Growing up my mom did most of the cooking in our household. My dad grilled on occasion, cigar in tow, yet she consistently put balanced meals on the table and even packed my lunch (with sweet notes on the napkins).
As I grew, I started to see this as a great injustice. Why doesn’t dad cook or at least do the dishes? My sister and I would complain to one another. Somewhere inside of me I made amends to never have an arrangement like that, to never be the one who has to bear the yield of daily cooking.
Fast forward to the year two thousand sixteen. I live on 18 acres with my partner, a male, in Missouri. He often cooks: indeed, his delightful sprouted meals, smoothies, teas and ferments coaxed me into relationship with him from the get go. For the first years we were together traveling, it was he who would make most of our meals. At times he complained, yet I was determined not to be the default cook in any partnership. So I abstained and told him I would cook more once we found Place.
And here we are -in Place. Tonight I am cooking red lentils on the stove. I thought I may put in a Jamaican seasoning that titillated me at the market, but a red spice (not actually sure what it is HA!) caught my nose tonight and I dosed the pot with it. Add long simmering onion and kelp, salt, black pepper and new potatoes and beet greens from our garden, and I am full on in appreciation of the creation of meals to sustain, treat, nourish, and overwhelm my family with goodness.
I loath the day I would ever be relied upon by a household or organization to cook the majority of meals, yet I am appreciating the gentle transmutation of resources (and if I have a hand and heart in growing them, all the more magical!) that takes place in cooking. It seems a wise woman thing to do. This is also a word about balancing perceived injustices we witness in our youths. Most of us have them. My mom or dad did this and I’ll never (or often) do that!
Yet what we find is a subtlety in existence. It is not always clear cut.
Because with the flick of my wrist in stirring and the tap of my pointer finger in adding a spice… In the acuity of my eye in picking a vegetable from my garden or smelling a product at the market before I buy… I am taking part in a magical act. Indeed, we put parts of ourselves into our creations
And this brings me no small elation.
Perhaps, my mother cooking for us, the way she always has, the way women nearly always have, is them putting themselves into us, filling us with their love for us… And that is what makes us grow, along with the literal food. (And i am happy to take part in that with/for my loved ones.)
In fact, I am now coming round again to see what a blessed act the preparation of food can be. Putting a bit of my energy to transform materials to sustain your and my bodies.
Ah, full circle.
Come over for dinner sometime.
Yet, please, do the dishes 😜hahahah ☀️