Monday, September 21, 2009

Apples of Gold

Okay, so today I decided to bake. Well, I decided four days ago I was going to bake, so I went shopping for some groceries to include the ingredients needed to bake these muffins, and after my whirlwind of a weekend (including one full day of not feeling well) and catching up on the dishes, I have finally arrived. Part of my ingredient shopping was kitchen accessory shopping. I did not own a grater, and was sick of avoiding recipes that required, well, grated ingredients. I’m attending a mentoring class at my church, and alongside lessons about kindness and loving our hubbies, the older women are showing us how to cook.
The hosting mentor’s home is at least double the size of our home, and her kitchen is large enough to accommodate 10 of us younger women being mentored, plus most of the mentors and the kitchen helpers! It’s incredible. But she is so gracious; you don’t feel overwhelmed by your surroundings or that her home is showy, you just feel welcome and comfortable. Alongside this grand first impression, is the fact that all of the cabinet doors in her kitchen were off. I thought, “Wow, she even went to the trouble to take her cabinet doors off to show us some hints about organizing our kitchens!” But it turns out they are in the middle of remodeling, so it goes to show no matter how far we are in life, there’s always something torn apart and being rebuilt. Even she hasn’t “arrived” and isn’t perfectly together. What a relief. One other note about our host: she shared a tid bit about life as a young mother and mentioned that her husband used to work two jobs and/or long hours so she could stay at home.
Really? This woman I so respect and just thought she always was where she is now? It’s hard to think that the families I so respect started off small and with nothing, just as Matt and I are. That they didn’t always have the amazing jobs they have now, or the beautiful homes they’ve worked so hard to build or pay a mortgage on, or some of the families I know even own their homes paid in full. Now that’s what I’m talking about, that’s peace!
Ok ok, so back to the baking. What was I thinking concerning the baking? Oh, how it’s taken me nearly three hours today amidst the snack, lunch, diaper changes, fifteen minute play breaks, run to the grocery store for that last ingredient I had forgotten despite having made a list (drat!), more dishes from lunch and snack, and oh, maybe I should forget the whole thing and get ready for my date with my husband! A five minute make-up session and a spritz of hairspray would do wonders.
This is why a mother’s mind is always running in circles and never feeling quite accomplished. Or that anything has been accomplished. Either/or.
Well, the whole baking thing, and my general incompetency concerning not having the right kitchen tools, not able to organize myself for a grocery shopping trip, and then making a complete and utter mess of grating carrots (and which side do you use? why aren’t all the gratings going neatly into the container that fits into the grater? They are every where, I must be doing something wrong!) is just making me laugh at myself today. I love that I was invited to this mentoring class. My mom didn’t really have us in the kitchen a whole lot. My parents are divorced, so my dad did pretty well his self, and actually had us help in the kitchen quite a bit (more if we asked or was interested) but he did much more of the Hamburger Helper and frozen pizza type stuff.
So I never learned stuff like, grating carrots, or slicing apples, or how to shuck corn, or even that it was referred to as “shucking”. I thought you were peeling, and got a few laughs when I referred to it as “peeling” the corn. One day I was at the grocery, and decided to use their handy bins to “peel” my corn. I probably was using about the most idiotic method that you could envision, and this sweet old lady comes up and starts on her corn. I notice, out of the corner of my eye, that she is “peeling” about three ears of corn per my one. I decided to check out her method, and I about blushed when she gave me a pat on the hand and I explained that I grew up in the city and had never “peeled” corn before. “You’ve never shucked corn before?” Me: “Shucked?”
Or when I was over at a girlfriend’s house when she had graciously invited us over to dinner and I was in the kitchen with her daughter and helping snap the green beans. Snap green beans? Here I was watching her tween snapping beans so I could know how to do it myself. I had always taken a little paring knife (I know, probably the wrong knife) and cut off the ends, two or three beans at a time, which takes for. ev. er.
*sigh* She was gracious to me when I giggled about my methods and that I had never snapped green beans before in my life.
Feminine initiation … the women in my life … strangers at grocery stores, my amazing aunt-in-laws (I have a favorite from both in-law sides), my girlfriends, older women at my church, and of course this very purposed mentoring group, sharing of themselves and leading me by example into what was (is) for me, a very curious world of mothering, friendships, loving, and using my abilities and my mind to learn new things. There's a way for this wild and curious heart of mine. Maybe learning to care for my children, love my husband, and learn my way around this whole home making bit, is a great calling on my life.
Well, I suppose I should stop avoiding my kitchen and get to it, huh?

1 comment:

  1. No one ever told me I couldn't do "it". "IT" as in: baking bread, killing chickens, canning, freezing, etc, etc, woodcarving, etc, etc. You, too, can be a domestic divinity if you believe you can. Don't be afraid to try, Believe in yourself, nothing is ever perfect, just a learning and smiling experience. And, were the muffins a hit when they did get made, you domestic divinity, you?