final toast for the graduates in the audience. After that, I’m not sure. If you’d like to keep up with whatever form Kitchen 101 takes over the next few months, join me on Facebook (facebook.com/Kitchen101blog). If not, thank you for being here for me anyway.

Until next time, keep it tasty.


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