I hope you all are holding strong in these challenging final few days before break.
This weeks piece is on the topic of cooking and how it can be more than just something you do when you can’t afford anymore take-out.
I really do believe that there is something special to it. A friend of mine loves to see the first bite when someone tastes her food, she says seeing the person’s face makes all the work worth it. Now, she is probably a trillion times better than me at cooking in general, but I think the same rule generally applies. When I do cook, and I really put all of what I can into it, I don’t feel rewarded when I eat it myself, or even when I have it for leftovers the next day. It’s when I share it with my roommates and I know that they like it. That quiet acknowledgement in a mouthful of food is something else.
I also tried to illustrate how much artistry can go into cooking. I’m not at a level where this applies, but I’ve seen actual chefs who do it for more than just a living, you know? And they get the idea that what they are making is really keeping that person, their customer, alive. Like, poetry and movies are great and all, but no matter how many Shakespeare monologues you watch you’ll still be hungry. A cook has that genuine physical connection to their “audience”, which is so unique and beautiful. And obviously I agree that the need for things like poetry and other arts is just that, a need. But the yearning for purpose through language is different than just being super hungry, and I think it’s okay to celebrate that difference.
And then of course, you have the hypocrisy. I value the craft of cooking and admire those who are good at it so much, yet I almost always seem to resort to the cheap and quick meal at the end of the day. I have gotten better since I was a kid, but I’ve still a long way to go before I don’t reach for the Blue Box more often than not.
-Jonah J. Sobczak