Here’s the thing… I love food. A lot. I always have. So during the ‘life writing’ section of my last creative writing module I chose to write about my love for food, and as today’s Blog Every Day in November topic is FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD I thought I’d share a snippet with you. No remember to be nice, it’s the first time I’ll have shared any ‘creative’ writing with you, and I’m a bit more sensitive about it than the usual bloggy word vomit you see here!
Watching her cook was truly fascinating. She wandered around that kitchen as if on autopilot, yammering away in a barely discernible andaluz accent and tossing ingredients into a giant pan without really looking at what she was doing. There was an overwhelming feeling of ‘home’ in that place, and spending time there helped me to figure out what I wanted to accomplish someday: a home where everyone just feels safe and comfortable. She must have somehow sensed this about me, as the first thing I can ever remember her saying to me was “Hija mía, come stir this pot. If you don’t learn to cook good you’ll never bag yourself a husband.”
I had always enjoyed lending a hand in the kitchen. When I was younger I used to lurk around my Granny’s ankles while she was cooking. I always think of her making stew; my Grandma’s stew is second to none! It’s the first meal I can remember eating (in my Captain Scarlet pyjamas and watching Star Trek). Their home had always been an escape for me too.
Perching on the edge of that immense wooden table, I looked around me. The inside of that kitchen was so similar to every other Spanish kitchen I’d set foot in. The walls were whitewashed and flaky, the floor was covered in ugly beige tiles and all the windows were barred. And of course there was a densely built mamá standing at the stove. Only María wasn’t a mother, even though she would have been incredible. She spent her day adopting strays like me instead while Alfonso was off doing his ‘man things’ like messing around with his van, or sitting in a bar watching the game.
The first time I met Alfonso it was raining. Me and my younger brother Micheal had gone for a walk with Millie (the dog), and we were a fair way up the road when the skies exploded. Now in Spain there is no such thing as a light drizzle; standing in the rain is something akin to having a paddling pool emptied above your head. I didn’t have the option of running home- Micheal was only three and his little legs couldn’t manage it, and he was definitely too much of a chunk for me to carry all the way back. A grubby white van blasted past us before grinding to a dusty halt, and reversing slowly down a hill to find us again. At that point we’d only been living in Spain a couple of weeks and I didn’t really understand any Spanish. I could tell from the emphatic gesturing that he wanted us to get in the car. Obviously I said no. Over here it’s drummed into you from infancy that you should never, ever get into a stranger’s car. He seemed rather offended when I refused. As much as I wanted to be out of the rain, I remember thinking how angry my mum would be if I let anything happen to my little brother, and it just didn’t seem worth it… After a lot of cajoling (on his part) and a lot of head-shaking (from me) he gave us an umbrella, and then drove next to us the whole way home, just to make sure we got there safely.
I hope you enjoyed this little taste of something different… if you’re lucky I might share the rest of this piece with you one day 😉