Last night as I was standing in my kitchen chopping onions, it hit me that I was making my last home-cooked meal for the next few weeks. While yes, I am so excited to go on vacation and get some quality time with the hubby away from work and other distractions, there is something so bittersweet about leaving. I am going to miss the smell of my spices sizzling on the stove, seeing my dog saunter in and out of the kitchen looking for fallen scraps of food, the sound of Devin playing the ukelele on the couch while I cook....all of the sweet, little things that make up our daily existence.
These will be replaced by preparing breakfast in an unfamiliar kitchen, eating meals on-the-go and having someone take our dinner order. During those hectic weeknights when I'm rushing to throw together something delicious, spending 2.5 weeks not having to worry about meals sounds like utter perfection. But, in reality, nothing really compares to putting your love, knowledge, family history and awareness into a dish. For my last home-cooked meal, I made an Orzo sautee - full recipe can be found here. This time I used spinach instead of kale, added lots of basil and used roma tomatoes (instead of cherry) for a more saucy texture.
It's funny how food can be a metaphor for life: standing there in my kitchen, I realized how important it is to be grateful for whatever is in front of you at the moment. When we are blessed with a home and company to prepare meals for, no matter how arduous, it truly is a gift. And when life allows us the freedom to step away from it all and retreat -- that too is a blessing that should not be taken for granted.
Here's to finding the bittersweetness in every situation and every meal!