On that thanksgiving, I didn't really know what to do to care for my dad, or my family. There was probably, really, nothing I could do. I was definitely not in control of the situation, so I hid out in the kitchen. I LIKE the kitchen because it's a place where I do have control. And there is stability. If you put milk, sugar, and eggs together and heat it for the right amount of time, you will always get custard. It never fails. And even if something goes wrong, and it does fail-- no one gets hurt. No one gets their feelings hurt when your pie crust is too dry, no one get hurt becuase your meat is too tough, no one drops dead because your bread didn't rise. And worst case scenario when you have a kitchen disaster, you can always order a pizza. So the kitchen is a safe, ordered place, where I have control, where no one gets hurt when I screw up, and where I can work through the issues outside of my kitchen and outside of my control.
Cooking is cathartic. Or as my mom likes to say, Valerie cooks for therapy.
The other beautiful thing about cooking is on the other side of my therapy I have created something that can bring comfort, nourishment, and love to someone else. Win-win. Seriously.
Right now... things are pretty out of control. My housing situation is about to change and I have no control. My grandma is about to die, and I have no control. My family and friends are hurting and greiving and I have no control. It's bitter-sweet right now to say it, but my life is 'Out of control, just like Grandma." So I am retreating to my kitchen until I can get a handle on things... even if, Grandma, no one wants to eat my food.