Cooking is a joy for me. And baking. Something about turning the music up, wrapping apron ties around my waist and putting the oven on is comforting, almost meditative.
I make no claims of being a great cook. I certainly have no desire to be on MasterChef. For one thing, I really do not like sea food, I’d last all of about ten seconds. But I love to watch and be an armchair critic.
Most of the time, coming home from work and cooking tea is a way to unwind. Pouring a glass of wine, gathering whatever ingredients are needed for the nightly meal. Listening to the hum of home, computers. TV, drum and flute practice, chatting about what happened during the day.
The kitchen is the heart of our home. It’s the place of nourishment, laughter, tears, heated discussions and arguments. Most nights we sit at the table to eat. I yell to the kids that, ‘tea’s ready, can someone set the table?’ Depending on how hungry a child is, how much they like or dislike the meal, one of them usually gets the job done. Cutlery, glasses, lighting candles.
Tea is our evening meal. Not dinner. Even now the children have outgrown meals at 5pm and we’re more likely to be eating at 7. That’s what it has always been called in my family. Tea. It’s the familial word. Quite frankly I see nothing wrong with it. I have been pulled up on it sometimes. People scoffing. Jokes about class and status and ancestry. But you know, I’m more interested in the fact that we sit together, eat, talk than about whether our evening meal is semantically correct
It’s about being together. Even on those nights we wish we could all storm off to eat in separate rooms. Or when there is steely silence from the teen and tween. It’s about preparing food for those you love. Spending and sharing time with one another. It’s about gathering people from near and far to share food, drink and laughter. And that, in my books is all that counts.