Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What joy food brings!

Delicious food can work magic on us. On a cold wet day, food can provide comfort and warmth. When we are sick, food can be medicine. When we want to celebrate, we can express joy through cooking and eating together. There is something so intriguing about this magic that has always captured my interest. I want to make that magic happen. Sometimes it is spontaneous. The best dishes are often created by using whatever is left in the fridge that needs to get used up. Sometimes a new dish is created by extensive research. I may have an idea of what I want to make, but not know exactly how to make it or all the seasonings and ingredients. I will look up many versions of the recipe online, read hundreds of comments from other cooks, and then I will start to design my own recipe according to my own tastes and nutritional needs. Whatever the process, when the magic happens, it brings me joy.

I am not sure that I would be so joyful about creative cooking if there were no one to share the fruits of my labor with. Occasionally, I will truly enjoy a dish I’ve made only for myself. But I don’t think that the experience would be so enjoyable if no one was ever going to taste my food. If I were alone on the planet, I don’t think the experience would be the same. There is something magical about the sharing of good food and good drink amongst good company. A convivial atmosphere sparks the alchemical reaction of transmuting food into joy!

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