Isn’t it nice when you get a break in life that you weren’t even expecting, no matter how big or small a smile comes to your face?
Such a thing happened to me today.
In the grand scheme of things this would be a petite break. One, however, upon reflection I have learned something from.
I love to cook for other people. I do not like to cook if it is only going to be. Why? I’m not really sure but it has always been this way. Yesterday I suggested to my roommate that I make her French Toast (a favorite of hers) since she didn’t have to work as a start to her relaxing day. She of course accepted happily and it was decided. She went back to watching television and I started to think of what was in the house that I could use to make the toast itself a bit unique or to flavor the syrup. I went to bed deciding on regular cinnamon flavored toast with strawberry and orange flavored syrup.
When I woke up in the morning I could smell warm potatoes and wondered what was going on. My friend being the wonderful person that she is had gotten up and decided to surprise me with breakfast. No she would not be making French Toast but eggs, hash brown patties and toast but a meal none the less. I have to tell you the food was delish and I was happy to not have to cook or clean (yippie) the dishes that come with cooking.
It was only afterward that I realized I was annoyed with her. I could not for the life of me figure out why. I was angry with myself for being upset with her for doing a nice thing. I had to sit and think for quite a while to come up with the following;
I cook for people because I care about them. Food is my chosen way to express comfort, attention, and warmth to those around me. It also gives me attention. When I make a meal for someone with them particularly in mind it doesn’t matter if I think thyme would go in the dish – if they don’t enjoy the flavor I’m not going to put it in there, and things like that may not be noticed by anyone but me – but that’s a shot of love in there. I realized I don’t cook much for me alone because there is no social component and thus no fun in creating/taking the time to make a wonderfully put together meal that no one else is going to share with me.
So I was annoyed because basically when it comes to food I’m selfish. I wasn’t able to garner all the glory that day in my special way, and I wasn’t able to take the coward’s way of showing love with a well composed dish.
I wonder how many other cooks out there use their food as a way to say I love you, with out having to actually say the words?
I know words don’t taste as good as French Toast, but I think in more ways that matter they feed us more than we often take the time to think about.