My mother showing me how to peel a cucumber, slice it in half long-wise, and scoop out the insides with a spoon.
My señora filling a bowl with fresh cherries from the market, swirling them in water, massaging them clean.
Plates stacked high around the sink, empty wine goblets and juice glasses, the remnants of Thanksgiving waiting to be boxed up for next week’s leftovers.
A tray of chocolate chip cookies warm out of the oven, and the boy who liked me eagerly sampling one and proclaiming it delicious. (Only later would I discover that I had mixed up baking powder and baking soda, turning the cookies to rocks within the hour.)
Two friends and I back from college, eager to play adult, preparing a meal for one of their families, laughing and chatting while the radio sings softly in the background.
Alone at my aunt and uncle’s house, with a glass of orange juice and handful of Hershey’s Kisses beside me, laptop flashing a blank screen, deadline looming for my sophomore fiction class.
Baking banana chocolate chip bread for the first time, nervously following the recipe (double-checking baking powder versus baking soda!), and marveling at the magnificent treat I made all by myself.
Baking banana chocolate chip bread for the third time, realizing I am missing a few ingredients, and improvising with a bottle of Sprite.
Sitting on the wobbly wicker stool while my mom cooks dinner, steam rising in the air, oil sizzling in the pan.
Peeling a cucumber, or filling a bowl with cherries, or watching my husband bake mini key lime pies for a work event, and imagining the kitchen moments my future children will remember, the images and feelings that will come unbidden to them during the smallest of daily tasks, even so many years later.