Contemplating cooking…

I have been doing quite a bit of cooking lately. Not much of a revelation unless you know me well.

You will know my self-value is not tied to how well I keep house involving cleaning or cooking – I was brought up to place significance and priority on my intellect and academics. Perhaps I am merely not sufficiently interested to do anything intricate or complex beyond the usual day-to-day meals and annual celebratory fare. You may also deduce that circumstances have favoured me not needing to do much house-keeping.

Lately, I have taken to cooking, experimenting and “catering” to my children’s taste buds (when I can). There is joy seeing them enjoying their meals, prepared by moi. And this has left me wondering why.

Am I cooking to fill time? As I don’t have a lot of time on my hands, I can answer this in the negative.

Am I cooking to fill time to avoid something else? A possibility, though I couldn’t think what. There is a certain mindfulness required when I am cooking, where I am “forced” to not think of anything else but the task at hand. Not exactly avoidance, is it? Cooking, and its creative process, is a mindful act and can be satisfying.

So, am I cooking to…?

Sitting here on a Saturday morning making up a shopping list after deciding on a menu for the coming week (yes, it is a creative project 😉 ), a possible answer or answers occurred to me.

I am preparing for my future. Not as a cook, but an empty-nester. It was not o much a plan but on reflection, a response to my life journey.

As my children mature, their taste buds too. So my experimentation serves to expand their world of foods. Most importantly, food inspires conversations of different cuisines, cultures and travels. We discover ourselves and each other in the process. And with aging parents, perhaps it is time for me to pick up this mantle?

Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat. ~ Guy Fieri

My selfish hope is that when my children leave home, they will continue to be tied to their home of origin and me, so cooking and foods will bring memories filled with nostalgic aromas, of connection and belonging. The soon-to-be adult boy has expressed a desire to explore the world, and said he would take two things with him, his family and his faith. Sweet, isn’t it? 🙂

Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love. ~ Giada De Laurentiis

Cooking is also a skill which I have been inspired to master, after hours of conversations on the intimacy of cooking together and the sensual experience of savouring foods. Perhaps a future of quiet company and adventurous samplings.

I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give. ~ Julia Child

Yes, I may have hit upon the reasons for my desire to cook at this juncture of my life. Or are they mere intellectual reasoning?!

Why do you cook?

~ FlorenceT

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