It is hard to believe that three short years ago, this precious child of mine would be going out into the world to blaze her own path. Her father and I sent her to a math and science camp at a regional university each summer while she was in high school. Upon graduation she was offered a partial scholarship. Her major was going to be math and she was going to be a teacher. Our job as parents was well done in getting her feet planted in the right direction -or so we thought. One day while filing college preparatory paperwork. I noticed a Johnson and Wales and Culinary Institute of America packages in the mix. I pulled them out and asked her about them as I proceeded to toss them. She stated she was just curious and just wanted to see what they were about. So I gave her the packages and went about my merry way of dreaming of becoming a college student’s parent with stickers and mascots all over my car and heading up to football games.
A month or so later, a letter arrives in the mail from JWU stating that my wonderful has been accepted to the university with partial scholarships. So I asked her why was she perusing this if she was already set to go the school we have worked so hard to groom her to attend. Her reply was “I’m good at math but my passion is baking and creating”. Now I always thought that you find what you were good at and worked with it to become your passion. The problem with this case was that I had never seen my daughter bake or cook or show any interest in doing so. She actually loathed being in the kitchen and could not stand to clean the kitchen on her days. As time progressed we noticed a marked decrease in her interest for our school of choice for her and more interests in creative schools. After lots of prayer, conversations and watching; we decided that the decision would ultimately be hers. We would bite our nails and eat ice cream way too late at night and grant her the freedom to choose her culinary school. She was accepted to JWU in the Fall and CIA in the Winter. Since she was ready to leave our nest, she wanted to start that Fall and so it was off to North Carolina -6 hour drive to drop of our daughter to a culinary school although she did not know her way around a kitchen.
Three years later, this bright eyed and ambitious mature young woman has graduated with an A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts and is just one semester from finishing her B.Sci in Food and Beverage Mgmt with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. She works part time for a grocery supermarket in Charlotte, NC. While home visiting, she showed me a paper she wrote. The professor asked the students to tell about a person who was influential in their career. My daughter chose me -her mother 😭. She stated the she watched me cook and sew for years and thought it a miracle when I would go into the kitchen where there was only a can of beans, four strands of spaghetti and a pack of crackers and come out with a gourmet meal (my son does not view this ordeal the same way!). She also mentioned of all the soups and cakes and pies I would make from scratch. This, she says, inspired her to use her imagination to create things. I am Jim Dandy proud of her accomplishments but cannot help but wonder if I missed her cues of wanting to be in the kitchen because I was and still am a kitchen hog! She took charge of cinnamon roll duty today. While I actually watched. These cinnamon rolls and yeast rolls are so light and fluffy. She made a topping for them that rivals Cinnabon but lighter. They are awesome but I must admit, -I am jealous! My powdered cinnamon and powdered nutmeg were substandard for her -she grated her own nutmeg and cinnamon sticks!!!! 😐