Today my mom told me that since knowing me as an adult, I have changed the way she cooks. This surprised me at first because, although I consider myself far more accomplished in the kitchen than I was ten years ago, I don’t think of my cuisine as being too inspiring. She told me she prepares far more vegetables and relies on them for the main part of the meal. I thought her comments over later and realized, what a great compliment!
At the time she and I were driving up to Olympia with my oldest child to buy fabric for the latter’s Halloween costume. We stopped for tea, visited the rest area (which Sophie loves for some reason), and enjoyed a nice day away from our households. We talked about parenting (a lot), about family stuff (a bit), and about sewing (of course). We talked about my dad, a little – but what is there to say? We miss him terribly, and we speak the same language about him when.
The city affords niceties our smaller urban environs do not. The friendly anonymity of strangers taking walks through Capitol Lake Park – a man who’d set up a tightrope between trees and, after giving us a demonstration, gave a tutorial to Sophie. Dogs; lots of dogs. Great food (we ate at a funny Japanese grill restaurant where they throw knives and cook at your table). Some detriments: traffic, parking headaches, and bad bathrooms.
At home the evening the weekend comes to a close amidst a gorgeous fall day. We go on a “spooky walk”; actually, a bike ride up through our cemetery, peaceful in the gloaming and yes a bit spooky, owing to the fact there are many old and creaky trees. Upon getting home Ralph and the kids carve a pumpkin while I prepare dinner. Inspired by friends I have discovered a new repetoire in my cooking: simplicity. Not every night needs to have a bona-fide dinner. Tonight I cook while listening to Ralph and the kids chatter, serving cinnamon toast, grilled figs with goat cheese, sprouted almonds, a quesadilla with sharp cheddar, chamomile tea.
Ralph runs the bath and Sophie and I finish some homework; move the couch into position to watch a “spooky” movie of Sophie’s choosing.