I love to cook. It's not something I grew up doing. My mom got a little stressed out while in the kitchen, so there aren't many fond memories of standing by her elbow or licking the spoon. Usually I stayed away while she worried over whatever she was making not being perfect or not looking like it did in the cookbook. She was a good person, but a wee bit of a perfectionist.
However, I married a man who enjoys cooking and even more than that, he supports me in the things I try to do. I learned to cook when I moved out and married him. Now we have turf wars in the kitchen..husband and wife sparring over who gets the spatula. ;) (In a good-natured way, of course. :) )
This morning I was dicing onions and celery for potato salad and macaroni salad. (In honor of the spring weather, we're grilling and I had a taste for those side dishes of my childhood.) It was so incredibly relaxing to be slicing and dicing while potatoes and macaroni were bubbling away on the stove. It felt right and good.
I enjoy cooking things "from scratch". I get such a huge sense of accomplishment from these "homey" tasks. Gathering the ingredients, chopping, measuring, stirring..creating. The time it takes doesn't bother me, neither do the bowls (although the Husband is very helpful with the dishes too...he's a good guy.). I enjoy the prep work of the meal because I like to see how the pieces fit together to combine a dish.
Our whole life is prep work isn't it? We prepare for the steps we're taking (usually) and even if we don't prepare for a specific step, we are constantly growing toward a future, making choices and learning how to cope with whatever the outcome of our choices and the choices of others might be.
Our faith, our families and our friends, they're the ingredients that make our lives so delicious. Sometimes we might not like the way the dish turns out, but we get to choose how we react to it...do we keep eating the same pasty, flavorless dish, do we spit it out and refuse to take one more bite, or do we tweak our recipe and give it another shot? I believe that we have to tweak the recipe, because maybe the little tweak (and a lot of faith) is all we need.
For the record..I have given birth to world's most finicky children so I tweak my recipes...A LOT!