Tuesday, October 21, 2008

on cooking

hi guys-

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.

see ya.'

4 comments:

Paula said...

Hi Christina!
I think there are many many people who love to cook and feel the passion that you do. What is tough for us is maintaining that 7 days a week. Everyone leads such busy, busy lives that after a 10 hour day (work & commuting, or whatever) the last thing we are thinking about is the slicing and dicing and then the clean-up. I can maintain that passon maybe a few days out of the week but it is downright exhausting every day. The bad part of this is on the days that my energy is low, I really need good home cooking -- fresh, nutritious and of course, vegetarian. Reading your cookbooks and watching your show and now your blog definitely keeps me inspired. Please keep up the tremendous work you do!
-Paula

christea said...

Hi Christina --

You are an inspiration to us to come up higher in our kitchens, and wisely spending our hard-earned dollars on quality ingredients to enhance our health. There must be millions of Americans raised on processed food, convenience foods and fast food most of their lives. To be introduced to a freshly prepared vegan diet must be daunting to them! Even though I am in the process of changing over my diet, it is difficult in social situations and with family and friends. I can't wait for Thanksgiving to see the family reaction to my homemade tofurky!

You are a culinary jewel and a delight! Keep up the good work!!!
- Christea

One Christian Mom said...

I also love to cook, although usually I am just doing what I can to get a meal on the table. When I do get a chance to truly COOK, I definitely go all the way. What's better than something you like the way you like it prepared?
Thank you for this take on things, it's so true. So often you can find yourself going on and on over something you love and the other person has that "blank stare", not just in cooking, but in anything.
Shellie

Kathy said...

Christina,

I was looking all over for a way to e-mail you and I couldn't find one! So I'll just say that your book has been a God send! My son, who is now on a restricted no dairy diet (for natural treatment of ADHD, ruling out food allergies, etc.), can actually still eat half way "normal" foods. I had purchased your cookbook "Cooking the Wholefoods Way" (newer edition) a few months ago after becoming addicted to your show on Create. When will it be back!? Anyway, anyway... Having all of this come up was a challenge, but your book has made the transition so much easier. I don't think we'll ever be vegans, lol... I LOVE meat, and the rest of my family does, too. But the little things, like your blueberry muffin recipe, which I just made tonight (only I made mini muffins because we love them tiny), and sprinkling them with cinnamon after baking rather than sugar before baking (MY idea, which I thought was pretty clever, and makes them taste that much better!)... I lost my train of thought with that horribly fragmented sentence. Sorry about that, but I'm sure you get the point. My son keeps grabbing them and saying, "They're too good! They're too good!" I tell him to stop eating them because we need to have supper and he says, "I can't stop eating them! They're too good!" LoL. And I'm thinking that they're probably healthy enough to be supper, so I think I'll just let him enjoy his thrill.

Anyway, I'm sorry this comment was so long. I just can't tell you how grateful I am to you for your work and for your book. It has meant so much to our family.

Take care,
Kathy