Making food for Charlie, my wife, is an act of several pleasures.
One, I can’t think of many other services more sensual than cooking for another person. Perhaps rubbing her feet or washing her hair can compete.
Two, preparing food, by nature, is a meditative task. I cannot do many things at once when a knife is at my hand. I cannot spaz into a whirl of multitasking when I have a burner on high and the oven at 450 degrees. I must be there. Present. Awake.
Three, it heaves me into a state of total autonomy. I get to choose what goes into this recipe. And, I get to do it with a flavor of my own creativity.
And lastly, it’s a chance to try things without high stakes. If I burn the cauliflower or undercook the pasta, my life isn’t over. Nobody will charge in with their chin up and condemn me in the kitchen. I suppose this is my way of redeeming my childhood when crayons and colored pencils were tools I could use without the fear of being critiqued. Those crayons and colored pencils were replaced with scantrons and test scores at some point. From there on out, school felt like one long existence under gun point; an environment where the pressure to succeed was unrelenting.
Interestingly this posture bleeds into adult life too.
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