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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Love letter to my missing stove

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I miss my stove.

And my sink.

"Camping out" in my own home has lost its allure in the light of a week and a half with no kitchen.

As contractors fit the puzzle pieces of my new kitchen together, I make do with the most rudimentary of cooking methods. Take-out has become the norm, not the exception.

This forced exodus from my kitchen has made me realize how deeply ingrained the act of cooking, and feeding those I love, is in my psyche. As a mother, and a wife, I don't feel quite whole unless there are fresh-baked goodies cooling on the counter, and a good, solid Midwestern meal cooked up for my family at night.

Cooking for me has been a hobby, a routine, a part of my day. The act of creating a meal as become simply delivering sustenance, rather than taking care to craft the experience.

I feel lost, adrift, in this temporary exile from the heart of my home.

For some, I know, the loss of their kitchen would be a relief, a nice break from a routine that bores them, a duty they happily relinquish. For me, it's an empty space in my day which is a jarring experience to a woman with a little bit of OCD, and the need for a routine.

It's nice to know others feel the same.

"It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love,
are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think
of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I
am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the
love of it and the hunger for it... and then the warmth and richness
and fine reality of hunger satisfied... and it is all one."
 ~ M.F.K. Fisher, from "The Art of Eating"

Fisher captures my feelings exactly in that quote. I love my family every bit as much when I bring them take home pizza. They know that. I, however, need convincing that it's so.

Make sure you mark your calendar for this weekend's second-annual Family Fest, to be held Saturday at the Clay Regional Event Center. Last year's inaugural day of fun for the whole family was a great success, and organizers have even more activities and events for the whole family planned. The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., is free and open to the public, and features entertainment throughout the day, representatives from youth organizations, businesses with products and services for the family, prizes, food and fun.

I'm waiting patiently for more nominations for our 2012 Citizen of the Year. It's easy to nominate someone, just send me a note or email, telling us who you think deserves to be the next Citizen of the Year. Drop it by our offices at 310 East Milwaukee during regular business hours; send me an email at pbuenger@spencerdailyreporter.com; or mail in your nomination to Spencer Daily Reporter, PO Box 197, Spencer, IA 51301.

Nominations must be here by Friday, March 9, to be considered.

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Paula Buenger