G’morning Constance…I love to cook. I love to get in the kitchen and start letting ingredients come together and meld, mingle, and metamorphose into something completely different.
My cooking is sooo much better these days…now that I know myself. I have wondered why. And perhaps this quote, from Chef Jacques Pépin sheds some light on the subject…and it makes me wonder: if every day is a dish to be prepared, are you including the crucial ingredient?
And as a poet, I think the metaphor holds very well…check out the quote, and make a gourmet day out of today!
“I have asked friends many times, “What are the best fundamental dishes of your life?” Invariably, their response goes back to food prepared by a mother, a grandmother, a father, an aunt, or some other relative or friend. A main ingredient of those preparations is the love with which they are prepared. Those early tastes remain with you for the rest of your life.
“The Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang said that patriotism is nothing more than the love of dishes you had as a child. Certainly, in times of stress you go back to the essential dishes of your youth. As those young soldiers in Afghanistan would certainly agree, Mom’s apple pie, Boston baked beans, or a lobster roll are among the dishes they crave or dream about.
“In Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, the book’s main protagonist, Dr. Urbino, doesn’t know anything about cooking, but when he eats and entertains in his home, he equates the goodness of the food with how much love was put into the dish. He would reject a dish, saying, “this food was cooked without love.” It is a criticism that is closer to the truth than most people realize.
“Julia Child used to say that you have to be happy when you cook for the food to be good, and you also have to be happy in the eating and sharing of the food with family and friends. Otherwise the gastric juices will not do their job and you won’t digest the food properly. I agree with her assessment. It is impossible to enjoy food when you’re angry and tense.”