Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Mercy pie

I slipped down into a dark hole the last couple of days, for reasons that had no basis in fact, just fears and prognostications, full-blown figments of the mind. When these figments come on, no one can convince me the apparitions I'm conjuring aren't real. I mean, I can feel their realness in every cell of me, and that, my friends, is the craziness of it. But it passes. And that is the mercy.

You'll never guess what helped me climb out of the hole this time. I cooked! Now, I never cook in my household, except for breakfast and at Thanksgiving. Once or twice a year, I might also make my famous corn and cheese casserole for a pot luck gathering, but that's really it. My husband is the chef in our family, and a wonderfully creative one. Our children are also amazing cooks, which I take partial credit for: After all, if their mother had cooked for them when their dad wasn't home, they wouldn't have had to get into the kitchen and figure out how to feed themselves. I actually took secret pride in the fact that for the first decade of his life, my son believed that stereotypical gender roles meant the man in the household was the main cook.

But over the weekend, in the midst of my funk, I ran across this delectable looking thing on Buzzfeed. It seemed easy enough to prepare, even for me, and I was particularly taken with the idea of a spinach, goat cheese and sun-dried tomato pie with—wait for it—a sweet potato crust!

My niece and her love had invited us to a Fourth-of-July barbecue this afternoon, and I rashly volunteered to make and bring this savory pie. I decided to do a trial run last night for dinner, and while I was cutting and chopping and dicing and seasoning, I completely lost all focus on myself. I thought, Hmmm, so this is why people cook. I remembered that in high school, when my daughter felt particularly overwhelmed by homework, she would get out her baking pans and begin to create her confections. It was a stress buster for her, a meditation, and last night, I finally understood. It might have been the first time in my life that I was cooking for no other reason than the pleasure and diversion of it, just to see how a dish might turn out.

It was delicious, though I decided that perhaps I should dice the sundried tomatoes a little smaller, and use about half as much, and maybe I'd like to add some chopped onions. I got up this morning and made the dish again, with my adjustments, and now it's on the counter cooling, waiting to be offered up at today's barbecue.

When I sent the picture up top in our family group chat last night, my son texted back, "Turns out Mommy can cook. Our childhood was a lie!" Can you tell I'm pleased with myself? I unabashedly am.


  1. That's so cool! And yes- cooking is a beautiful way to create and be soothed and feel a sense of deep accomplishment.
    I love what your son said. He's so funny.
    And I think that looks like it's going to be the most delicious dish at the gathering.

  2. well, I reckon that if we are not in a funk we are not paying attention, Shock , depression, funk. I would have loved to have a cook in this house besides me...my son can cook but he lives hours away. I do not cook anymore, There is nobody to feed...my husband has diabetes and only east cheese. Sad trombone...Have a lovely BBQ with wonderful folks, it certainly must take the edge off! XOXO

  3. This looks wonderful, and you should be proud. I hope you enjoy the gathering today and I love what your son said.

  4. That looks terrific! And I think Rebecca calls it "stress baking." I've always been a cook, so it's sort of the opposite with me -- I have to remember why it was appealing to me in the early days. Once I'm "in," though, the relaxation and mindless/mindfulness starts. Happy Fourth of JUUUUUUUUUUUly!

  5. That looks really delicious indeed and thanks for sharing. Hope everything goes well, best wishes!

  6. Looks scrumptious! Cooking is my stress buster too. Cleaning if it's really bad. Enjoy the bbq!

  7. Your son's tweet made me snort. Sounded so much like my own ๐ŸŒน❤️

  8. That looks sooo good! I find that anything I need to concentrate on will help me distract myself ... and sometimes the most important part is to LET myself be distracted. Have fun at the part-ay!!

  9. Okay, now we really must have a meeting of all these wonderful hearts in the real "meat" (Rebecca!) world. You, your daughter, Elizabeth, Mary and Rebecca will cook. The rest are f us will pay to eat. I'm a natural born leader. Now on my bucket list! You rock hard❤️❤️๐Ÿ˜˜

  10. And well you should be, pleased with yourself. It's a work of art! I've been staring at it and watching the video and plotting how I can adapt the recipe. We tossed out the microwave months ago...And it's too hot to even think about turning the oven on! But in a few months it will be chilly and I'll give it a go. Until then I live vicariously. XXOO


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