The Grown-Ups' Table

The Grown-Ups' Table

I’ve always preferred the grown-ups’ table. My dad likes to tell the story about a time my family took me to a restaurant on vacation in Cape Cod when I was a year or two old. I screamed and cried in my high chair until they finally realized all I wanted was to sit on a regular seat. I quieted down instantly.

Until my generation started having kids of their own, I had always been the baby of the family. Since I was the only kid left, the kids’ table thing didn’t last long anyway. That suited me fine—I was always the type who wanted to grow up too fast.

I got married about a year ago at just 23 years old. If you ask some people, that meant I was still growing up too fast. But when you know what you want, you know what you want. I knew I wanted to pledge the rest of my life to the person I loved as ardently as I had clamored for that grown-up chair in Cape Cod.

For the past year, everyone’s been asking me how married life is treating me and I always respond with a wholehearted “wonderfully.” But it sometimes devastates me how quickly a year has gone by, in a whirlwind of temperamental seasons, home improvements, and, not to mention, weddings galore. It’s been a beautiful blur, and I hope that this new writing endeavor allows the rest of my wedded bliss to be more beauty, less blur.

Cooking in my own kitchen has been one of the most memorable and enriching parts of married life for me. I grew up in a family of gifted Armenian home cooks, so I’ve always been blessed to have great food prepared for me. But I rarely ever participated in the kitchen. Learning my way around and being the one to cook for others for the first time has been a beautiful growing process.

So I’ve finally gotten to the grown-ups’ table, where I wanted to be all along. But there’s always more to learn and always more to taste. This will be the story of my life, through food.

I’ll leave you with a passage from Molly Wizenberg’s lovely memoir A Homemade Life, the book I’m currently reading and that helped inspire me to start this project:

When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.
— Molly Wizenberg, A Homemade Life