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Joe Zoyhofski
Jun 26, 2018

Home Is Where The Heart Is

1 comment

Home is where the heart is. It is not a place, but a feeling — a feeling of belonging, of being welcomed, and of being surrounded by people you love.

 

I am fortunate to feel at-home in multiple places around the world.

 

This brief prelude is the first of a new five-part series about where I feel at-home. I’ll post the following four main parts — one story about each place I feel at-home — on Wednesday, Friday, Monday, and Wednesday.

 

I encourage anyone reading this right now to join me in sharing stories about places you love. Where do you feel at home?

Alex TenBarge
Jun 26, 2018

I feel at home with my family and with my close friends. I'm excited to read these, thank you for the content!

New Posts
  • Robert Quintas
    Apr 30

    As I chop away at the head of fresh lettuce beneath me, I walk back to my fridge to collect the rest of my ingredients. Immediately after grabbing feta, tomato, cucumber, and olives, my ears tune in to the blaring sound of my timer, indicating to me that it is time to flip the chicken. I make my way to the stove, and as I stand there, I take a chance to take in the aroma of the garlic- seasoned chicken cutlets, sizzling in the pan. After flipping the cutlets and adding a pinch of salt and pepper, it comes to my attention that the garbanzos in the pan next over are done cooking. I slowly empty them into a large serving bowl, and I make my way back to the counter where I can finish my salad. In what seems like a situation of chaos and complications, I am actually in a state of peace. For me, cooking is a state of mind. The enjoyment in the act itself has little to do with the end result. Don’t get me wrong; I love food just as much as the next guy, if not more. Yet, there is something almost therapeutic about the actual process of preparing food that I find intrinsically satisfying Gathering and mixing my ingredients is menial labor that allows for a bit of creative freedom. The physical aspect of it is not challenging, but it requires some sense of coordination and rhythm. The beating of eggs, the stirring of batter, the mincing of ginger: these are all movements that don’t stress the mind, but the simplicity of these tasks do instill a sense of relaxation and mindful tranquility. Yet, there is also flexibility; recipes should not and do not exist as precise rulesets. Instead, they are general guidelines, and that gives me the ability to experiment and integrate my own originality into the dish by means of deviating from the suggested mixture of ingredients. I take a moment to imagine how a meal would taste by adding a specific component. Would this savory piece of salmon benefit from the addition of a sweet honey marinade? The recipe doesn’t call for basil, but do I want to add that herbal essence to these baked potatoes? Each ingredient has its own identity, and with so many of them at my disposal, there is almost a limitless amount of possibilities in what I am able to create. It’s all dependent on what kind of flavor and texture I desire. And even in those moments where action and thought are not required on your part, you still have to maintain some focus. Your hands may be away from the knife or the oven, but maybe you are paying attention to the timer, the thermometer, the scent of the food, the redness of the meat, etc. It is in those moments of patient concentration where you stand and breathe, unconcerned with whatever is going on outside the kitchen that bring peace of mind. Finally, once the timer is up or your instincts tell you the dish is complete, it is then that your cooking session is finished, and you can bask in your accomplishment. It is the perfect combination of meditation and multitasking, the best balance of mindfulness and peace. For that reason, I love cooking.
  • Amanda Blaze
    Nov 2

    As a college student, it is not often that I get the chance to bake while at school. I am always very busy and since I live in a dorm, I have to either borrow or buy all the materials. Last week my friend and I were looking through the cabinets of the communal kitchen and found most of the ingredients to make cornbread, something I have never made before. We felt really excited and motivated, (and I had a lot of homework that I did not want to do) so we went to the grocery store and got the rest of the ingredients at the grocery store. We spent about an hour making this cornbread, and since there are people coming in and out of the lounge all the time, many people knew we were making it. I was really excited to share it with everyone, so I could barely wait until it was cooled to cut into it. I split a piece with two other girls and we all tried it at the same time. I bit into it, chewed a little, then had to restrain myself from spitting it out. Not to be dramatic, but this cornbread tasted like poison. It was so unbelievably gross that I rinsed my mouth out with water. Obviously, I wasn’t going to suffer alone, so I still had all my friends try it, but I was so embarrassed! Not to be cocky, but the last time I made something that didn’t taste good was in 7th grade when I made Nutella cookies and accidentally put in three cups of water instead of three tablespoons. Those were pretty bad, but I had never made something as inedible as that cornbread. Logically, since I was using a lot of communal ingredients that I didn’t really check for safety, one of the ingredients was probably expired in some way. However, it was still something I took as a personal blow to my reputation as a baker. However, once I thought about it more, it was a blessing in disguise. It was a reminder to not place so much importance on the end result and to enjoy the journey getting there. It was a reminder to be okay with failure. Most importantly, it was a reminder to not take myself too seriously. Now I know not everything I make is going to be delicious and honestly? I’m okay with that. � �
  • Amanda Blaze
    Apr 5

    Something that I love to do is share what I make with the people that I care about. There is something special about putting a lot of time and effort into something and being able to put a smile on someone’s face. Recently, I have gotten into the habit of bringing baked goods back to my friends at school after a break where I have the opportunity to use my kitchen. After winter break I brought my friends each a large slice of banana bread, saran wrapped and labeled with their names on them. Surprising people with homemade treats is great because it is easy to make a big batch of something at a low cost, but it is still a meaningful and delicious gift. Over Spring Break I was really interested in making cookies, so on the day before heading back to Fordham I made about 30 chocolate chip cookies and sorted them in piles on top of sticky notes with the recipients' names on them. It was hard to make sure my grandmother and brother didn’t eat them all before I had given every person at least two cookies, but other than that it was just an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend an hour or so before being thrust back into the business of classes and extracurriculars. I delivered all of the goods the day I got back and it was so nice to give something back to the friends who mean so much to me. Besides, who would say no to a homemade cookie? I certainly wouldn’t (and that why I set some aside for myself!). � �