More and more my mind comes back to cooking.
What seems like the most prosaic chore is probably the most influential activity we engage in daily. Even more so then farming or gardening, I think, primarily because what we choose to eat dictates, to some extent, what we farm or garden. So, in other words, what our palate desires shape the landscape all around us.
So, cooking. Every day we have a choice. Cook something wholesome and delicious, or snack on the good old standbys. And most of us, myself included, tend to reach for the standbys. In a busy workweek we don’t have time for more work, more tasks, more cleaning and planning. So, we lose out on one of the biggest pleasures of life repeatedly.
Every time I give myself time to cook something it is a pleasure, even if it doesn’t come out just perfectly. When we cook our meals and enjoy them together, we are so much more connected, which can translate to happiness, or at least communication.
So last night there was a slight accident. A board fell and killed a baby turkey. I was pretty sad about it, feeling very guilty. But I hung it overnight and dressed it this morning. It comes out to probably about 2 pounds dressed. And what this little being won’t be is wasted. I gave the dogs the offal, and the dogs are hard workers. We will roast up the bird for lunch, and use the bones for stock. Afterward, the bones will be composted.
If we give ourselves time to do these things, to live life one moment at a time, then we can respect life, and live in the present instead of the past and future. I think cooking is the most important alchemy we can do three times a day. Cooking is a meditation and yoga all by itself. If you can find the time to watch a show, do yoga, read a book, meditate, or clean your car, you can find time to cook I would suppose.