Sunday, December 03, 2006

The First Snow & Shortbread Cookies

Yesterday was the first snow here in Toronto. It was really just a light dusting in the morning, just enough to make it look pretty and feel festive. Justin was out and about doing shopping on his own because it's someone's *ahem* birthday this week. So I thought that might be a nice time to make him a treat and decided to make some shortbread bars - oh, my! Yummy, yummy yummy and easy peasy!

An interest in cooking and baking has suddenly made little appearances here and there. I'd almost forgotten I liked to do that stuff. When I was a little girl, I loved to bake. When I was in public school, I would just beg my mom to let me make something in the kitchen. And then in high school, cooking became interesting. I used to come home every day from school and hang out with my Mom while she was making dinner. I would tell her all about my day at school and what was going on in my life. I wish I had picked up more of her cooking tricks - especially how she makes her soup, which just tastes like home. Even now I watch her make it and for some reason it just seems like magic that is beyond my understanding. Maybe that's the way it's meant to be.

When my parents split up, it was my job to make one meal for the family a week, and I liked doing it. I'd spend time looking for good recipes that would feed everyone enough and be tasty. I remember my dad was so impressed once when I made a roast chicken and it was truly so much easier than any of the other things I had made. When I moved out, cooking was so different. It took me a while to not always cook for at least 6! Truthfully, I didn't even know what to make sure I had in the fridge.

And for a long while, cooking has felt functional. I enjoy the food, and I enjoy cooking with others. Making dinner is such a great time to reconnect and get up-to-date on the day. But I didn't really think much about the actual making. I was kind of on autopilot. And recently, for some reason, I've found a small resurgence in the joy of cooking. This week I tried 3 new recipes, including a delicious and easy lentil soup, which we had tonight and these shortbreads which are outrageously good. Cooking together feels like family. And sharing food feels like love.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

oooh...snow! lucky girl. I love watching my mom cook. There is something so magical about moms.

melba said...

Shortbread bars sound delicious. Will you send me your recipe? I LOve to cook too, I always have. Sean says he is not picky, but I think he is. I like cooking for my brothers and sister because they all love my food and I Know what they like. Sean and I have similiar tastes in restaurant food, but sort of different tastes in homecooking. I think every family has their own ideas about what comfort food is.

Sacred Suzie said...

How wonderful, I adore this post and can really understand what you are conveying Jamie. For years cooking was just a pain but once you get into it, it's all about transformation. Baking is especially like that! It's all magic and love, combined which is a beautiful thing. I agree about Mom's soup, how does she do that? I've never made a soup that comes close to hers. That reminds me, I'd love to have that coffee shortbread recipe you used to make, it's one of my favourite things in the world.

You used to feed us beautiful food Jamie, always tasty with an element of fun. That is a true gift. Thank you Jamie.

Laini Taylor said...

Yum -- I made shortbread last week when we had our first snow, too! They came out very good, and they were really easy. It was my first time making them, and since my mom had just given me a really cute shortbread pan I thought I'd give it a try. I just posted a recipe today for the cookies I made yesterday, and many more will come. This is the ONLY time of year I make cookies, and I really overdo it!

Jessie said...

"Cooking together feels like family. And sharing food feels like love." ...i couldn't agree more. these days i feel like i too often rush through making meals, but when i slow down long enough to enjoy it, it feels so very good.

and did you say it's someone's birthday this week?? (wink, wink) ;) guess what...mine too! dang, i knew i liked you for a reason! :) heehee! mine's on the 9th. when's yours?

sending love,
your fellow sagg.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jamie,
I discovered something new about you. I kind of imagined that you were all about going out into the world and doing NIA. What a surprise to find you baking and cooking.

I really agree that cooking has a magical quality. It is almost medicinal. I'm impressed that you cooked for your family at such a young age.

There are some wonderful movies about cooking. Maybe you could have your own film festival. I recommned "Babette's Feast."

Shannon said...

What a lovely way to spend the day!

liz elayne said...

so glad you are enjoying your dusting of snow!

connecting with cooking is wonderful. i keep hoping the bug will bite me. i do love cooking but find excuse after excuse. the lentil soup made me think about what i would like to have for lunch :) maybe i should look up a recipe and start cooking! i appreciate reading about your experiences growing up and watching your mom cook. expressing this as magic is beautiful.

la vie en rose said...

i remember my home ec days. i loved the kitchen then (even when i dropped a pot holder into the oven and it caught on fire)...not sure what happened to that girl...now she rarely makes anything that isn't microwavable...