As I write this post, I'm enjoying some quiet time with a cup of tea, catching up on favourite bloggers and thinking of my next cooking project. I recently had house guests, which usually means lots of time cooking and thinking about the food we should eat together. Each day as I would putter about in the kitchen, putting together breakfast, I would be thinking about the next meal we would share together- dinner plans would begin to take shape. This is standard procedure most days in this house, although more so when there's more people involved than just DG and I. I have my lazy days, or days that I don't feel inspired, days that I don't think about dinner until, well, dinner time. But the truth is the next meal is always on my mind. Inspired by food and cookbook author, Michael Rhulman, I started thinking about why I do cook. It is an interesting thought to ponder as its different for many people and tells you a bit of who someone is. It turns out there are so many reasons for so many people and I thought some of you might be interested in...
Why I Cook
To welcome people: I love to make people feel truly at home and relaxed in my home. Cooking allows me the chance to really entertain people and make them feel special.
To connect with people: Some people like movies, some would rather rent a movie, some like live theatre, some would rather watch HBO, some people like to go dancing, others prefer a walk on the water. But eating is something we all have to do and most of us seem to like it. It's a common activity we can share together and when I cook I can facilitate connections between myself and others, or between different people.
To learn: I consider my entire adult life one large cooking class. Each dish is a lesson. I learn from failures, I learn even more from successes. With a changing repertoire I learn more and see food differently. I have a list of things I want to accomplish and with each meal, I come closer to checking everything off my list. For me it also isn't enough to simply have cooked a dish once, but to be confident in the dish to recreate it with ease. Cooking also encourages me to discover a dish's history, its traditions and current place in the culinary world as well as how to truly master it.
To dine: I love fine dining. I am fortunate to have dined in some very fine restaurants here at home and in Europe that have taught me respect and appreciation for the art of service and haute cuisine. But since this style of dining is sadly out of reach for me as often as I would like, I cook to attempt to create a similar atmosphere for special occasions. Cooking these meals myself, allows us the chance to dine like a queen without the price tag and with one great perk- eating in my pajamas!
For the memories: When I come home from traveling, I usually unpack food ideas as well as products. Coming home and recreating duck with figs from a Chateau in Provence or Bouillabaisse of the French Riviera takes DG and I back to the places we have loved.
To express myself: Cooking is the best way I know how to tell someone I love them.
To challenge myself: Cooking is a comfort zone for me, so when I want to tackle seemingly impossible recipes, I feel less daunted than in other parts of my life.
To eat healthy: Cooking myself allows me to have control of what goes into my body.
Because I'm good at it: and DG is not. He is, however, much better at clean up than I am. Its a great trade off if you ask me. Its important to note that he's the finest front of house person anywhere.
For myself: A friend often proclaims that she loves coming for dinner, because I am as excited about my food as the guests. Apparently there's a lot of people out there cooking for others and not enjoying their own food. The truth is I love food. I love shopping for it, I love learning about it, I love talking about it, thinking about it and writing about it. But I really I love cooking it and I especially love eating it! If you are happy with what you've created, you should never be shy about showing your enthusiasm.
Why do you cook?