Cookin' up the fabric of life

We were over at the Statons house Saturday night for some of Meredith's "Fo Shizzle Gumbo" (my nomenclature). Meredith is really amazing when it comes to cooking. For example, when I had to give up dairy last year, Meredith made me the most amazing vegan chocolate cake for my birthday. Seriously. Amazing. You can see us basking in its glory in the attached photo.

So, after dinner on Saturday I commented that I needed to learn how to cook. Meredith was surprised. She insists that all her best recipes come from me (not the Fo Shizzle Gumbo, though). I tried to explain that I'm not talking about cooking as a collection of recipes or a set of skills. I can slice, saute, glaze and even blanch. What I really mean is that I need to learn to cook as a habit.

Once again, I think of Mo. This woman has serious skills. But more than that, she has a commitment. Last year, as I watched her whip up Thanksgiving dinner (in a country that does not celebrate Thanksgiving) it suddenly hit me that traditions don't just happen. It's up to us, as the "grown ups," to make traditions and things real. And so much of tradition and culture-- the fabric of life-- happens around food. I'm not just thinking about holidays, either. Everyday meals are just as important. Are they even more important? I think about Sarah's commitment to local food. Her cooking habit and consumer choices impact our local culture as well as her family's culture in significant ways.

So where does that leave me? There's a part of me that has resisted meal-planning-and-cooking role. And I would continue to have a problem with it if it were forced on me. But it's not. Jonathan would be totally cool with splitting the food associated chores 50/50. But here's the thing... I actually do enjoy it. I like the challenge and the creativity. I like that hour in the afternoon when Jonathan takes Julian and I have time to myself to craft something. I also like the challenge of strategizing shopping lists and meal planning. But most of all, I realize this is another step on the path of evaluating my habits to bring them in line with the vision of what I want for my life. It's like realizing that part of what I want for my life is a relatively clean house. So if I'm going to (1) continue to live with Samson and Chelsea (which I am. God has granted them eternal life with us) and also (2) have a relatively clean house, then I have to sweep and vacuum every day. That's it. So, if I'm really committed to this ethics of food business, then it's time to get habitual.

1 comment:

  1. You know that marrying the almost all southern boy who was big into hospitality, and hospitality had to mean food, and good food, was the catalyst for me having to get habitual. And I am like you, I love the creativity, altho our early guests had some pretty dodgy stuff. And I will be blending the pumpkin this year. How was I supposed to know that pumkin pie was not like apple pie.
    Hoover and sweep everyday? I would sooooo like that to happen by magic cos there ain't no creativity in that!!!