April: Joyful Community Cooking Project!







I had this sincere, earnest goal for the month of March: meditate.  It didn’t really happen. Why?

1. I just don’t feel like I have anything new or worthy to say about the subject.  There are much better, more profound teachers who have covered this topic.  I did find my happy place to meditate in; I just didn’t have time to go there.
2. Part of meditating is being in the moment. I had a strange realization the other day: I am almost always COMPLETELY in the moment.   Making breakfast, packing lunch, getting the kids dressed, driving them to school, cleaning, laundry, picking them up from school, getting them to nap, more cleaning, writing, snack time, potty time, supervised play, dinner prep, dinner, play, bath, PJs, bed, listening to Darcy’s day, writing, tweeting, bed.

I don’t have time for my thoughts to wander. I have a hard time even thinking about tomorrow. This is probably the most zen I’ve been in my life.


I did discover one thing that did bring me joy in March, and it’s the most unlikely of things.  I love cooking for my family on Saturdays.  I like bringing back the traditions of my family, my holidays, my youth, and even my travel via food.

In April, this is what I will be focusing on: not just making healthy food or under 30 minute dinners or crazy dining olympic feats of daring, but cooking as a way to bring back the past, create family lore and offer a way to bond community, among small groups and large ones.

I knew it before I got out of bed,” she says, turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. “The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear.  And there were no birds singing; they’ve gone to warmer country, yes indeed.  Oh, Buddy, stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy.  Help me find my hat.  We’ve thirty cakes to bake.”

Some of my favorite writing, ever, was in “A Christmas Memory”, by Truman Capote.  He describes how he (as a young boy) and a gentle, slow aunt gradually accumulated the fixings, then cooked the Southern Fruitcakes that they send to everyone they liked, including FDR.  So Capote is my figurehead of sorts: my inspiration.

Cooking with Capote, I’m calling it.  Every Sunday, I will be posting the results of my own Saturday meal – the theme, the tradition behind it, the recipes.  And I’d love for this to become a communal thing.  So I’m inviting y’all to post your own meal or just a dish or dessert which has special meaning for you (and explain why).  You are all such fine writers, that I feel we could generate some real, Proustian moments here. (See Lori, I used that word again!)  Link your awesome post to my Sunday entry in the comments.

Even if no one comments, that’s OK.  But it would rad for us to make a cool,writerly version of those stupid Junior League cookbooks everyone’s Mom used to have…

Are you in?


Filed under Capote Cooking, Discovering joy, Family, Parenting After IF, The Reluctant Cook

5 responses to “April: Joyful Community Cooking Project!

  1. I’m in! And Thich Nhat Han says that mindfulness is in everyday activity … which is exactly what you realized this month!

  2. I’m TOTALLY in! Fantastic idea!
    I’ve been doing something really similar – reconnecting to flavors I used to love as a kid. Kind of “practicing” for when I have my own. So hopefully I’ll have something nice to contribute. Should be really fun!

  3. I LOVE IT!

    In fact, your fried chicken and mash potatoes inspired me to do the same that very night, and this isn’t really related, but I also went and got a cream soda last night when I got home!

    So yes! I’m in! And apparently, very impressionable!

  4. Esperanza

    Hmmm. What an interesting project. I kind of hate cooking but really want to start getting into it and that is a great way to start. I shall hope to aspire to join in on the fun. Count me in (for now)!

  5. Pingback: Dinner for Two – Fajitas! « mommyodyssey

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