OFF AIR – Jo-Ann Roberts

Soul food

When I was 19, I invested in a very good set of pots and pans.

When they were delivered to the house, my brother – always the joker in our family – asked, “What are you going to do with those? Start a rhythm band?”

That should tell you something about my domestic inclinations growing up. I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen. My sister liked to cook and I liked to read. She was crafty and I was clever. I come from a family of great cooks on my mother’s side but I didn’t share the fun of working side by side in the kitchen when I was a girl. An event this month made me realize that I had missed out on more than learning how to make my mother’s chocolate chip cake or her meatloaf.

It wasn’t that I didn’t learn how to cook. We ate dinner together every night when I was growing up and meals, especially meals like Thanksgiving or Christmas, were glorious. I’m pleased to say that my desire to recreate all the wonderful memories I have of sitting around our dining room table with extended family and friends motivated me to learn how to cook. (That, four kids and a husband with a limited repertoire in the kitchen!)

But last month, I was invited to join a group of women about my age, and in my field, to make antipasto. There were only six of us, but one of the women brought her daughter for part of the adventure and a younger colleague joined in until she had somewhere more exciting to be.

We had a wonderful afternoon chopping and chatting, solving all the problems of the world and feeling affirmed and connected. It was therapy. I reflected later on how lucky my friend’s daughter was to have spent a couple hours listening to us talk. You learn so much eavesdropping on the previous generation. Even our young colleague, before she headed out to her more exciting life, was prompted to phone her grandma to let her know she was gathered in a sweet smelling kitchen with a group of wonderful women.

Six hours of stirring and boiling and we all proudly went home with our half-dozen jars of mouth-watering antipasto. But for me, the end product was just a bonus. The time spent in the kitchen enjoying the company of women was what really fed my soul. I wish I had realized that when I was younger.

Jo-Ann Roberts is an award-winning, veteran journalist who is host of CBC Radio’s All Points West, 3-6 pm weekday afternoons, 90.5 fm. Married to Ken Kelly, they have four children.

 

Just Posted

Multiple Juno Award winning Arkells bringing new tunes to Victoria in 2019

Hamilton-based rock band proved hugely popular in city during Canada 150 celebrations

Bill Gaston, Monique Gray Smith capture Victoria Book Prizes for 2018

Butler Book Prize and Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize winners collect $5,000 each

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

CRUSH 2018: Fine wine affair benefits the Belfry Theatre

Patrons sample B.C. wines, bid on rare international treasures donated for fundraiser

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Most Read