I made chicken and dumplings (yeah,without the chicken) for the first time today. The whole time I worked on them, I thought about my grandmother. It was the most fun dish I have ever made and I think it was because I felt so close to her. I am not a big cook, but most of what I know I learned from my grandmother, who was the most amazing cook. She made a huge meal for the whole family every Sunday and every holiday revolved around the delicious food she prepared for us all.
My favorite memories were not actually eating her food, but spending time with her in the kitchen. She never asked for help, but she would let me do a few things or at least watch and talk to her while she worked. Every time we cooked, I would ask her to tell me the story about her pressure cooker exploding because I loved the scary anticipation that it might happen again.
When I grew up and started trying to cook for a family myself, I realized that the work my grandma did was HARD and that the family probably didn’t appreciate her nearly enough! But today I had so much fun and I have a feeling that the kitchen was my grandmother’s yoga mat and meditation pillow. Her life was not easy and I have spent a lot of my life wishing she could have had one more like mine. But she was blessed with a space and a talent where she was in control and she could create and share and make the world a better place with this beautiful charity that started right there in her home. Her blessings overflowed all over our plates and filled her with peace and love in the same way my blessings overflow when I teach a yoga class.
I had a blissful moment while preparing the Thanksgiving meal today, laughing with my boys as we took turns seeing if chopping onions only made blue or brown eyed people cry (the answer was both). I felt energized from the cooking and serving and watching the people I love eat the food I’d prepared. Of course I wish everyone could and would practice yoga, but even more than that, my hope for everyone is that they find any practice and any place where they can give and receive and love the way my grandmother did when she made her chicken and dumplings.