Only as an adult have I come to realize the impact food has on my life—the way I structure my days around it. Meals punctuate both remarkable and trivial life events.
- Let’s go to the park and pack a picnic lunch.
- Let’s enjoy a big stack of diner pancakes after our visit to the pediatrician.
- Let’s do a nature scavenger hunt around our neighborhood with a Tupperware of apple slices in hand.
To me, food is more than nourishment. It’s a creative outlet and, as I joked on Valentine’s Day, it’s my love language. Spending an afternoon chopping and blending and pouring and making mountains of dirty pots and pans in the kitchen to produce an exquisite delicacy for the people I love seems so worth it to me.
That’s why the girls and I picked Valentine’s Day to dive into a new adventure: macarons. We’d taste-tested them at Houston’s famous Phoenicia market the week before and agreed we needed more macarons in our life. Then, as if the food gods were looking down on us, a message appeared in my Inbox about food blogger Marie Asselin’s new Skillshare class on “How to Make French Macarons.”
When I watched the first video lessons one morning while I brushed my teeth, I had the sense that I might be in over my head: ingredients I’d never even heard of (almond flour??), instruments I didn’t own (a scale for measuring dry ingredients down to the gram), and techniques that sounded as fussy as these notoriously difficult cookies.
But I gathered the ingredients, knowing the experience of making macarons (which Marie cautioned would take three hours) would be one the kids and I would enjoy and remember, even if the finished product was a new shared joke.
We spent Valentine’s Day morning in the kitchen, watching Marie’s tremendously detailed videos and learning the art of macaron-making together. Their little hands helped with each step, including adding the red food coloring to give our macarons their blush pink color.
We all camped out next to the oven and watched the finicky shells rise “higher and higher,” gesturing with our hands up toward the ceiling and enjoying 14 minutes worth of armpit-tickling time.
We licked the mixer attachment clean of all the delicious white-chocolate buttercream frosting. And by noon, we had actually produced a batch of perfectly gorgeous, dangerously delectable French macarons.
Knowing full well that I’d regret it, I let the girls eat more than their fair share of macarons that afternoon. After all, they’d earned it! We spent the rest of the day on a shared sugar high, dreaming of the next time we’ll spend the morning in the kitchen together making French macarons.
Like I said, food is my love language.