When a cook crumbles.

A year and a half ago, just after completing a national TV series (from my home kitchen) Jon looked at me and said “Honey, I think it’s time we moved.” Thus, the reason why you haven’t heard a peep from me in such a long time. The process of leaving the home where I lived, loved, raised my three children from infancy, shot two television series and one extensive video series, authored two general cookbooks was, to say the least, formidable, and resulted (in me) being rocked to my core from emotional stress and physical exhaustion.

The beginning of this chapter was marked by something called “the staging process;” professionally defined as the time people get their home “in shape” to go on the market for sale-although I personally describe this as the step-by-step process of being literally erased from one’s home…

Anyway, our 100 year old house was, as instructed by our chosen team of realtors, swiftly wiped pretty clean of our family’s essence (personal photos taken away, valences and all shades and draperies carted off (to showcase the beauty of the original decorative windows), ceilings repainted (to feature the specialness of the molding) and some carpets ripped out (to boast the untouched hard-wood floors)– not to mention having to go through over 25 years worth of accumulated “stuff” from 5 people.

But, to me, what happened to my small but perfect kitchen was the hardest to bare. My natural wood cabinets were painted nurse-shoe white, the pot racks with all my tools were removed (to reveal more of the hand-painted tiles on the walls), my butcher-block island, which was on wheels, was “wheeled” away in order for things seem more spacious AND my fully equipped “workshop, ” built on our lower level (which had been in full swing for my most recent TV series) had to be completely disassembled because, apparently, having two kitchens in one home (in NY) would deem the house to be a “two-family residence.” (Wouldn’t you be depressed??)

Anyway, I’m here to report that today Jon and I are in a new house that we love, in a completely new area that we love and we’re now eyeball-deep in building my dream kitchen. Although still living within the enormous chaos of a major kitchen renovation we have become closer as a couple and more resilient and resourceful individuals. And, through it all, my determination to cook and bake, through all of the challenges, has deepened my awareness of how, for me, “home” is wherever my pots are.

In my upcoming blog posts I will be sharing with you my cooking and baking journey– from times both “then” and “now” (like these muffins below that I used both then (for the slew of brokers that came for our open house) and also now (for the team of men building our new “indoor” wood-burning oven).

The point: Cooking and baking have, throughout my life (and continues to) help me to cope, to heal and to (no matter what) reaffirm that this IS Lauren Groveman’s Kitchen. I’m back!!

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