Cooking Up Batches of Memories

(Originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on 10/24/06)

On the first really chilly morning of fall, the swirling leaves confirm what I know in my heart – fall is here, and winter can’t be far behind. So I do what I do on the first blustery fall day every year. I get out a loaf pan and make some zucchini bread.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be zucchini bread. Other years it has been split pea soup, beef stew, a carrot cake, stuffed bell peppers. All I know is that when the weather sends me indoors, I head for the kitchen.

I have never made or served my family a microwave or frozen dinner, or used frosting out of a can. I mentioned this recently at a party, and I may as well have said that my spaceship had just landed and I was looking for volunteers for science experiments. I have no ill will toward those who don’t cook. Nor do I hold myself up as a model homemaker (opening a closet in my house could cause grave injury or even death). I just know what I like, and what I like is the smell of something in the oven. Continue reading