* I have no idea why this epiphany was prompted by a cake, but I literally remember the place and the cake. I have never been very fond of cakes, so when I found out the only way to stay gut-healthy and sane would be living without gluten for the rest of my life I didn't worry about cakes. When I tried gluten free, store bought cakes and found out they have more features in common with cardboard than cake, I did not despair. But it was never the less when I looked at a beautiful, fresh, baked apple cake in a cafe that I thought about how food is not just energy - food is about being curious, adventurous, experimental, it is about trying new things and flavours, and I am not willingly parting with that for the rest of my life. That was when I realised I have to learn how to cook flavourful, seasonal, spicy, sweet food myself - the reason why that lead to blogging is because I simply cannot do that on my own. I am tired of cooking before I even begin.
I never liked cooking, and growing up I always imagined never really having to cook. I thought I would get by without it, maybe someday find a man who would cook for me and otherwise just figure out how to get the most of meals cooked in less than fifteen minutes and using only one pot, pan or oven dish. Until I was diagnosed a couple of years ago I wasn't really planning on deviating from that plan - changing my mind and diving into cooking has been an easier decision because of one particular rolemodel.
One of my mother’s best friends was also kind of my replacement-grandmom when I was little. My own grandmother lived quite far away, and when I was ill or needed somewhere to be for a couple of hours, my “second” grandmother would sometimes step in. She had this great attic full of old things from her own daughters, she had an aquarium, and she had lots of time. Some of her most distinguishing features for me were always that she was great at sewing things and an amazing cook – she worked in a kitchen and she made me a new costume (a cat, a butterfly, a fairy…) almost every year, exactly to my demands and after what I suspect must have been pretty flimsy directions.
When I was a lot older I got curious and I asked her how she became interested in cooking. “Oh, I never liked cooking” she said, “but then I got married: my husband couldn’t cook and we had three kids, so I learned how to cook”. It turned out she didn’t like to sew, either, she just learned because it saved on money for clothes for three kids while they were small and she and her husband where starting up a business. As she got better at both things of course, she began doing it for her own sake, experimenting with food and sewing for friends. I remember how astonished I was - but I can totally see that happen. Cooking. It's getting better.