As part of our Small, Freeing Acts series, we also met with mother, creator, and home-cook Kayla Bishop who shared her insights on womanhood, motherhood (all the -hoods) with her characteristic humor and grace. For Kayla, the beauty of womanhood is that it has no limits. It can be made and remade, defined and redefined, over and over.

In lieu of a recipe, Kayla enjoyed some guilt-free take-out with her daughter, documenting the tumultuous mental jumps it took to order along the way. Watch it here.

Womanhood is too often framed as what men are not. How would you define womanhood?

There’s no one answer. Women can’t be put in a box. Womanhood is defined by having no limits! We exist across every spectrum.

How would you describe a woman’s relationship to food? How do you wish it would be described?

Women have complicated relationships with food. We go from being told to clean our plates as children to being told “don't eat too much!” as an adult. Food can feed your body, but also your soul as well as your spirit. Food brings people together. It connects friends, family, and generations. Food is love!

Have you found cooking to be a source of liberation or joy? Are there any foods that helped you do so? ?

Yes! I have had the wonderful opportunity to bond with my mother and daughter through cooking. It brings us all so much joy. We love to bake together because my toddler loves to help.

What’s something you say to yourself or the women in your life to help reaffirm a healthy relationship to food and cooking?

Get closer to the source. Try new cuisines and expand your experience with food.

What’s your favorite thing for others to cook for you? And who’s usually cooking?

My great grandmother’s pound cake was passed down through the generations. I loved when my grandmother made it, and now my mother does a great job!

Is there something you cook just for yourself?

No! I’m always down to share. It brings me joy when others enjoy my cooking.

What’s one piece of advice you’d want to share with your younger self or young girls today?

Be the friend you need.

Kayla uses the Always Pan in Steam.

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