Cold hands, warm cereal.

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It was five degrees this morning in Baltimore. My kitchen windows fogged over as the water boiled for tea. Every morning, as I gather the ingredients to make my oatmeal, I think of my mother. When I was growing up she liked to make hot cereal for our breakfast. She would eat cereal three meals a day if she could and now that she lives alone she just may.
The smell of the simmering apples and cinnamon bring me back to the days after my son was born. My mom would come over in the morning and make oatmeal with vanilla and walnuts and cranberries. She would hold the baby and sit with me in bed as I ate. I don’t remember ever having oatmeal that tasted as delicious as the bowls she served. I can never seem to duplicate the same flavor no matter how hard I try.
It might be that it was more than the oatmeal; it was the happiness of having her with me. I was teetering between bliss and anxiety, feelings often experienced by new mothers. Having my own mom available to help care for us was a relief and luxury not everyone is able to experience. Of all the wonderful ways she helped that week, it’s the oatmeal that stands out. I was filled with nourishment and love.
On this cold morning, after I have dropped my six foot senior off at high school, I chop the apples and stir the milk and remember the warmth of those days.
What food conjures up feelings of love and warmth to you? It’s a good day to think warm thoughts!

Good morning from a Baltimore Kitchen!

My first memories are of my kitchen in the house where I grew up on Fort Avenue. It was the largest room in our home and the place we spent the most time. My grandmother, Nana, said it was because it was the warmest warm, but my dad said it was because of all the food.

We did seem to have an abundance of food. Nana was the head dietician at McCormick’s on Light Street and she was always whipping up a meal or a snack. And there was always coffee! The first thing Nana did was fill the huge percolator with the coffee she had ground at the A&P.

They were good days filled with friends and family. I have long since moved to my own home and my kitchen is the center of it. We cook and have our meals, play games, do homework, and spend time together.

In the coming post I plan to share your stories as well as mine alongside some recipes, interviews, and photos. There will be book reviews, restaurant ratings and you may even meet a few of Baltimore’s outstanding chefs!

if you have something to share, don’t be shy, contact me at kkurthgray@gmail.com.

Kim