I have to confess before I write this post that I don’t cook all that much anymore. (I used to.)
I am not writing about this to make anyone feel bad about not cooking. I would just like to explore this topic and how it factors into relationships. While women have been elevated legally from property to personhood, activities traditionally performed by women have been denigrated in our culture. Things like cooking and tending the home. Part of this has to do with our modern time constraints. However, if you think about it, going out to eat takes time too – probably just as much time as cooking a simple meal. Notice I said simple meal. I’m not talking about creating meals worthy of the dreaded food judges on Iron Chef. But back to the topic at hand…what is so important about cooking?
We all like to come home to the smell of something good in the oven. It says welcome home, relax, you’re going to be taken care of.
There is something very calming and nurturing about cooking at home. You just can’t get that at a restaurant where they are spraying Windex at the table next to you. Ahhh, the smell of ammonia while you are eating! Home is the last place you can sit and enjoy your food without being hurried along. And food is important. Eating together is important. Cooking is important. While you are cooking, you can focus on the food you are preparing. You can use it as a sort of meditation. The carrots are so orange, the celery is crisp, the humble potato is going to be sooo good. And while you are cooking, you can calm down a little. Working with food from the earth can be an antidote to the stresses of our high tech life. Then the smell of soup, the smell of an old fashioned baked potato – in the oven, not the microwave – even the smell of a pot of beans says life is good. Throw in an apple cobbler for dessert and mmmmm…it doesn’t get much better. These are simple pleasures we can share with each other. They appeal to the child part of us, the part that needs to be taken care of, the part that delights in being at home.
Think I’ll go start a pot of vegetable soup for dinner. Sounds good.