Around this time last year I gave up. I fell apart in my doctor’s office. The pain was too much, I was going to lose my mind. She gave me strong pills and I fell away from the world for a long time. While I was there suffering from cold sweats and chemically-induced vertigo (yeah, no couch holiday for me) all I thought about, next to wanting to go back home to BC, was getting back into my kitchen. I could barely hold a knife at the time. Food was really the last thing I wanted and yet, I wanted to be in my kitchen.
It is not about the eating. It is about the creating. Fingers in the dough. Hands dangerously closed to my new mandolin. Investing in my mixer Rebel with my car accident money. It was all a bittersweet adventure to take me away from my reality, from my physical pain. There wasn’t much I cared for in the world in anymore. No place to run and hide. I was trapped. My kitchen became my one escape.
Tasteless pasta salad that was almost impossible to save but with vinegar and old cheddar I managed to make it edible for my tastebuds. Even my husband thought it was too bland!
I over-baked the hell out of this focaccia which instead of being moist and soft was hard and chewy.
It wasn’t until after I turned on the breadmaker that I realized the egg white mentioned in the recipe was supposed to be used as an egg wash for the French Bread before it went into the oven. It explained why when I checked in on the dough (which I always do) it was so dry and tough and needed extra water.
This foodie disaster ended up having a happy ending, the French bread was still delicious and made the best garlic bread I have ever eaten.
Two years I have tried to keep an open mind and no matter what I bake or cook, I just do not like where I am. Before I moved here my food was pretty flawless and almost magical. I was happy and that happiness was in each bite I created. You could literally taste it. I am trying to make happy food memories here, getting back my cooking and baking mojo.
Still, there are days when I can barely lift up a knife. Last week for my birthday my hand pain was so bad my husband had to open my gifts for me. The food I make here has been good but I know the dash of happiness is missing. Still, I try. I am off the couch, no longer in a drug-induced coma. I live around the pain and try to escape it in my kitchen.
My life may look delicious and covered with sprinkles but I am just a clown crying tearlessly under all that white makeup. Searching for that magical recipe that will transport me back home.
Debra She Who Seeks says
Keep on being brave, dear Suzie! You’ll have lots and lots of sprinkles again! Even now, you have SOME sprinkles, eh?
Dear Suzie, don’t give up. I know what you are talking about the pain. I can barely stand more than 20 minutes. I bought a breadmaker because you use it and I’m having fun making lovely bread because you told me I could again.
Thank you and do what you can do each day and don’t fret about what doesn’t get done.
Love and Gentle Air Hugs,
This is a heartbreaking post and i am so sad for you…but I also believe that all kinds of creativity heals (cooking included of course) and I also believe that pain goes away if you just wait for the resolution, even if you don’t quite know when or how it will come. Hang in there and keep cooking–Thanks for sharing it with us. It is a gift.
I wish for you HOPE, hope for better times, that it will not always be as it is now. One thing I wish now as I look back on all of my “lost” years, the wasted years of pain, is that I would have believed that it would end, because it did. Then I would have enjoyed the time as much as I could, even the little things. I didn’t do what you are doing–I didn’t even try to be creative or to reach out to others. That is where you find your joy and I pray that you will be able to do it more and more…and that to the extent you can do it, that you glean some meaning from each day, Suzie. Wishing you even more HOPE and more ESCAPE via good things, O
Karen D says
Suzie, you don’t have to be perfect or bubbling over with happiness every minute, we still love you out here in the blogosphere. You have truly inspired me to cook again, you have reignited my curiosity for food and trying new things.
I know it is bad for you much of the time with you environment and your condition and I wish I could wave a magic wand over your head and make it go all I way. I will keep you in my thoughts as I do my Reiki self treatments, I have just picked that back up recently so I am trying to get my groove back.
I don’t have the words that can make things better. But I do feel your pain. I cannot imagine what you are going through physically, but I know what it is to not be “home where your heart” truly is.
I used to love to cook, to experiment with recipes, and with all the mess in my life I’ve hid away from the things that make me happy, I just can’t seem to find joy right now. We have different struggles, but it seems our feelings are similar.
Reading about you and your personal struggles makes me just want to reach out and give you a gentle warm hug. The end of the rainbow is out there Suzie, just hang in there.
Oh bad day today then? Your blog is always worth reading and your honesty is really refreshing. I’m glad you reminded me how lucky I am to have my health and how precious that is. Keep cooking Suzie.
the new Mrs. C says
Sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time. I enjoy seeing your photos and reading about your cooking. I hope that you find the joy in it again soon. I will keep you in my thought and prayers.
I have to commend you on being so honest. From my food perspective, when I read your comments on the Food Network site I have no idea that these are the emotions you’re encountering.
If it means anything, your optimism on that site is overwhelming and I thank you for participating the way you do. You definitely bring a smile to my face 🙂