"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cooking as life saver

I went to see Julie and Julia with my dear friend Emily on Sunday (it was the perfect date!) and it was really a charming movie. I read the book, which I thought was decent, but the movie was really lovely and brought things to life. Meryl Strep did such a great job. I think seeing it on the big screen made it easier to get the parallel stories of the two women's lives. And it made me hungry. But I think the thing I liked best about it was watching these two women find meaning and peace in their lives through food. Things weren't always easy or pleasant for them, and things didn't always go their way. They had obstacles and challenges. But through it all, they knew that they could just go into the kitchen, whip some ingredients together, and get pleasing results, and that constancy was a comfort for them, just as it's a comfort for me.

Lately my life has seemed rather volatile and unsettled, and like maybe it's not moving in the right direction, and like maybe it's not quite right. And during this time I've discovered what a sanctuary my kitchen can provide. Working in there, usually with Jeremy by my side, I find peace and truly do feel content. I feel like I am doing something right. I find it fulfilling to know that I can coax something delicious and nourishing out of ingredients that started out as one thing and ended up as another. And that if you fuck something up, it's okay, you can either fix it or start over and it's not hard and it's not the end of the world. The physical transformations that happen when you cook also transform something in you while you do it. Cooking and baking bring me calm and give me perspective.

I know this sounds new age-y, but I genuinely do mean it. Cooking lately has been of utmost importance to me, and I have nothing but love and respect for others who feel the same way. Thank you, Julia, thank you, Jose Andres, thank you, Mark Bittman--you've taught me to love it through your love. Can't think of anything better to love!