i just left a meeting in which i found myself babbling on and on about the passion and joy of cooking. at some point, i regained my lucidity and realized that the person i was with was staring at me, eyes glazed over...i had lost her somewhere along in my reverie.
it occurred to me as it has millions of times over the years, that a lot of people don't share my passion for cooking. and it baffled me, as it has millions of times over the years.
i have cooked for most of my life, beginning as a young girl at my mother's side, absorbing every detail of what she did as she prepared meals for our family. i cooked my way through school, cooked to support my life as an artist, cooked for friends and family, cooked for the sheer joy of cooking. i love the entire process, from shopping to cleaning up. i always have and i pray i always will.
now i surely have days when i lack inspiration and when i can not, for the life of me, figure out what to make for dinner, but nine out of ten days, you will find me in my kitchen, happily slicing, dicing, sauteing and simmering my way to another meal that will bring a smile to my husband's face.
i cook for friends, family, students and strangers. i love what i do and am blessed to live the life that i do.
so how do you develop that love of cooking? is it genetic? is it like opera? you may learn to appreciate it, but you either love it or you don't? cooking is not rocket science; it's an art form. cooking allows us to free our passions and create. with fresh natural ingredients, cooking inspires us to our greater selves. our intuition is in high gear as we subtly coax every nuance of flavor from a dish.
cooking is the ultimate form of self-love. i am not sure what it says when people hate cooking. sure, it's work; it can be hot and sweaty and dirty...and sexy. the key to great cooking is simple...master some basic skills (like figuring out which knife to hold and where the stove is located) and then cook with ingredients that inspire you, that draw you in. walk through the produce section of your market and breathe in the life around you. choose the food that intrigues you; try new things.
then go into the kitchen; roll up your sleeves; get your hands dirty and your face a little sweaty. inhale the perfume of the dishes as they bubble on the stove. watch the food transform under your hand as you gently stir and saute.
and as you eat, allow the food to transform you. be the change you want to see in the world...begin in your kitchen.