There is something completely therapeutic about working in the kitchen. I really don't understand people who don't love to cook, as it's something completely ingrained in me. I have a photo (see below) in my current kitchen of me as a child, helping my mother in our kitchen (at the aforementioned Pottersville house), and it makes me smile whenever I see it, that even then I loved this thing. I was thinking of this today, as I spent a couple hours making my dinner. It was a new recipe, and I don't think it'll be a repeat, but I was smiling to myself at how I was enjoying it.
It's a sensory thing, for one: the sizzle and hiss--smell, sound, feel--of onions hitting the hot cast iron, the way they turn a new color as they're stirred; the way my chef's knife organizes the disorder of spinach leaves into uniform strips of green; the way flour and butter thicken milk to a bubbling gravy. These are simple things, and I love them for it. I love that, given enough time in my kitchen, all other stress can pass from my head. I love trying new things, learning new things, and the feel of success and accomplishment when it turns out. (I don't really mind when it doesn't--so long as it's edible, which it generally is.)
I joke with people that I am a not-so-secret fifties housewife, minus the husband. I love nothing more than cooking for other people--one person or a crowd. A friend identified it as a love language, and I had to agree--it's a way I demonstrate love, compassion, hospitality. And don't get me wrong, there are days when I don't feel like cooking, but in general, it's something I look forward to, even--especially--after a crazy day.
This same friend and I were laughing the other day at the idea of either of us settling down with a man who only ate pizza and hamburgers. A marriage with such a man would never work--he would starve in my kitchen. I don't try to nail down particulars with God about the man He has for me, but one thing has to be certain: he's an adventurous (and enthusiastic) eater--or he'll learn to be with me.
(Incidentally, that's Mewie--also mentioned in yesterday's slice--in the bottom right. A cat is a necessary kitchen companion...)