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Tardy Visionary

Both of my dads could C-O-O-K. Not the “good enough” dishes I was used to (my “go-to” meal as an adult was a can of tuna, pasta, and Italian dressing) but instead the ones that reminded me to slow down and enjoy the dish they made with love.

My biological dad, Bob, would send me care packages in my adult life, and more often than not, he would send me kitchen utensils. Sweet flea market finds (usually stainless steel with wood handles) he would lovingly refinish. My typical reaction – almost every time – “how sweet. I don’t cook.” and I would put them away.

I close my eyes and I’m right back to the day he tried to teach me how to make his tomato sauce in his humid South Florida kitchen. I took a lame stab at notes, questions, and watched intently, but it never clicked.

“Wait, you cook with fresh tomatoes and canned?”


“You put the onion in the sauce whole, to cook, then remove it when it’s done? You don’t eat the onion?”

*he’s so weird – eye roll*

Back at home, my gifted kitchen gadgets stayed away. I didn’t want the daily reminder that something he loved so deeply didn’t resonate with me.

I believe in synchronicity. I’m a master at seeing why things happened when and how they did — just way after the event occurred. Call me a “tardy visionary.”

In January 2016-ish, a friend invited me over to cook dinner – which I don’t do. I accepted anyway and looked forward to the visit. That night she introduced me to Blue Apron. Every attempt I made in the prior ten years to cook had been thwarted by my inability to understand grocery shopping. Specifically, why are you trying to sell me seven green onions when I only need two? What am I supposed to do with five directionless, odd-looking onions?

Inability to understand -> overwhelm -> shut down -> abort mission -> order delivery

Gah! Please tell me this has happened to you!?!

Here was a service that would save me from my grocery store chaos. Interesting.

My first Blue Apron order a few months later included ingredients and instructions to make Baked Jerk Tofu and Smashed Plantains. I was horrified. However, intrigue trumped fear, and I jerked tofu, mashed plantains, and with immense focus, I followed every step.

It turns out I could cook.

I didn’t know what I needed, where, or how to start. Until that night in 2016, cooking with my friend, I had no desire to question my “truth”. It was a comfortable story I clung to until I was ready to consider different.

Later that week, talking to my Dad, I shared my meal-making story and specifically how I used one of the many potato smashers he gifted me (see picture) to mash the plantains. I could hear his heart explode with pride as he listened to his only child recreate her new truth. On that call, I think he knew I would indeed use the kitchen gifts he lovingly brought back to life to help me create a new one.

The timing was right, and I was ready. What about you?