Cooking as it should be…

I began to cook. College offered me the experience to attempt to cook my own food. That’s been both a blessing and a curse. I began very slowly, and started to make things up as I went along.I would try different spices, learning to toss stuff in the pan, and not look back.

I tried MANY recipes and tried to feed my mistakes to my roomates. One was thrilled, the other rarely came into the kitchen for fear I would make her taste awful things. She decided my baking was alright and stuck around for a cookie or two.

I began to wish that I had paid more attention to my mother, and godmother when they used to cook for me. There were the struggles, the cookbooks, the attempts. I would start spending more at the groccery store, poking around things I’d never seen or hadn’t tried.
That ended after a few weeks of depleting my bank account.

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Having tried my hand at everything from Nachos to Pizza, I started to find things that I could get better at.

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College Life, and My very first Table

Leaving Home to go to college was both the best Idea, and the worst Idea I ever had. The beauty of leaving home, and the sadness of moving 3000 miles from my family was almost unbearable. There is so much turmoil that an individual goes through in an effort to find themselves, and I was no different. I wanted freedom. I wanted new places, sights, and to meet people who were different. I succeeded, but those dreams drove me further away from my family dinners, discussions and life. Four years is a long time to live apart from friends and family that I treasure.

This past year, I finally made the decision to move off the college campus and into my first apartment. I was so proud of this. My very own furniture, things that were finally mine. I share the apartment with several young women, but it started to feel more like home. The sanctity of knowing that the solid ground had no campus like restrictions, hours, or security guard that scrutinized my card every time I left or entered the building.

After a few move in issues, my  new roommate and I were finally ready to find  some new furniture for the apartment, and turn it into a home for us both. I went out in September and shopped around for the perfect kitchen table. The Table. My very first table. I wasn’t even sure what I wanted. Something small, but that was fitting with the decor. It wasn’t surprising that the first couple shopping trips brought me back empty handed.

Now, Having read my last couple of posts, you are probably wondering why having a kitchen table is important to me. Family. Kitchen tables equal the kinds of places where people come together, where they learn what it means to be human, where they smile, laugh, and find the freedom to express their hidden secrets. People enjoy eating together, it’s a leftover from tribal history. A gem of our past where our ancestors shared food and shelter with others for the sake of expressing love. The same is true here, with the simplicity of a kitchen table.

I was raised around one. Not just a table, but a loving, caring, foodie world. People that fed me to grasp this little thing one calls love, and pull on it like a life rope. Teaching me to cook, showing me what real food should taste like, and of course how to present food to others as a form of love. This expression has been passed down to me as a gift, and I too provide it for others. That’s what love should be, a full stomach and a good time.

I wanted a table like the one I had grown up with. Small, elegant if necessary, and something that was shapely enough to stand on it’s own. Very few tables that I saw while shopping came close. I decided that maybe I’d check with my roomates to see if they had anything else to offer.

The final roommate to move in, Began to move stuff off the small rental truck she brought and “BAM” there in the midst of the things to move in was a Small wooden table with a small but lovely design, slight wear and beautiful but wobbly legs. It was perfect. I knew I’d be able to tell the table at first sight. It wasn’t what I’d initially though i’d fall in love with, but it was perfect. Fate brought the table into the apartment.

Now, many months later, the table is the centerpiece of our very eclectic apartment. My first dinner party that involved the table was a success, and I’m growing up just like my mother wanted.

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The Dancing Continues

Dawna Making Fritters

This would be the point if description were necessary, what it might be like to live with me.

Food. Lots of food. Food that is always just as good, no matter how over cooked, undercooked, or just plain chopped it is. – Can you tell that I like food?

– This picture is home for me. The picture is My godmother making Banana Fritters. The best banana fritters. – Not a day goes by that I don’t wish i was eating those everyday.

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What we eat at the table, stays at the table

My grandmother cam totown about 12 days ago. This is extra special for my mother, who feels she doesn’t spend enough time with her own mother (my grandmother). Now, Most people who read this might imagine their own grandmothers; strong women who are usually a little slow at moving around, probably a little deaf, and comfortable to just sit all day.  *Not mine*

At 92, My grandmother is a little spitfire. She wants to help with everything, she wants to be entertained, she likes to get out of the house, and even with a walker/cane gets about alright. She’s witty, and bright, and has a lot to say to anyone who may think otherwise. Her hearing is a little rough, but what she does hear she makes perfect sense of.

My mother, and my grandmother have battle scrabble games in which my grandmother always wins. Her vocabulary and good word/Math skills make her almost unbeatable. I try but I’m usually never quite as good. – I think I need practice.my mother bought a scrabble dictionary just so that my Grandmother wouldn’t cheat, if anything I think she gets higher words because of it. Plan =Backfire. 🙂

My cousin, and now my aunt have dropped by to spend a weekend and see my grandmother while she is out on this coast. It’s been fun. (By Fun, I mean we’ve been more active then we were most of the summer)

Movies, Plays, and everything else I can do while not at work. *yes* I’ve been working all summer too. Work =Money, and money is good. That’s the equation I’m going with right now. Sad but true. There are worse things in life then working in an ice-cream shop.

All that I thought was bad is now good. Free ice-cream, smelling like waffle cones, and the occasional gummy bear snack. – What could be better then that.

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Hello world!

An Ode to visionaries. Those that we know and appreciate, and those who come to dinner. Today dawns a new days worth of intimate moments waiting to be shared with friends. As the day began, we see that dreams of others really do bring about changes. Those that we see in our dreams who are close to us call, or friends that we’ve longed to hang out with are finally free. This was one of those days. In the sense of everything that is good, we invited guests to dinner and were graciously accepted with his company.

Dinner; should we call it that, was in fact a lovely enchilada casserole that was graciously prepared for our consumption. It was astoundingly good, and covered in my favorite of all things; gooey cheese. Of all dinner escapades, I got creative and made a dressing for our salad. We decided beforehand that the salad was going to be a collective mixture of ” whatever was handy on the fridge shelf.” I found miniature passionfruit on the shelf, and decided that in a moment of pure foodie nature; passionfruit would make a delightful salad dressing. I tossed the miniature passionfruit in along with garlic and salt as well as some balsamic vinegar. It was absolutely delightful. I really created something I wasn’t even sure would work. I procreated this awesome vision of deliciousness, and turned it into a fine work of art with some skill. It turned out to be a winner.

Our dinner guest, a well dressed; sweet-talking Cuban gentleman of good faith and inquisitive nature; Sat at our table tonight. He spoke of childhood aspirations and enjoyment of life, and later of theology. We later moved to the living room, and spoke further about God, aspirations of religious belief and human nature. We addressed our government and the nature of politics, as well as how enjoyable my salad dressing was. ;).

Most everything from tonight’s table talk brought about changes. Weather mental states of infrequent belief, harbored belief on policy or our conscious voting decisions. Overall, Dinner was a huge success, in my cookbook and my overall book of good things. I made both a lovely new recipe, and learned a lovely new doctrine. Both are in supply, Sandwich or no Dancing Sandwich.

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