I wasn’t prepared for the flood of emotions when I opened the box from Borough Furnace this week. Winning something so well made is overwhelming. Cooking has been part of my life since I was very young, at my grandmothers’ side, learning everything I could about anything she did. Her chicken and dumplings got me through more than one terrible thing in my life and cast iron was always a part of that. My only piece of Le Creuset is a fabulous orange number that my now husband bought me when we were dating because I have never been able afford any of them. Then, here I was with a piece I won from Borough Furnace, a business I found because of the witty, talented, complicated Anthony Bourdain.
I am not ashamed to admit that I cried a bit.
My life has not been an easy road, but food is always the way I have brought people together. Friends, family, strangers have sat at any one of my many tables over the years. I have not always been able to easily afford the tools that I need nor food for the most part. I adjusted to this reality. I adapt. I still make most things from scratch and spend time each day sitting around the table with my family. Especially in these times. It is what keeps the darkness at bay to be honest.
Food memories can be the best memories.
My grandmothers hand written cards, my brother’s best brownie recipe, my mother’s coconut pie recipe hastily written on a post it note over the phone because my mom has all that stuff in her head, the best pumpkin bread recipe I have ever had from an ex’s mom that I haven’t spoken to in over 20 years…so many things that food can bring up. I treasure these, pleasant and not so pleasant, because it makes me hold onto preserving those things for my children. Passing to each of them a sense of belonging to a tribe, a circle, friends and neighbors. When my oldest daughter calls me now for a recipe, I laugh. As I text pictures of recipe cards and answer elaborate text message questions in order to perfect a recipe, I laugh. It is through these things that she will carry on her own food memories.
I am so grateful to have Borough Furnace now be part of that tradition.
Thank you Borough Furnace!