Food is Love?

As previously mentioned, Teacherman is out of town, not to return for 8 more days.  I am very sad (tsk, tsk, these new brides and their codependancy), but, as usual, I’m taking the opportunity to eat a lot of shellfish and broccoli, his two allergic triggers. 

What’s unusual, though, is how little pleasure I’m taking in making delicious meals.  I have the ingredients and the recipes and the palate, but I don’t have anyone to make the meals for.

Some, I’m sure, would say that wanting to cook FOR other people rather than for oneself was unhealthily self-effacing, but for me, a great deal of the enjoyment I get from cooking comes from feeding people I care about.  When I have a dinner party, I don’t make fancy comestibles because I’m trying impress my guests, but because I’m actually excited at the idea of giving them really good food, excited about making them happy through the flavors of what they’re eating.

This sounds odd, I know, and I have a number of colleagues who refuse to believe it, unable to grasp that entertaining could be anything but stressful and exhausting.  These same colleagues have a hard time understanding why I would be happy at the prospect of “having” to cook almost every night of the week for even just two people.  To them, even though cooking can sometimes be fun, it is always a form of drudgery, always a form of oppression, no matter how benign. 

I am not opressed.  I do not toil.  Cooking is what I have to give to the people I love, and as much as I enjoy cooking for myself (I’m sure I’ll regain my equanimity after a few days), I miss sharing what I’ve made with my husband. 

Evidence?  At noon today I took a picture of a tomato–the first Brandywine tomato picked from one of the backyard plants–so I could show him how beautiful it was.   The tomato itself was ur-tomato perfection: acidic and spicy and sweet and warm from the sun and smelling of earth.  Thank heavens for the six other tomatoes ripening on the plant; a flavor like this should not be horded for one alone.  The topmost one looks like it might be perfectly ripe eight days from now. . . .

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Published in: on August 3, 2007 at 7:21 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I totally understand where you’re coming from. Cooking food for one person makes little sense to me–I don’t really ever cook unless I have someone to share it with. It could be dependency of a sort, I suppose: toiling for appreciation and gratitude and feeling liked, and all that. Whatever. Seeing other people enjoy what I’ve made is… just fun. Really. Seeing me enjoy what I’ve made? Meh, not as fun.

  2. It’s not that I don’t get any pleasure out of cooking for myself at all–there’s a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from making something perfect out of something quotidian, after all–but the pleasure I get from cooking for someone else is so much _greater_. I’d kind of forgotten how to expect the smaller joys after being lucky enough to expect the enormous ones almost every day.

  3. Food is totally love. I’ve always felt that way, so I’m surprised your coworkers don’t understand that at all.


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