“What do you want to have for dinner tonight?”
My sister and I have never lived in the same city as adults. We’ve never stood around each other’s kitchens on a week night, or shared an impromptu Saturday morning breakfast. Joint thriftstore trips are a twice yearly experience. When we exchange clothes, it’s because I haven’t brought the right pants for rainy Portland, or because I’ve intentionally brought a suitcase of my castoffs on vacation with me.
Standing in my kitchen tonight, Raina at the counter by the sink cutting broccoli, peppers and mushrooms, me at the stove heating leftover potatoes and sauteeing onions, I suddenly turned and said, “you know, I don’t think that we’ve ever cooked dinner together.”
She paused and looked at me, the green bladed knife hovering in the air above the cutting board, “you’re right. That’s really strange.”
When I go home to Portland, my mom and I spend lots of time making shopping lists and cooking together. While she does officially live in my parents’ house, Raina’s life is frantically busy, she runs in to eat, and heads back out into the world. While I was in college, she lived in houses with groups of friends in NE or SE Portland, there was never the time or the place to hang out and bond over food.
The dinner we turned out tonight wasn’t special, or even approximating gourmet. We cooked up onions, red/green/yellow peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and spinach and ate it over some leftover reheated potatoes from my dinner party last weekend. There was a little chicken and melted cheese for protein. It was a take on the baked potato and stir fried veggie dinner that our mom started making about eight years ago. It was familiar, messy and absolutely wonderful. Just like my sister.