Today was a sad day for me, as I bid adieu to my past-three-month roommate, friend, fellow cook and my one and only brother, Chris. After much deliberation, he decided to take a great job and move back to Vancouver. I can't blame him, really. It was the right move. Nevertheless, selfishly I wish he was still here; the house a little more empty today.
As everybody in life has experienced, the sad times offer you an opportunity to reflect. They enrich your appreciation for what was. They make happy memories feel that much happier. And today as I sit, multitasking between work and Izzy (my dog) and The Food Network on the TV and my blog, it made me think about one thing Chris and I shared most (besides being generally idiotic and silly): the love of cooking food.
Not just 'food'. Not just something to pile into your mouth. Not just the fastest, cheapest, easiest thing we could make. REAL food. The kind of food you sit down to appreciate, to take pause and enjoy creating, to have desire in sharing with others. You see, Chris and I both love to make others happy, and one of the best ways we know how is by cooking a great meal.
Cooking is an extension of you. Cooking is putting all your efforts on a plate for another to savour. Cooking lets you bring joy to others. Cooking can give you quality time, because cooking should not be rushed. It doesn't mean you need to be a slave to a meal, but take a minute to really let yourself be IN the moment of cooking; I bet (or I hope?) you'll find it can be relaxing and fun and creative.
So try it for me. Find a recipe you think you'll enjoy. Go out and get the ingredients. Better still, just take a gander at what's in your pantry and pick out what looks like will go well together - and just take a leap and create something new. Put on your favourite music. Open a bottle of wine. Invite someone close to you to join in. I think you'll find, that through sharing thoughts on how to tweak a recipe (as Chris and I often do), sharing the tasks needed to get done, and then sharing in the enjoyment of the meal, you'll agree: cooking is love.
Chris, Mom and Me ... cooking together, Christmas 2009.