What If You Don’t Like to Cook?

Dec 7, 2008 by

As every child is born with a longing to sing, to act, to create art, to participate in all good and human things, I believe every person is born with the capacity not only to enjoy cooking but also to make delicious food.

Every young child can enjoy playing in the mud, throwing a ball, running, swinging, drawing, hearing stories. As we grow older, we tend to become narrow in what we enjoy. If we aren’t the best at it, we tend to stop doing it. Why are we so exclusive about life’s good pleasures?

If you don’t like cooking, I’ll bet you were robbed of that joy through influences, ideas formed, unpleasant associations, experiences, failures.

Maybe your mom complained about having to cook. Maybe you tried to cook and burned it, and your brother laughed. Maybe you feel alone and haven’t been affirmed for your efforts. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and stuck. You long to cook something wonderful for your family but your kids reject your experiments.

What I want to pass on to all children is enjoyment of all good things—as many as we can introduce them to. What we reject or embrace is contagious.

Things can change, improve, even if little by little. Your thinking can change. Your children can change. Your results can improve, day by day. Success builds on success.

Last night, my 18-year-old boy was wolfing down a dish of tofu, red peppers, mushrooms, bean sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, and peanuts,* “This is so good,” he said. I was blessed. And it really wasn’t hard.

Cooking delicious, nutritious food wins your child over to a good thing. It’s your gift to her. It’s an integral part of nurturing and relating to our children. It’s part of saying yes to as many good things in life as possible.

Enjoying the process yourself plants yet more seeds in your child’s life for loving the good.

But if none of that inspires you, think about it this way: we have to make dinner anyway; we might as well make the best of it.

“Food and cooking are among the richest subjects in the world . . . Food is not just some fuel we need to get us going toward higher things. Cooking is not a drudgery we put up with in order to get the fuel delivered. Rather, each is a heart’s astonishment. Both stop us dead in our tracks with wonder. Even more, they sit us down evening after evening, and in the company that forms around our dinner tables, they actually create our humanity. . . . [Food is] a sacrament, a real presence of the gorgeous mystery of our being.”

— Robert Farrar Capon in The Supper of the Lamb

*recipe found on this blog under Recipes and Other Shortcuts to Becoming the Cook You Want To Be

Sacred Appetite / Anna Migeon December 3, 2008 All Rights Reserved

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