Today I chose to cook instead of nap after church.

It’s stormy outside and something about my kitchen called to me.

I’m not sure who or what planted the craving for candied nuts in my brain today, but when we came home I set out to produce the perfectly sugared pecan.

making candied pecans

If I were to write a cookbook it would be titled something along the lines of “How to Win Friends with Food” or “How to Cook so People Will Like You.” There seems to be something about making someones favorite food, and making it well, that breaks down any walls they may have built up around them (which is why I have such a soft spot for the ending of Ratatouille.)

I’ve noticed that when I have someone over who is going through a rough time my first instinct is to head to the kitchen. I listen better when I’m cooking. When my sister in law is around it’s grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. When tiny gramma was out here last time I made lunch as she told me about the huge changes about to take place in her life. As we sat together at the table, my mom and me, eating what I had just made, it hit me that this was one of those moments worth growing up for.

Being able to cook for your mom when she’s going through a rough time.

Being able to produce the perfect tiramisu for a friend’s birthday (even when you think tiramisu embodies everything wrong with food. Soggy cookies? Please no thank you.)

Being able to cook means that even when you can’t do anything else for someone who is suffering or lonely, you can show up with something warm, that proves that they are loved and that someone was thinking about them.

Or it can simply mean having the ability to put together a meal that doesn’t come from a box that will bring your family together around the table after being apart all day.

In the time our new Frigidaire appliances have been in our home they have baked birthday cakes, chicken noodle soup, an Easter ham and many experimental gluten free recipes including a chocolate cake made with garbanzo beans and orange juice. The microwave has heated hot chocolate as well as heating pads. Our stove has satisfied Cody’s long standing craving for authentic buffalo wings and my desire to make things from scratch instead of a warmed up bottle (home made hot fudge sauce FTW.)

Knowing how to cook has Addie by my side at almost every meal. It means she knows the difference between a boil and a saute and even more importantly the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. It means she sees what goes into food instead of which bag it comes out of. It means I use the word morel more than I use the word moron and it means that I’m never going to give into those mall kiosks with the candied nuts again.

candied pecans

Because when you can produce the food you love at home? There aren’t many reasons to pay someone else to do it for you. (Except for dishes. Dishes are always worth outsourcing.)

I wrote this review while participating in a Test Drive Campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Frigidaire and received a Frigidaire Range/Microwave to facilitate my review.


  1. I just backed a batch of chocolate chip cookies to take to a friend to cheer her up… and you are exactly right in your sentiments.

    And I think my cookbook shall be called “Bake Your Way into Your Friends Hearts – or Stomachs.”

  2. This is fantastic. People ask me all the time why I cook so much, and I do it for a lot of the same reasons you do. My husband is an amazing cook, so some of our favorite times together involve making meals or treats. Now that my son is interested in cooking, you can’t keep us out of the kitchen!

    Do you stress cook? When I have a lot of things going on, I tend to cook. There’s something satsifying about starting and completing a meal when I’m waiting for other people to do their part of a project. It’s something I can control, unlike the pace at which other people work.

    Also, I’m pretty sure nobody would be sad if you brought a big ol’ bag of them there nuts to BlogHer. Just sayin’.

  3. I like to cook, but stuff does not turn out a lot of the time especially when baking. Like last night I made chocolate zucchini bread. DRY and crunchy. Not moist and delish. I can’t figure out if it is me or my appliances.

  4. I love that your reviews don’t sound like normal reviews. They’re basically just a name drop while you describe a real-life experience that we can actually relate to.

    You make me want to cook more. I don’t cook often because I still live with my parents and grandparents — and believe me, when Noni cooks, there’s no need for anyone else to cook — but I have visions of cooking every night when Mike and I move in together dancing in my head. No garbanzo beans in my cake, though! (;

  5. I adore this post Casey.

    It makes so much sense too. When I was at my bff’s house in April and having a really bad moment, she made me homemade strawberry shortcake. That? Is love.

  6. I love this post. I feel the same way. I have a teeny, tiny kitchen but there is something about being able to cook something for someone that makes them smile or groan with delight that just makes me happy.

  7. I can’t cook. Thanks for rubbing it in. 😛

    LOL – I WISH I could cook. I can’t smell, so my ability to taste is way off. So I have no hope. I love looking at the pictures though. Yum!

  8. i’m late to commenting on this post (i feel like my blog reader has had 10,000 unread posts all summer), but i just had to. makes me happy. i love knowing that–and why–others like to cook. i so understand all your reasons. and have a few of my own, too. cooking is one of the most soul satisfying ways of spreading love. sigh. now i need to go make something for me and my family to eat…