Friday, January 28, 2011

The Art and Love of Food

My husband gets home late and as the dinner hour approaches, it is always my hope that he will come home in time for dinner. I love to cook and cooking is almost like art - you put things together to create something that is pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. And what art can entices you, calls you, and previews you with your senses like a meal that is cooking? The ears perch to the methodical chopping, the controlled snapping of hot oil, the hidden foiled sizzling of a roast in the oven... and what is more alive than my rice cooker dancing as the foamy bubbles find their way through the top? The nose, if it could, would salivate at the savory richness of an entree perfecting itself with heat, or the sweetness of an indulgent dessert, much like a Yankee Candle that you can eat. I love cooking and I love food. Unfortunately, this love is put aside for me because children of 2 and 4 seem to narrow their food preferences as their awareness and independence increases. I'm sure this will turn around as they get older, but as of now, they will not dance in the chopping, sauteing and devouring of my cared for cooking. And since my husband isn't home for dinner often, this love is solitary most of the time. But maybe that will work because I only have to aim to please myself.
Still, I find this kind of selfish art is less fulfilling, less satisfying than the art of giving, and sharing. The art that can be displayed by someone on their wall, to which they can smile at and adore, is liken to the smile and compliment of someone you love gaining sustenance, comfort, energy, and essentially life, from the artful meal that you cooked.
Food is so much more than just food. It is what goes into it, the micro ingredients, the things you taste but cant see, the things you love but cant identify, the healthful attributes of the ingredients, the culture it represents, or the creativity of fusion. Food is life, and gathering around food brings lives to life.
I guess this is why I love food.

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