I like to think a lot of my creative comes from my grandmother and my mom. When I was younger, my mom created an entire rainforest on her bedroom walls. It wasn’t just with paint — actually, I’m not entirely sure how she did it — but it was like she covered the walls in a thin layer of clay-like stuff and then carved trees, leaves and exotic birds into the wall before she painted it with vibrant greens and reds. She always made Christmas ornaments and homemade play dough from nothing. I remember people coming to our house and being amazed at what she’d created as they tried to figure out how to do it themselves.
It’s always been the same in the kitchen, too. My mom and grandmother both create beautiful things with a little flour and water, salt and maybe some yeast. There are my mom’s homemade raviolis. The cakes she baked — even on the stovetop when we didn’t have electricity. The tamales and enchiladas, lasagnas and soups, homemade tortillas and strudels. It’s always been good. It’s always been an art. Though she focuses more on eating healthy these days, her creative expression, for the most part, still takes place in the kitchen.
At Thanksgiving, my mom made a braided Challah bread and several pies, including one of my favorite berry pies. Grandma brought along her famous banana bread, and knitted while we talked at the kitchen table.