First. I didn’t cook anything today. Lack of planning yesterday means no home cooked goodness today. Second, as stated previously, I generally do enjoy cooking. I also enjoy presenting the food – arranging it on a plate, that’s part of the joy. A fellow food friend shared a picture of the dinner she made her family, on facebook, and it made me think about taking the time for these presentations.
Her image: bright green peas, bright green spinach, an entire fish, baked (I think), wrapped in bacon. The contrasting colors of the gray-blue hue of the fish with crispy brown of cooking, contrasted with the bright green blanched peas amidst round, white onions, and fresh spinach resting on a modern pattern of Correll dinnerware. In the background, a glass of water, a glass of red wine, and a bottle of Noris Milk (the dairy we use in our food club). All resting on her natural wood table.
Elegant, beautiful, home cooked, wholesome, healthy – YUM.
Often, my husband asks me why I even take the time. After he claims that he could burn water, he says if he were cooking it’d be this x, y, z thing thrown together. I, on the other hand, take the time to whisk the eggs, pour in the cream, and make an omelet of goat cheese and spinach. Or, I take the time to marinade the meat, braise it for a short time, before slow roasting it in the oven, slowly adding in roasted vegetables and perhaps making some biscuits too (with Levi).
When it works, I like cooking to be an inclusive process. A process where we all share in the food that’s supposed to nourish and connect us. I like, when I have the patience for it, helping hands, namely Levi’s. I like him to shred one cheese while I shred the other. I love that my four year old can knead biscuits now and that the patience I exerted by putting the controlling part of myself at bay while I let him explore dough is paying off. I like when I cook and my family tells me about their day while we are in the kitchen, together. I like our food creation attempts: that is gardening. I like digging in the dirt pulling weeds planting plants, attempting to plant seeds. I like adding to this gardening experiment year after year, then when the season is done, I capture the rewards in canned gems.
What’s the point of all this work, asks my husband. Connection. Doing something I love. I have an artistic side — I hope that’s demonstrated. So, why not arrange the vegetables and meats in a nice way to make the plate more pleasing to the eye, and potentially the palate? We have to eat. So, why not make it taste good? We have to have nourishment. So, why not take a little extra time thinking about complimentary items? Why not indeed. I can’t see a reason why not, so I do. And, often, I enjoy it. And, more often than not, so does my family. What a great combination: artistic yumminess that nourishes the tummy in a way that my family is satisfied.
That’s why I cook. That’s why I love cooking.