FOOD FOR THOUGHT: why we cook
Why do we cook?
I don't come bearing gifts, a giveaway, or a nationally sponsored prize for those who answer the most profoundly. Again, this isn't that kind of blog. But maybe you are twirling your hair at work, maybe you are sinking into the couch with a cup of tea. Wherever you are in the world, garner a thought. Draw out the memory of your first significant moment in the kitchen. What was it like and why do you still get back in the kitchen now?
What I am most grateful for so far while experiencing life as an organic farmer, is that whether its a family farm by definition or not, we certainly are family. And most days, these days anyway, I find that I cook simply to dress the table. I hadn't quite noticed before how prolific this habit is, and how much of a peaceful halo surrounds me as I do it. But the difference between me and everyone else in the farmhouse is that fine line between dinner and communal dinner. If ever there was a time to feel incomplete, it would certainly be me, standing before a table piled high with mail, keys and notes, plates strewn across from nights prior, and not a utensil in sight. You'll find me quietly yet keenly, fidgeting about, removing each unwanted article off the table one by one, giddily replacing them with the choice dinnerware of the night, utensils atop folded napkins, and serving dishes with their matching spoons and spatulas. I stand back, and my eyes are always aglow. Pride. That's the word. Now everyone can come to the table I have set and feel something. They might feel warmth from the welcoming sight. They might feel special, as if they are the only ones at the table. Or even relief, that they themselves would have done the same were it not for how worn down they feel from the long day's work. And then I approach the table with a platter of warm steaming goodness. A pot of summer risotto perhaps, or an Italian style heirloom tomato pasta. Or maybe its brunch on a Sunday and its a fried egg sweet potato hash with spinach. Yes. For me, I cook... just to set the table.
How about you?