I recently read an article by Michael Ruhlman and then followed it up with a talk he gave on why we cook or should cook. His first reasons were of the passionate nature.
“—I want my family to have great food all the time that’s tasty and good for their body and brains.
—I cook because it relaxes me after long motionless hours at the computer.
—I cook because I love to eat.
—I cook to make my family and friends happy.
—I cook so Donna doesn’t have to.
—I cook because life better is when I do.”
It got me thinking about my relationship with food. NSSP and I are climbing out of a bad twist of fate that has been gripping many Americans these days. Unemployment is a mind numbing desert to travail. You hope there is an end before the water runs out. Each day is the same beginning with a niggling nausea that either stays in check, or becomes a mind spinning sickness that only sleep calms.
Through this, life goes on. I kept my sanity by planning, shopping, and cooking dinner. At 5pm the boys were fed snackies, I poured myself a glass of wine, turned on the classical station and started my dinner dance.
I could feel the anxiety tension recede as I stared into the fridge and gathered ingredients. Laying down my chopping board and sharpening the knife du jour sent me into cooking mode. My ears picked up gentle strains of tafelmusik and my mind was set free to create.
Until~NSSP would come into the kitchen, shattering my fragile wall against reality. Trudging up from his self imposed cell downstairs, he would chat, rattle the newspaper, or turn on Toshi(ba). I couldn’t concentrate; my sanity was violated until I insisted he go into the living room because “it was more comfortable”.
Regaining my composure I would start my dance again. As I chopped and diced thoughts of flavors stretched in front of my palate. By the time I was plating our meal I became a dancing dervish spinning and mumbling in the kitchen chaos.
Turning off the classical and moving on to jazz, lighting the dinner candles and placing our meal on the table; I was able to give NSSP a part of myself. It was my small offering of support and a reward for yet another dismal day.
Life has moved on, we are off the dole and I am still making dinner. Our meals together are nightly celebrations of reaching the oasis and seeing a rosy glow on the horizon. On occasion I don’t mind NSSP in the kitchen I have loosened my territorial hold and enjoy the interaction. I can cook, think, and talk at the same time.
I would like to add “I cook to create and for grounding” to Michael’s list.
Please go to the attachments to read and listen to his thoughts.
Why I Cook
Why I Cook, Part II<br/>The Cooking Imperative