While I was showering the other day, I suddenly started thinking about cooking – which is odd for me as it’s not something I do very often. But for some random reason, I started thinking about all the reasons why people cook.
Some people adore cooking. Others despise it. Many of us cook only because we need to put food on the table, whether it’s for ourself or for others. There are those who cook simply because it’s their job and it earns them a paycheck.
However, what’s interesting to me is that while cooking and serving food can be viewed simply as “chores” necessary to meet the basic human need for sustenance, they can also be a means of expressing love.
Haven’t you met people who infuse their cooking with heaps of love and passion? Can you remember the bliss filling your heart and body after a meal cooked by someone with so much incredible talent and skill that they not only make delicious, satisfying food, but they also make it healthy, bountiful, and artistic? Of course, not everyone cooks for the pleasure of feeding people. Some artistic chefs lovingly craft food just to have photos of it taken for advertisements.
It’s interesting to notice how people feel about the food they prepare. Personally, I don’t cook often because I don’t have much artistry or skill, but when I do cook, I often invite people over to share what I’ve prepared. Even though I’m not good at it, I cook with love and I enjoy sharing it. (Unfortunately, love from my kitchen doesn’t taste that great, so I find other ways to express it, lol.)
Preparing and sharing meals comes with a certain level of intimacy. (That’s why royalty had “tasters” to ensure no poison had been included their meal!) Even so, our society does not tend to judge the character of a person based upon whether or not they cook with love, or whether they do it for pleasure, money, or out of obligation.
We respect those that choose to share their cooking freely by hosting friends for meals regularly. We often revere those who sell their services for vast amounts of money. But we also commend people who cook only for themselves or their partner. We don’t pass judgement on how often one is supposed to cook, the “proper way to cook,” or what utensils are acceptable. We don’t have disdain for cooks who use simple ingredients, or those who prefer spicier, exotic options.
Cooking means different things to each of us and it can include as much – or as little – intimacy and ambience as each chef chooses to add. Of course, most of us would probably agree that the addition of love makes everything taste better. Next time you cook, do it with love and use as much as you want. There’s no suggested serving size for love!
(Now, if you are wondering why I’ve rambled on about food today, replace the concept of cooking with sex and re-read it. Is there a difference in your mind between people who cook voluntarily, share with friends, or charge for their services, and those who engage in sex similarly? Touch is a basic human need, maybe even more important than food, yet we act as though it’s optional, indulgent, or even sinful.
What if we acknowledged the pleasurable, healing, and comforting power of different types of touch, including romantic ones? What if we prioritized touch and incorporated it into our days just as we’ve incorporated breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
What would the world around us be like if everyone who wanted to offer food and love to others could do so in their own way without fear of judgement? Wouldn’t we then free everyone to satisfy their need and desire for food and love, also without judgement? Something to think about!)