I’m in the middle of reading My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss and it inspires me. I realize that inspire is such an overused verb, but it does. The books I enjoy reading most right now are food memoirs. Especially those that involve Europe, preferably France. I graduated with an MA in English Literature a few months ago, and my thesis project was on cookbooks as autobiography. For a seminar, I wrote a 40-page cookbook memoir project. This genre fills my soul right now as nothing else can. I love literature, but it’s not what draws me right now. I’m drawn to food and to food writing.
I centered that brief cookbook memoir on the idea of food and how it creates a home. That resonates with me more than anything right now because that’s what I”m in the midst of doing. I started graduate school just a year after my husband and I purchased our first house, and after my first semester, I gave birth to my first daughter. Five months after graduating, I gave birth to our second. Now, despite my master’s degree, I stay home with my two darling girls. I love it. Most of the time. I love them more than anything. Except my amazing husband who makes it possible for me to stay home with them. And now that I finally stay home, I’m negotiating how to create that home that will be home for my daughters. The home that will nourish them. The home that will comfort them when they’ve been bullied or heartbroken. Food, I have realized over the past few years, is such an intrinsic part of that. And every time I pick up that cookbook project, I’m reminded first of those ideas that resonate so thoroughly with me and second of how much I enjoy thinking through them and writing about them. That, cyberspace, is the reason I am writing this blog. I hope so much that I’ll be able to keep it up and can one day join the ranks of the bloggers and storytellers that I admire, like Luisa Weiss, Molly Wizenberg and David Lebovitz. Lamentably, I don’t have a life rich with stories, or an apartment in Paris or Berlin. I have my stable husband, two little girls, and a house in Utah county. What I do have, though, is the beginning of a home. And a love of cooking and Europe. That’ll have to be enough for now.