My sister and I share many things. We grew up as TCKs together before the term was coined, we share languages, expressions, and innumerable memories (although I often have to rely on hers for accuracy). One big piece of our personal puzzles is a love of being in the kitchen, cooking for people we care about. It was born as little girls in our mother‘s kitchen, where we grew up on the Sarma she learned to make while living in Yugoslavia, our paternal grandmother’s Fasulja (passed down from Grandma’s time as an accompanying spouse in Turkey in the 20s & 50s), garlic in everything (because, why not??), German recipes from local neighbours, and many other treats. We learned not to be afraid to try new methods, be creative with the ingredients at hand and use recipes only as general suggestions. From our TCK Dad we learned to be curious about all foods, taste everything at least once, and to always ask before taking the last piece.
My husband and I have taken cooking classes and learned about local food and customs everywhere we’ve lived. It’s a way to meet people and learn about their culture. Shopping locally and being curious about unknown fruits and vegetables is a chance to expand my culinary repertoire while getting to know new places at a fundamental level. While learning to cook is fun, cooking for others is also a way to share our personal culture and traditions – for example, while in China we celebrated the US tradition of Thanksgiving with my Dad and friends from around the world, sharing a slice of our history.
As if all that wasn’t enough, I also connect with my children in the kitchen while making memories together (which I hope they remember). From baking simple Christmas cookies to cooking entire meals, their capabilities and confidence have expanded over the years and continue to do so. Just this week, while crushing garlic our son said to me “this smells so good!”. Proud Mommy moment.
Cooking and baking is an expression of love for my family and one of my self-care practices. It relaxes me while caring for the bodies and minds of those I love most – by making balanced meals or by indulging in homemade treats. In this blog, I will share recipes and experiences from our family’s adventures around the world, each one invoking a memory, a story, or an event in our globally mobile life.
For me, cooking is culture, community, creativity, and an expression of love. And besides, the best parties always end up in the kitchen. Cheers! and welcome to my kitchen.