Thursday, February 8, 2007

Hungry, harmonic, happy, huggable

How cathartic is it to cook! After a day of downs, all it takes to elevate the mood is a chopping block and fresh ingredients. The preparation of food for the sustenance of friends or family is, when you get down to it, a remarkable honor and privilege. Yes, I know, at times when we are harried by jobs, schedules, and the assorted curve balls life tends to throw our way, cooking and meal preparation seem like just another chore - time most of us never seem to have. At those times, my previous comment seems romantic and oversimplified. But there are those other times, when we realize that the food we are making will provide joy to someone else, comfort to the ill, or a portrait of plenty when spread on a banquet. It is at these times that we realize why we cook - it is, at its basest level, a true labor of love. If you still don't believe me, look at all the holiday family get-togethers you've ever been to - if there is an overabundance of food, chances are it was lovingly prepared by someone there for the express purpose of sharing it with others they care for.

Or perhaps you have been the recipient of a bowl of chicken noodle when you were sure that nothing in the world would ever taste good again. Preparation of comfort food is the theme for tonight's culinary adventure. Lasagna and homemade chicken noodle for a friend who had her gallbladder removed today. The hope is it allows her a little extra time for recuperation - not thinking about feeding her husband and two rambunctious little boys!

Anything worth doing has a soundtrack. That said, I personally do my best cooking when alone, accompanied only by strains of classical music. I love the stimulation of a melodic line complete with counterpart, fugued continuously, each repetition a more complex, deeper interpretation of the previous one. Currently listening to a Horn Concerto by Mozart. Nothing beats a galloping French horn!

Another source of joy in my kitchen is flowers. Especially during the winter (for reasons previously discussed in this blog) the fresh smiling face of a daisy can do wonders for one's mood, not to mention serving as a reminder that there is a positive side to the thermometer! Look at this face! Can you not help but smile back?!

My "shadow" in the kitchen, taking over the roll of a Swiffer WetJet is Beatrice, canine maintenance engineer. Upon hearing that she is going to be a regular feature of this missive, Ms. Beez posed for her official portrait. Evidently, the right is her better side, judging by her predisposition towards mugging in that direction.

By identifying and cataloging the things that make us happy, I think we give ourselves the key to unlocking even the sourest of moods. It doesn't matter the size, the silliness, or the seriousness of our day-brightener. It just matters that we acknowledge it, and allow it to work its magic on us. Imagine: funny looking little dogs wearing leis, cooking coq au vin and baking pavlova...the world's looking better already! :)

1 comment:

Amanda said...

She is too darn cute:)Great photos. The only way I can get my dogs to take that good of pictures is while they are sleepy and relaxed while making the 5 hour drive home...which we will be making again tonight.
See you this weekend.
Again, your most favoritest cousin,