The kitchen stands as one of the home’s last physical creative spaces. Whether you are following a recipe, working from memory, or just winging it, you create something! Yes, your experience will vary, e.g., ingredients available, improvisation skills, social media distractions, and time available. Let none of these reasons stop you. No one ever starves to death because they lacked an ingredient, used the wrong pan, or couldn’t find the recipe. You may not always eat well, but you will eat. And try to remember, fun and enjoyment improves taste.
I think of the kitchen as my Zen garden. I roll up my sleeves and use my hands for something other than typing. The chopping, the dicing, the mincing, it brings a bit of balance to my day. I am in control and a sense of order materializes. Ingredients, unlike email, do not just suddenly appear. Kitchen technology advances slowly, e.g., mixer to electric mixer. If you don’t have an ingredient, you improvise. If you can’t improvise, you
The Internet has no smell. In the kitchen, you knead the bread, punching and turning. You see it rise. The smell fills the home, thereby adding to conversation, e.g., “when’s the bread going to be done Dad?” You hear it tear as you break the bread apart. As you eat, you notice the texture, the mouth feel, and the taste. Your olfactory organs experience a rhythm for a brief moment and life is good. Don’t try this with computer chips.
Think of the kitchen as the original social media. We cook to eat, live, and grow. Yet, how much more interesting is it to cook for an audience? Feedback is immediate and often abundant. You learn about the lives of family and friends. Stories get told. Faces will be made. You discover people’s tastes, their comfort foods, and definitely their limits. You add spice where you can and a bit of zest always helps. You might even succeed in making the unappealing, appealing. Think brussels sprouts and a 10 year old boy, I recommend bacon!
We learn by doing, not watching, not talking about it, and rarely just by reading. Put down the computer and head to the kitchen. If you can’t put down the computer take it with you. If you can challenge yourself to be able to create something that makes people, including yourself, happy, you will possess friends all your life.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child