I have read so many stories where characters somehow infuse their cooking with magic; be it a spell for love, to forget, for protection or prosperity. When I was much younger, I read Like Water for Chocolate (in Spanish no less, for a class I was taking) and I was spellbound by how the emotions of the one who prepared the food were reflected in those who consumed it. Now I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that my own cooking has similar effects, but it did make me aware of my own intentions when I am stirring and chopping, baking and grilling.
Cooking is hard work and for many people a chore to check off the daily list, much like laundry or scrubbing toilets. And while those other tasks are important to the overall functioning of the household, they do not nourish and comfort in the way that cooking can. For me, cooking is a way to love people, make them happy, satisfied, or even completely blissed out. Nothing pleases me more than serving a meal to appreciative eaters. On the flip side, nothing irritates me more than those who are ungrateful for all the work and thought I put into planning a meal (just ask my kids!).
Grandma was right, chicken soup really is good for the soul, both for those who prepare it and those who eat it. Cooking food for others who are in need, is one of my very favorite things to do. Setting a positive intention before preparing a meal, and during the process, helps me to focus on my friends and hopefully when they eat the food, they will feel the good "vibes" I've sent their way.
Today I am cooking for a dear friend, who is recovering from surgery, and his lovely wife and children who are caring for him. It is my hope and prayer that he recovers quickly and that my meal will help to restore peace and comfort to their home this night, or at least ease their burdens.
On the menu will be a Penne with 5 Cheeses (inspired by a Barefoot Contessa recipe) that is like gourmet macaroni and cheese, Caesar Salad and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with sea salt (my attempt at recreating the most delicious Kayak Cookies from Cape Cod).
I will post recipes later.