Kitchen whiz

You can hear me banging pots in the kitchen. Slamming doors and rattling glassware, I hastily put away the dishes. Clanging loudly, I slam the iron pot on the stove. Mom is in the kitchen and everyone knows to stay away until I am done.

Of course, I will be done quickly. I learned a long time ago that the key to getting a job done that you don’t particularly care for is to do it fast. So I speed through the jobs, knowing a little noise is worth it to “Git ’er done!”

There are times when I put a lot of effort into my cuisine. I plan for days, studying recipes, writing lists and gathering ingredients. Everything that can be made ahead of time is completed and placed in pretty serving bowls. But regular meals are not like that! On any normal night, I could win awards for getting a meal on the table in record time. Step back! I’m coming through!

Naturally, I have a few disasters. Broken dishes or burned fingers are not uncommon. Bruised feelings either. “Could you just wait a minute until I’m done here?” I snarl through a fake smile. And I’m serious. I will be done in a minute—if everybody will just leave me alone and get out of my way.

I have dinner done on time. I have a clean kitchen. I serve nutritious food. But something is missing and needs to be attended to.

When my kids were little, I had a record player and a collection of classical records in the kitchen. Being a working mom with a large family to organize and feed, I always had a lot on my mind. The classical music helped me slow down and lifted my spirits as I prepared the food. I would put out a plate of raw vegetables or a salad, and if some hungry preschooler appeared at the kitchen door unable to wait another minute, I would tell them to help themselves to the veggies.

Perhaps I should work on my work habits. I am probably missing moments that I really would enjoy. Even if dinner is a few minutes late and the kitchen isn’t perfect, I really should slow down and enjoy the aromas of the food as it cooks. Maybe I should even accept an offer of others’ help, and we could laugh and relax together.