Friday, March 2, 2007

A Passion for Food and Friends- Revealing a Secret

Something important occurred to me today- one of those lightbulbs going off in cartoon form over the top of my head- I figured out something about food and life. Now, I'll reveal this secret to you.
I have always loved to cook. I mean REALLY loved to cook. I would take hours to make the perfect petit four or wrap dozens of scallops with bacon. For a local chocolate fest fundraiser last year I painted the ends of two hundred toothpicks with silver and crimson nailpolish, then dunked the wet polish in prismatic/holographic glitter. After they dried I used the non-colored end to pierce a chocolate truffle; dunked it in more dark chocolate and served them on a tiered glass display. They were plated alongside chocolate bowls that were filled with chocolate mousse and topped with chocolate curls. Yes, I know, chocolatechocolatechocolate... They were fussy and time consuming and difficult to make. But, I loved it. They were a feast for the senses. They were beautiful and unusual and aromatic and luscious. The coated stem-like toothpicks were rough to the touch but the truffles....oh my goodness. They melted on your tongue; enrobing it in a dark, silky, chocolate-velvet dream.
I used to say: at a dinner party or catering event when a room full of friends tasted the food...the room went quiet...then there was a ripple effect~they would all start to make that yummy noise. You know the soft, primal, eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head, crescendo of mmmmmm. It was that noise that made it all worthwhile. It still does. But somewhere in a book I was reading, I read a sentence that equated cooking with passion. Now, this passion can go two ways for me. It can go toward the 'Mother Earth nourishing the world, it's my calling to feed and nurture the spirit of those I touch, maternal, I offer you everything that is me in this dish in this moment' way. OR it can go toward the Like Water For Chocolate movie style direction...the heartracing, pulsing, yearning, gastronomically orgasmic direction.
The eating of food for me is satisfying. The making of food for me is in an entirely different stratosphere- it is one of my purposes for being, a reason for my existence. I can make something for you from a place in me that I can reach only through the pure joy of loving life. It is a physical embodiment of the word Namaste. I understand its meaning to be: I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells,
I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light and of Peace,
When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.

We are all connected. We are all of one energy. From one source we all originated and to that one source we all shall return. Whatever label you give to that universal energy source~ from it comes peace and love and hope and joy and abundance.
My passion for cooking comes from the purest essence of who I am honoring and celebrating the purest essence of who you are. My hands and my heart draw forth the flavors and sensations from the foods I combine to create something magical that gives to your soul and tastebuds a pleasure that can only be described as rapture, as bliss. That is where my intentions begin and end. To share this delicious moment with those who choose to walk with me. I cook.

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