Even if you love to cook, there are times when cooking is simply about getting food on the table and sustenance in our stomachs.
And then there are the times when cooking is all about the LOVE.
Cooking for those we love, with love.
This past week a dear friend needed some serious TLC. We've been friends for over twenty years and, not surprisingly, our love fest started at the table. A mutual friend and fellow foodie introduced us over marinated olives and egg salad sandwiches. It was love at first bite. For many years we ate often together, mostly at her house and mostly cooking together in the kitchen. It has been too many more to count that we haven't. I didn't realize how much I missed our cooking rituals until I got into the my own kitchen this past weekend to cook a few meals for her while she was recuperating from a recent hospital visit.
It also reminded me why I love to cook. It's an offering and an altar of artistic expression. It's a way to soothe the soul; a delicious salve that can heal all kinds of wounds. It's how we connect with those we love and recollect those we miss. It is, above all, a way to nourish and nurture us wholly, whether we're the ones who are putting the meal together or savoring at the table.
For a few days after my visit to stock her fridge, my friend sweetly texted me about how she loved the flavors of the dishes I had prepared. In those few words, I felt her strength regain and her spirit revive. I'm convinced that intention is everything. Food tastes good when good goes into it. Good ingredients, good loving.
I'm hoping we won't have to wait for another event like this to get us sitting down to share a meal together. Life is short and time does indeed fly by. No time like now to enjoy with those you love.
Buon appetito! copyright 2011 Alisa Barry