Is cooking an art? To answer that, first we see what art is. Merriam Webster defines it as: “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects”. Well, it could be argued that sometimes making a meal is a creative outlet that uses skill to produce an aesthetic object. In fact, I believe that a delicious and visually appealing meal can be far more powerful in evoking emotions and visceral reactions than other forms of art, and in a larger percentage of the population. Some people never seem to have an interest in art or at least in a traditional, organized way. However, almost every person on the planet has a powerful and consistent attraction to food, the better the food the stronger the reaction.
Aaahh food…. delectable food! Food has almost limitless potential of embodiment. It’s full of colors and textures and temperatures which all morph and change with various arrangements and service methods. There is such a wide array of flavors, each with a spectrum of intensity that can transform with different pairings. Furthermore, there is a whole vast universe of spices, seasonings, and herbs. Each element can masquerade once again in various sauces and broths and a plethora of preparations, the possibilities are virtually endless! Oh my, I’m getting hungry…
I love food and I love to make delicious food, especially for the people I care about. Not only does it sustain them and make them healthy and strong, it can show them my love and care in a very tangible way. It makes them happy, and because we make time to dine together it solidifies our family bond. It conveys to them on a deep level that they are worth the time and attention I take to feed their body, and nourish their soul.
Whether you are like me and love to cook, or if you never step foot in a kitchen, challenge yourself to try something new this week or this month. If you do cook, try a new recipe or type of food. (After trying to make a coconut curry chicken recipe out of my lonely Betty Crocker cookbook, I fell in love with the flavor profiles I found there, and have since taken many rewarding excursions into Indian cuisine.) If you rarely cook, try making something new and simple that you’ve enjoyed elsewhere and are familiar with. If you NEVER cook, then go out and find a new cuisine or an interesting restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Be brave and step outside of your comfort zone, even little steps can exhilarate you and bust you out of the rut – you won’t regret it!!
(PS) Cooking is where my heart lies, though I do like to bake occasionally too. I guess I love the free-flowing way that you’re able to throw things together and guess about how much to use rather than measure every ingredient and mix it in such-and-such order. I RARELY use recipes or measure what I put into dishes. For me, it’s all about instinct and guessing, then adjusting, and it never turns out the same – BUT it is always enjoyable. This is part of why this journey is delicious – life is meant to be lived live. Is that redundant? I don’t think so because it’s true, in life there are no pause buttons, no rewinds, no fast forwards and no restarts. It’s live, unscripted and that’s where the magic happens – go with the flow! In cooking, if you just learn to do a handful of simple techniques, you will always be able to “save” a dish. This will be an upcoming blog post – sign up for my blog’s e-mail notification HERE so you don’t miss it.