Cooking is a series of messes
The collection of ingredients spread across the counter; the mound of measuring cups, stirring utensils, and tasting spoons; the mass of food scraps that results from a recipe from scratch; and oh the amount of dishes to clean after.
In the creation of these various messes, wholeness emerges. The journey from a pantry hodge-podge becomes (ideally) a nourishing meal. This transformation, this wonderful conversion in the kitchen, doesn’t just mean a nourished belly at meal time. For me it usually means a nourished soul as well.
There's something about the chopping, stirring and sizzling helps to slow down my racing mind. It’s almost like the kitchen is the one place where the multi-tasking makes sense and a recipe can guide you from start to finish in a way that most endeavors can’t or won’t flow during a typically work day.
The Alchemy of It
It’s clearly not just the preparation, but the sharing that feels like it’s recharging my batteries: the sharing of the prep activities with my husband, the dear friend that is joining us for a meal, the leftovers that I give to my brother. Each kitchen mess has the potential for renewal of my mind and deepening of my relationships. If that’s not some sort of alchemy, I don’t know what is.