Cooking isn’t just about food for me: it’s my therapy. I started cooking five years ago, when the appeal of making food from a can started to fade, and my inner cook began to itch. I started out slow, making simple dishes my mom used to make when I was growing up. But as time went by, I longed for the thrill of making something unknown and the satisfaction that comes from making a delicious and wholesome meal.
I am fascinated by the stories behind each recipe, the hands it passed through to get to each and every table. Cooking the recipes of my family and friends brings me closer to them and allows me to experience a connection that only comes with making their food. Within every recipe I create for Stuck in Thyme, there’s a story or memory that inspired it.
The most important story is that of my grandmother. She was a beautiful woman and she loved to cook. Food became her way of communicating with her husband, her children, her friends, and later, her grandchildren. She spent hours in her cramped kitchen, cooking turkeys and baking cookies for my family’s arrival, working all day to prepare for a visit that only lasted a few hours.
I lost her when I was seventeen – that age when you’re completely engulfed in your own world – so her death blindsided me. After she died, I spent three years in and out of counselling to come to terms with her death. I could never accept it; I could never fill the void that was my grandmother.
When I bake, she is there, guiding me through every stir of a spoon and every dab of icing. Cooking allows me to remember my grandmother when she was alive, shuffling around her kitchen, her slippers scratching the tiles. Cooking brings her closer to me; it is something we share, something she taught me without even knowing it.
With every new post, I will bring you a new recipe to add to your own collection. With every recipe comes a story: a story of my journey to create the dish, and the people and events that inspired it.
For more about me, please visit my professional portfolio at www.gileanwatts.com.