Self-Care looks different for everyone. I was reminded of that on Friday as I prepared a cheese plate. My sister looked at me and said, "You really enjoy this, don't you?" She was referring to my time in the kitchen. You see, that, for her, is more like self-imposed torture. But for me, when I have the time and space, there is therapy in the repetitive movements of a chef's knife. I find the combination of spices and textures to be an art form. I love the challenge of a pairing, the connection in sharing.
I began studying and writing about wine when my children were just beginning their lives; when I was beginning my new life as a stay-at-home mom. It gave me something outside the home to focus on, became an outlet for creative thought, a challenge and a way to connect. It gave me the time and space I needed to stay "me" when everything else was changing.
My children are in school now, I have time and space to myself. But I continue to hold on to this because I continue to grow, to learn. I continue to be impressed by the people I meet and the expanse of possibilities. I continue because when I am in the kitchen, dropping sticky scones on a cookie sheet or dicing shallots for a vinaigrette, I feel at home.
It was a love language I learned early in life. Meals were a time to connect. My mother filled a wall with cookbooks; we traveled around the world with our palates long before we did on planes. We stated our wishes at Sunday meetings and she obliged. Seasons brought a change in menu, but the feeling was constant.
My sister didn't "catch" it, but my brother, who was a German major, is a professional, self-taught chef. My cookbooks gather dust, but never my pots and pans. My children are adventurous eaters (to a degree), my husband a grateful audience. I felt love from my mother's efforts, I hope my children feel the same.
Each month I will be sharing a recipe that stood out, something seasonal inspired by the local Farmer's market, or a wine that needed nothing to shine. We may travel to a local winery, explore a region, or discover a new grape. And if cooking is intimidating, now worries. Popping a cork is easy.
This month, I shared about a winemaker in California (see below) who took a chance, changed careers, and her wines are lovely. I hope you enjoy. And if you want to try them, they are available online.
Thank you for letting me share my go-to method for self-care. If you have a topic you are interested in, please let me know.
Office Manager, Self-care guru, Mom, Wine drinker extraordinaire