julia child, mastering the art of french cooking, julie powell, french cuisine

Nothing Beats Home Cookin’

Have I mentioned that I’m in charge of a ginormous event at the local performance center this weekend? No? That’s probably because it’s all I’ve been living and breathing for the past four months and MtAoFC is my only escape. I’m staying at my mom’s house this weekend, which is conveniently located about 15 minutes from the hall. This way I can be close to all the action, yet still have a place to run and hide and curl up into the fetal position while sucking my thumb.

I could go into all the details about the event, but to tell you the truth, I’m kind of spent on the whole topic – the highlights are that this Saturday, August 28 at 8:00 p.m., the women’s barbershop chorus with which I sing will be rocking the stage with some pretty amazing Broadway show tunes. And I have speaking parts. And I dance. And then I pass out and melt into a sweaty puddle on the stage floor and the people who notice I’m missing say, “Hey, what happened to that blond girl? The one who’s put on ten pounds since the last time she wore her show costume because she’s been consuming alarming amounts of butter and cream?” Okay, I don’t think anyone would really say that. But it is what it is. I’m just sayin’.

So I would never lose my way home.

Where were we? Oh, yes – home. You know, when I was leaving home to head off to college many (many) years ago, I was amazed by how many of my friends immediately lost residency in their homes. Before they could turn around to wave goodbye, their bedrooms had been turned into sewing rooms or guest rooms. When I left for college, I was told that no matter what, I could always come home – and as a gift, I was given a little silver compass on a necklace, “So you’ll never lose your way home to the ones who love you.” Sure, over time, the bedroom I had grown up in made gradual transformations – the pink walls were painted sunset gold; my water bed gave way to two twin beds; my homecoming mums were packed away and new portraits were hung on the walls. But even now, that room is still referred to as “Jessie’s room”. Last night, when I called my mom to let her know I was on my way, she said, “Your room is all ready for you!”

No matter how old I get, or the fact that I’ve now purchased my own home, “home” will always be where the people I love are. During the week when I leave work, I head for home. When I come visit my mom in the house in which I grew up, I’m headed home. It always feels the same – a sense of belonging; happiness; warmth. But one of the best things about coming home? Home cooking.

I remember my freshman year of college, meals were either eaten in the student center or out at restaurants with friends. So whenever I’d go home for a weekend visit, all I wanted was a home-cooked meal. Even now, when I walk through the door, I love to smell food cooking in the kitchen. Last night, I was treated to home-made tacos. They were delicious, made with fresh ingredients; light and tasty. A pile of cheese, shredded by hand, was on the counter along with hand-chopped tomatoes, onions and lettuce. Just like we used to have when I lived there. It was a good combination of happy past memory and comfortable present contentment.

Tonight I’ve been promised we’ll have grilled hamburgers, beans and french fries – this home-made meal beats anything you’d get at a fast-food place. There’s just something reassuring and familiar about a home-cooked meal…something that reaches into your heart and truly lets you know that you’re home.

It’s true what that farm girl from Kansas said. There’s no place like home.


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4 Responses to “Nothing Beats Home Cookin’”

  1. Gwen Frazier says:

    AND you and your Mom have done a GREAT job on our Rich-tone show this year!! Thanks for all your hard work!

  2. Rachel Hartgrove says:

    Yes….I am one of those friend’s who’s room got turned into something else pretty quick– but hey, when you have 3 other siblings behind you, you gotta’ bet that one of them will want your room, right? (;
    Would love to meet you at “home” sometime, Jessica– let me know when you go back for something other than hosting a ginormous event!

  3. Mom says:

    Home will always be your True North. Wherever we live, wherever you are, “your room” will always await you.

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