A home cook comes home


It's funny how other people waiting at the airport gate for a flight home have a way of looking like people from your city. The signs are there in how they dress and the familiarity of their carry-on luggage. Even a sort of regional attitude is recognized in their behaviour toward each other. Flying home to Vancouver Island means the men wear their hair a little longer and prefer backpacks over brief cases, shoes for children are optional or even discouraged by non-conformist parents, and at least one traveler is tie-dyed.

Being far from home is fun. It's an adventure in weather and hotel shampoo bottles. There are strange license plates on cars and even stranger channels on TV. For someone like me who's in the kitchen several times a day at home it's also an adventure in food. It feels luxurious to have someone else cook for me and serve me wine over my shoulder, even if I do feel downright out-of-place where white tablecloths are involved. Buffet style is even better. I love the choice. The opportunity to eat scrambled eggs and granola with yogurt in the same meal is a frivolous pleasure. Then the dirty dishes are left behind for someone else to deal with.

Yet, despite the luxury and convenience of being fed so well, there was a certain relief in returning home to Victoria yesterday from the first-ever Food Bloggers of Canada conference north of Toronto as a guest of KitchenAid Canada. I was coming home to my family whom I had missed, and I was returning to my cozy home kitchen. After an inspiring weekend of talking about food and listening to people talk about food and photographing food, I really just needed to cook some food. There was an itch that needed scratching by way of hot pans and a pantry full of potential. I craved the ritual of making the daily meals that bring routine and nourishment into our family home. So I did. I didn't try to replicate the succulent prime rib I had enjoyed Friday night or the stuffed mushrooms I had munched on while sipping a bubbly rosé
. I made the sort of food that's right at home in my kitchen: banana pancakes, crispy bacon and toast with homemade strawberry jam. Because that's what my home tastes like. Comfy and casual. It's the sort of food I daydream about at a busy airport gate while waiting to come home.

Do you miss cooking when you go away? Which dishes best reflect the feel and familiarity of your home kitchen?

21 comments:

  1. welcome back home! i'm glad to hear you had such a blast at the conference! i can't wait to hear all about it !! xoxoxo

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    1. I'm sure I'll have a story or five to share at knit night this weekend.

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  2. I haven't even hit the kitchen yet. I headed for the first first, where I found the first ramps poking their heads up.

    Welcome home!

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    1. I thought you'd be one of the first back in the kitchen with all those mouths to feed! It was a real treat to meet you, Aimee.
      Enjoy spring in the garden!

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  3. so glad you had a good time but yes... I was so very happy to come home and eat an apple and a piece of cheese and sniff the flowers in my garden and go barefoot all day. Was so very lovely to meet you - I hope we can connect up sometime this summer in real life

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    1. I'd love to meet up, Melissa. Keep me posted on any visits to the Island.

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  4. Great to hear you had a good time. My homecoming wasn't so poetic - my life in the last few weeks has been chaotic to say the least so I had a whole lot of "to do" piles and haven't been in the kitchen yet. Was so lovely to meet you and I hope we get to connect in real life again soon!

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    1. You were SO much fun, Mardi! Thank you (and Melissa and Ethan) for being so awesome sauce.

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  5. I couldn't even think about cooking last night but I am happy to be in the kitchen tonight

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    1. Seriously, right? I'm going to need a couple days to recover. Thanks for the laughs Saturday night (#interesting). Enjoy the slow process of meal-making.

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  6. It was so nice to meet you this weekend, Amy!

    In my previous job I used to travel quite a bit, and be away from home for two weeks stints. The novelty of living in a hotel and eating out always wore off by the second week, and all I would want was to be in my kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and a couple of slices of hot, buttered toast. I love your idea of comfy, casual food.

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    1. Girl, you're speaking my language with tea and toast. Nice to meet you, too.

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  7. Ah, love the picture you've painted, Amy. I haven't had the urge to be back in the kitchen yet. And oddly enough, the dirty dishes from lunch didn't just magically disappear either. Weird.

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    1. Someone should invent a kitchen robot that tidies up and brings you breakfast in bed.

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  8. I love, love, love this! It was such a thrill to meet you in person this week. I look forward to connecting again VERY soon. Welcome home!

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  9. The excitement of leaving is met head on with the perfect way the bed at home holds your shape, isn't it? Loved the read. Sad we didn't connect at the conference. I didn't know anyone came from Victoria! Love the island and have to ask if you are a member of Slow Food? All of my island friends are from the Island Convivium.
    Bet your family was as happy as you for you to be home!
    :)
    V

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    1. No, I'm not involved with Slow Food (yet, anyway). I'm really a simple family cook and I don't have a lot of interaction with the local culinary scene. Obviously I need to dine out more.

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  10. Ah - just saw your photo and WE DID MEET in the elevator! You were SWEET SUGAR BEANS roomie! Wish we could have talked longer!
    :)
    V

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    1. Yes, me too. Feel free to keep referring to me as sweetsugarbean's roommate. It makes me look good :)

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  11. So glad to hear you had a good trip, Amy! I hope to hear from it next time we have a salon class/meeting :)

    - your student, Amanda (from Studio 7!!)

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