My favorite summer was spent on the grounds of my Oma and Opa’s farmhouse in Rosenhof, Germany. I can still remember riding my bike down the long lane leading up to their home, while trying to avoid swallowing the little gnats in the air. My sisters and I would make our rounds around the farm, watching my mother milk a goat, running away from the hens after attempting to feed them leftovers, and picking juicy strawberries as an afternoon snack.
When it came time for meals, we all gathered together around the wooden nook in the dining area. Meals were always freshly cooked. The fish caught straight from the pond behind the house. The lettuce, tomatoes, and radishes gently picked from the garden, and the berry cake made with strawberries from the patch. I’ve been reflecting on those days more and more lately. Although the farm no longer belongs to my family and my Oma and Opa have since passed away, those memories have left this longing to create meals cooked with care, using fresh ingredients.
Ever since graduating from college, I’ve always seemed to allow the busyness of life act as a barrier from taking the time to create a meal that takes more than thirty minutes to make. Since quitting my full time job and moving to Houston, I have found a new appreciation for cooking and baking. Although it can be a bit stressful, because I often feel incompetent, the result, when good, is one of the best feelings. I love seeing the look on my husband’s face when the flavors of the meal are so savory and delicious. Somehow the meal becomes more than just something to fulfill a hungry stomach, but it becomes something to savor, while creating an atmosphere for good conversation and an appreciation for the simple things in life.