On January 22, 2022, my Dad died. My theme, “Letters to my Dad” is based on random thoughts about him and the aftermath of not having him around anymore.
The kitchen was YOUR domain, wasn’t it?
You were The King of Foodies long before the term even existed.
From the moment you woke up, you would be in the kitchen peeling this, seasoning that and cooking up something we would like to eat. I used to laugh at how you would ask what we wanted to eat for the next meal before we had even gobbled down the first. 🙂
When you retired way back when, I used to bug you about getting a “real” hobby – you know, something less chore-like but you weren’t having it. You were more than content with cooking, fixing stuff, going to the hardware store, doing bits of gardening and simply being out and about doing lots of this and that.
It only hit me at a certain age that you showed your love through acts of service and cooking was a HUGE part.
Growing up in a time and from a culture where saying “I love you” was not part of our narrative, you never needed to say those words and neither did we.
The love was simply understood.
Like most Caribbean and South American families, the kitchen was the heart of our home.
But for us, YOU in the kitchen was the heart of our home – the place where we would all congregate to hang out with you as you prepared all those Guyanese dishes I have no idea how to make – pepperpot, garlic pork, bake and float, chicken curry, roti, cookup rice…the list could go on and on.
Now that you are gone, the kitchen doesn’t feel the same to me and food has no real taste. The only reason I continue to eat at the kitchen table is because I can sit near your chair and pretend that you are simply in another room and will be joining me soon.
Thinking back now, you must have felt like a fish out of water when you no longer had the energy to conquer the kitchen and nourish us on the daily.
Dad, just know that you nourished us with much more than food – it was love in your food that nourished us.
Loving you always,