Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some thoughts on cooking.

by Eric

I love to cook. For me, cooking is not simply a means to an end, and eating is not simply for fuel. There is joy and pleasure in the process. Fluffy scrambled eggs and crispy toast in the morning, a gourmet sandwich for lunch, or a golden roasted chicken and root vegetables to bring the day to a close--I'll try cooking just about everything. There's something about the preparation of the mise-en-place, filled with careful planning and order, that gets my attention. But the actual cooking, the messy art, is what is most seductive to me. Gently coating a pan with olive oil. Searching for the perfect caramel-colored crust on a juicy steak. Coaxing out the natural flavors of local vegetables--onions, spinach, etc... Seeking a pleasing harmony from the cacophony of flavors available. Presenting the dish in such a way that one cannot help but have both their eyes and forks drawn to the plate. Out of the literal chaos and sweat and fire arises something beautiful (sometimes).


And then, like a poet setting a work free to an audience, the meal now becomes something outside of you. It will either be savored and cherished, or sped through and consumed. Cooking is meant to feed and to please, of course. But regardless of a cook's talent (or lack thereof, in my case), it is their own passion for the process that delights them...and that keeps them cooking. And that's pretty awesome, I think.


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