I’ll never forget the day in second grade when my mom showed up with two giant sheet pans of homemade cinnamon rolls. It was my birthday, and this was her surprise to me — a special treat to share with the whole class. I was genuinely surprised. And also a smidge disappointed that she hadn’t shown up with trays of store-bought cupcakes sporting thick swirls of frosting and plastic toppers that said, “YOU’RE RAD!
I had my first baby at age 21 and my first drink of alcohol at 36 — and no, that’s not a typo. I was born and raised a Mormon and, as part of adherence to my faith, I abstained from alcohol. Entirely. I never touched so much as a drop until several months after I left Mormonism at 36 with my husband and our two sons. Mormonism is a high-intensity religion (like, even more than SoulCycle), demanding equal parts obedience and belief.
I wish I could say it was Julia Child who inspired me to don my first apron, but it was spaghetti sauce. You know, the kind from a tall jar dumped quickly into a saucepan while noodles boil on a Tuesday night after a long day of work. Even on a low temperature, spaghetti sauce loves to spontaneously spurt and launch tiny sauce bombs upon the tired and unsuspecting.