Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

An Epiphany

Here’s a question that I’ve been tossing around in my head for awhile.

Does my love for food, for all things related to it…the taste, the texture, the utter marvel of food…

…the writing and the constant talking about it…

…the constant thinking of its loveliness…

…most especially the eating of it…

…does that make me a cook?

The most ironic thing is that I never really cooked.  I love eating, that goes without saying.

But I never really cooked.

Never had an interest in cooking, especially when I was younger.

Obviously something changed along the way. 

Nothing earth-shattering.  No moment of clarity that I can just point to and say, man, this chicken is slamming!  I gotta cook me one of these!

Rather, I think it’s been a gradual process.

Kinda like fine wine.  Or brining a chicken or a turkey overnight or so.

Uh, not that I’m saying that I’m a chicken or turkey.

Anyhoo.

But that’s the question I’ve been pondering in the back of my mind.

Until I discovered the answers to my question when I went to the library one recent day.

I love Mireille.  I’ve read all her books, and just finished this one.  Her writing is easy to read, keeps your attention and really relatable. 

My long-suffering question was finally answered when I got to the last section in the book called Cuisiner Dans La Cuisine or Cooking in the Kitchen.

Here is where she lists her many observations of cooking, among which are these three:

*  “Cooking is reading from a recipe in a cookbook or on the Internet, thus absorption and learning.”

*  “Cooking is time; like writing, it demands that impalpable seasoning.  It takes time, but then time is something we can control.  It is an investment, a brilliant use of time to feed and nurture ourselves and those we care about.”

*  “Cooking is a contemplative experience reaching and probing deep in our thoughts and emotions.”

Wow.

An epiphany.

Hi, my name is Sally and I’m a cook.

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