Squeezing the Life out of the Lemon

This afternoon I was making breaded chicken. Cooking more elaborate recipes is a new coping mechanism developed by pandemic-related stress. Yes, breaded chicken is fancy in my book. I also first made challah last spring, also related to being stuck indoors and needing a pandemic-friendly outlet, as well as a toddler-friendly activity for my daughter.

I didn’t expect to think of my dad going when I started cooking today. But as I was squeezing the lemon, watching it drop into the tablespoon, I had a flashback of my dad making salmon every Friday for dinner. Freshly-squeezed lemon juice and spices—in later years he added some olive oil.

All of a sudden, from out of the blue, my father was present.

As I discussed in my Joy in the Comfort of the Routine post weeks ago, when parents do their daily tasks, they might feel they are tedious, yet their child finds it comforting and a means for security.

I’m grateful my dad made salmon every week. Not only because of the omega-3s, but for this lovely memory of squeezing lemons which he engrained in my mind.

It’s a task I can always go back to. It’s not only a mindfulness practice and fun sensory experience, but also a way I can bring my father’s oft-yearned-for presence back into my life.

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