Is cooking a love language? I believe it can be.
I have heard many times that there is a love language in each of us. This is to say that each person on this planet shows their love in a specific way, and if you are not paying attention you can miss it. So with all the ways there is to say I love you, mine is found in the doing. Lighting a candle at dinner, making sure my loved one is comfortable, that they have what they need and yes there will be cooking. If I have cooked for you, truth be told, I love you.
Friend, man or child, you are loved by me if you have eaten here. I suppose it can be considered a service kind of love language. However I find that it is not enough. For those that love to cook, we pour ourselves into it. it is an act we do for ourselves as much as we do for the other party involved.
Setting a table, selecting music or a great bottle of wine. These are detailed things that are all part of this beautiful act of love.
Well ok, those are service things too. But I mostly want to talk about the distinct act of cooking.
I have been asked by those who shall remain nameless in this, to cook a meal. If they were reading this they’d know now why I had refused. It is absolutely a labor of love to me and when you sit with a person to eat the meal you prepared special for them, its that much more significant. Aside from my garden, my favorite place to be is in the kitchen. It is my workshop, a place to create.
After a long day I retreat into this space and begin the meal time prepping often with a candle lit and music. Most days it is my daughter that is waiting patiently for a meal. At times a friend or two might join us. Entertaining is an act all it’s own. It is a home cooked meal, amplified.
When you stand in over a hot skillet or pot, adding items as you go, the aroma fills the air. The home suddenly becomes even more cozier and hungry mouths follow the smell to inquire about it’s arrival. As you may have guessed through past reading, we set the table in our house. I believe in this deeply. Eating from a real dish, with a real napkin with gentle lighting from a candle can make even the most boring meal memorable. It doesn’t take much effort to make an average meal, significant.
Admittedly I wasn’t always the cook I am today. Few start out that way.
I think you have to be willing to fail in order to succeed at anything worth doing.
Any skill in life that is acquired takes a bit of grit.
And grit it was. I remember the days of excitement coming into the house with fresh groceries and a recipe cut out of a magazine to try. Then ending the night defeated and a bit embarrassed of my creation. Frustrated at my attempts I realized I had to problem solve. Observe and try again. There, in lays the key with anything. You have to be willing to try again.
There in lays the secret to any great cook.
It is a lot like stepping stones. Jumping from one skill to the next until you can leave behind that cut out of a magazine and just create.
My feelings of frustration turned to love for an act that became much more then a practical means to an end.
Putting my hand to something was satisfying. Taking nothing and making something. That is creation and it is extraordinary.