For the Joy and Love of Cooking
A Hobbit Life for Me
There is not much I can say about being adventurous. I am very much like a hobbit, cozy at home with a good meal, book or company, and something to smoke.
I keep to myself most of the time. Especially now that I have a kid.
The people I loved left me behind. I filled the void with food.
Not binge eating but fine eating. Down-home goodness was not what I was looking for.
While in college, I would try to recreate the dishes my mom made—they never turned out right.
I thought too much about the steps and getting everything right. A lot of times, I got it wrong.
But fine dining? It's all about the steps, the order of the preparation.
It was a routine; a dance.
I could follow the steps. I could cook. I could take instructions.
What I could not do was feel.
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There is a certain joy that comes with enjoying what you are preparing, even experiencing, when it comes to food.
Many times, when cooking during this period, there was a fear of failing. I didn’t want to continue to fail at yet another thing.
Fine dining and eating took the place of this failure. You could create and enjoy whatever you want in someone else's kitchen.
In my mind, a hobbit life is all about the joy of eating and preparing food (among other things). I was becoming more of a Gollum, consumed by that I hold most dear.
I don’t know when the shift happened, but I started to feel again in my kitchen. My hobbit life welcoming me back with open arms.
I cooked old recipes that turned out to be better than expected. There were failures too but they were few and far between. I began to trust myself and what I was doing—actually believing in my ability to cook a dish with joy and love of the process, not just the finished product.
This past month and a half of recipe testing has reminded me of the joy and love of the process.
From baking bread for the first time to finally nailing risotto to making meatballs with the family—the joy and love was around at every turn.
I want to continue that feeling, so I think I will.
Starting in October, I will be selecting a cookbook to review and prepare three recipes. I will follow the recipe exactly and explain what worked, what didn’t, and what I would do differently.
This will be for paid subscribers because groceries aren’t cheap.
I will be giving membership giveaways, so stay tuned for that.
As the days grow hotter and we get older, remember to tune into joy and love.