The plain and smiple truth is that I’m not much for cooking. I certainly can do the basics, things like pastas, grilled cheese and even hard boiled eggs (with a little assistance from Google). But, I have always had a part of me that wanted to do more in the kitchen.
I think part of that reason is that my brother loved to cook. He was in every way, a fantastic, passionate cook. He loved everything about it and his home was full of cookbooks and Saveur magazines that helped feed his passion. I have many memories of him, as a young teenager, getting up early and helping Granny make her buttermilk biscuits and red-eye gravy when we visited her. As an adult, he loved re-creating our Granny’s buttermilk biscuits as a way of staying connected to his past.
This afternoon, as my wife was preparing our Thanksgiving feast, I decided to jump in and help where she would let me. She put me on pie crust duty for the mini-pies we were making. As I sprinkled the flour on the counter and began rolling out the crust, I looked at my hands. I could not help but think about how often Ben must have done the same things with his hands. They would have had flour or some seasoning or another on them and that would have been a happy place for him. And there it was, a brief moment of connection, of understanding, of love.
I will never be the cook he was but I am going to keep trying. I loved feeling him with me there, in that moment.