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Why I Cook

(post, Becca Deysach)

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I cook to feel the cycle of life in my hands.  I cook to taste the earth and to become it. I cook to step into the kitchen, drape my handmade, lovemade apron over my neck, turn on some sultry music, and pour myself a glass of wine.  I cook when I have time, stretches of it, to use as inspiration. I cook with an open notebook on the counter. 

I cook to connect with my past, to smell the onions my dad sautéed in our giant stew pot before adding celery and carrots, to see him standing behind the stove in his white boxer shorts and tight white undershirt, no matter what the season. I cook to feel my mom behind me, teaching me to measure liquids at the meniscus line, to scrape the measuring cup with the back of a butter knife to get a precise cup of flour.

I cook with the memory of the kitchen I grew up in, the overstocked pantry, the refrigerator full of surprising meats and the Velveeta cheese I once loved. I cook with a craving for the trailer I lived in in Bozeman, Montana, for its endless views of mountain and sky.

I cook to connect with the present, with my solitude, and with the people I am feeding.

I cook for love–to give it and receive it. I cook to show off my flare with yeasty doughs, flakey crusts, and creamy ganache. I cook to peel garlic, to feel its potency in the palm of my hand and carry it in my fingertips all evening long. I cook to fill my lover’s belly with warm corn tortillas, spicy refried beans, thin slices of roasted red and yellow peppers, and guacamole packed with lime and jalapeno.

I cook for color, to make reds and greens and oranges even brighter than when they emerged from the ground.  I cook for the satisfaction of eating something that began as a seed, that was once a part of a flower. I cook to build a body out of the land I stand on.

I cook to taste, to touch, to see, to slow.  To be.