Foods, Cooking, and the Kitchen

A kitchen is a special place. It is a personal stage for self-expression and creativity. It is also a place for personal connection, connection with others, and connection with the garden of the world. No matter where we live, the kitchen is where nature enters our home. Local greens, onions, apples and pumpkins bring local farmers’ gardens to our door. And, we can participate in the global garden when we enjoy from distant shores fresh avocados, mangos, and bananas.

Fruits and vegetables are remarkable creatures. Grown as the magical offspring of the sun and the soil, they invite us into a secret world of adventure–when we take the time to observe and pay attention. Slicing a head of cabbage or a beet or a carrot, we discover an amazing web of repeating pattern. The same is true of the complex fractals–simple elements repeated again and again and again–in broccoli, cauliflower, or the outside skin of a pineapple. Fresh foods offer us a deep sense of wonder and connection to all that is universal, across the spectrum of life.

And, of course, the food that we prepare and offer to others connects us, in a meaningful and nurturing way, to our friends and family.

Zen and the Kitchen. Cooking is an art of endless possibility. It can be a grounding, and empowering experience. And, like the act of walking or swimming that enlivens the mind to deep thinking, chopping vegetables can quiet, soothe, and calm. When we allow enough time to enjoy washing, peeling, chopping, and cooking, the act of connecting with nature’s gifts in repetitive ways brings its own meditative stillness and sense of balance and peace. Some of my best and most creative times come when least expected…when I am working in the kitchen.

Through whole foods that we have cooked with love and care we nourish ourselves both through the foods that we consume ourselves and through the connections we make with our friends and family when we offer to them our culinary gifts.