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Meaning-of-cooking-26-12-07

Page history last edited by milnewstbay@yahoo.ca 12 years, 5 months ago

On holidays, cooking for groups and making bread

26 Dec 07

 

I don't know yet exactly why these topics are coming together in my mind, but they are.

 

This holiday season, I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with my best friend and his sweetie.

 

Part of that time was spent "cooking" with them, during a bread making lesson and a pasta making lesson. He's always been a quick study, so by now, he's probably doing far better than I am, but it felt good working at the counter together, shooting the shit and trading tips (he's a Martha Stewart fan, and I'm not because she looks too mechanical in her perfection without any pleasure in the execution). We chatted about food, about taking care of the women in our lives, of times past in the military and at my parents' table.

 

My sweetie and I also managed to serve up some (what we think were) damned fine meals: lobster & shrimp sauteed with oil, garlic and a bit of red pepper flake; angel hair pasta in meat broth (both homemade from scratch); cinnamon buns (with the cinnamon ground from its bark stage in a heavy granite mortar and pestle); a zabaglione where the recipe called for WAY too much Marsala wine; pork pate made from a family-passed-down recipe; homemade bread (made by me, my bud and the best friend of my late mum).

 

Even though there were two guests, my sweetie and I busted our butts to have a quality experience ready. True, a lot of the stress is self-imposed because we try to outdo ourselves with every meal. Still,it was good work,and we loved the results.

 

Lately, since taking my bread making class, I've been a bit drawn to making bread more and more. I know it's all chemistry and biology, but it's still almost miraculous bringing together four ingredients (flour, yeast, water, salt) to make a great loaf of bread.

 

Maybe I'm looking for some simplicity in a life where my work often makes me wonder if there are any "firm truths" some days.

 

Maybe I'm enjoying sharing,in a sense, bits of me by sharing what I put my heart and effort into (bread presented to colleagues at work as Xmas gifts went over pretty well).

 

Maybe it's a bit of genetics, where my folks' love of showering guests with some of whatever the best in the house happened to be at the moment. I felt a twinge of this when a friend dropped by, and when her mom came to pick her up, she, too, ended up staying a bit to enjoy home baking, garlic bread toasted on the gas grill and stories of my parents' generosity at the table.

 

Maybe that's the common denominator - sharing your history, sharing your passion, sharing time and experiences. In a time when we seek the meaning of life, maybe that's a good part of it.


 

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