Winter; Kartashova
Arts and Architecture 10; Discussion 1K

When I was three, my mom bought a restaurant in Los Angeles. She was new to this country, and to own Cleopatra Fisher’s Hamburger Restaurant was to fulfill the “American dream” she had left Korea to pursue. Every day after school, I would rush to put on my apron and follow my mother around in the back kitchen, eager to absorb everything I could. While most childhoods are spent in backyards riding bikes or climbing trees, mine was spent making everything from a simple sandwich to a four course dinner.
My mom now operates a privately owned cafeteria at the local La-Z-Boy factory in Redlands. I am no longer that eager three old, but an adult stumbling to find my future. The kitchen may have left my daily routine, but it is never far from my heart.
Free time was a luxury in my household. My mom worked late into the nights, and I was usually caught up with various school-related activities. We seldom saw each other, which strained our relationship. However, whatever rare moments of leisure we found were always spent in the kitchen where the separate lives we led were able to entwine. Cooking is the Rosetta stone that blurs the line separating our differences, enabling us to communicate. The kitchen becomes a haven for us to truly connect and bond. I have now come to see her absences as a gesture of her commitment to me; she works as hard as she does to put me through school and provide for the life I have.
My mother has taught me much more than how to cook. Through the soft thunk of the cleaver to the metronome clink of the whisk, I have learned to admire her meticulous dedication. I now recognize that the way she carefully measures out each ingredient, perfecting everything before serving it at the dinner table, is a demonstration of her devotion. I have come to appreciate these gestures – to admire her perseverance – and have made a point to mirror my mom’s scrupulous ways so that I may succeed and make her proud.

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