No vegetables, poultry, or other food items were harmed in the making of this blog.
If you know me, you know I am not a great cook and that I just discovered what that thing is below the oven (the broiler), and have yet to use it.
But when you are getting a divorce and have to share your kid half of the time, what do you do with the time you have alone?
Being a mother and being alone don’t quite go together. As a former mom who stayed home for most of the time, being alone wasn’t an option. And now as a working single mom, while I am ten times as busy as I was when I was home, I suddenly have this twilight zone periodically through the week in which I am alone and there’s no one to take care of.
Being alone= not in a romantic partnership, is not new to me. It’s been a long time and heck, even when we are coupled we can feel alone still, trust me.
But being without my kid has left this empty space in which I don’t know what to do with myself.
And then came my suitor, cooking.
He was new–unexplored territory. And I was inexperienced and open. Clueless. Hungry.
I got a new job dealing with a food company, which I really like so far, and so here I am now surrounded by foodies with cooking skills…and so I said I better get myself in order.
I bought extra ingredients to cook with, and I experimented.
Instead of a daughter to feed, negotiate with, clean, bathe, hug, kiss, read, laugh, sing, argue, remind to go to the potty, pack lunch, and tuck in to bed…there is no one there.
But there are ingredients. An oven to be pre-heated. Vegetables to be chopped. Olive oil and spices to be mixed.
Lovingly add in chicken stock.
Measure each ingredient.
Don’t neglect how long the meat cooks.
It is a relationship in which I am tending and caring for something: the meal. The meal and the effort I put into it is how I measure the relationship.
Was it a match made in heaven?
Or was the chicken dry?
I get eager to try simple new things because I’m so naive about cooking still, like a virgin who has yet to experience sex.
I am waiting to experience what it is like to make the perfect meal.
To not forget to add something.
To not overcook or burn the chicken.
To not be afraid to try something new.
And to never cut my fingers when using a knife.
There are tools, products, recipes, online sites, and cleaning products. It is a production. Storing the food after making it.
It is a labor that replaces the labor of love that I don’t get to do: care for my daughter when she is not with me.
It is a lover that is never jilted. That never goes away. Instead, I have to return to it each day and promise to try again, or try something new.
It means salty, sweet, tangy, creamy, light, citrusy-, and spicy rendezvous, that sometimes go very well and other times..not.
At first when we started sharing my daughter, I stopped eating when she wasn’t there. That didn’t go so well as there isn’t much of me to waste.
And now when she is not home, I fill my time caring for something because I cannot care for her.
I care for myself. I labor over a meal for myself.
In some ways, cooking has become a masturbation act for the appetite, or in more honest words, a place to forget my loneliness.
How can one be alone when there is pork defrosting and a date with the crock pot?
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