If you love to cook, then you intuitively understand the joy of cooking. Perhaps you don’t have the words for it, but you find it deeply satisfying. Those who enjoy a well-prepared meal, but think of cooking as something of a chore, are almost always somewhat mystified why some people derive so much satisfaction from cooking.
While cooking is a necessity of life unless you default by eating out most of the time, deriving satisfaction from cooking as an art form is something of an acquired taste. When you’ve come to the point of thinking that cooking is an art form, you’ll enjoy the whole process from soup to nuts. You don’t think of it as a chore; instead, you relish it as something of an adventure.
A Journey of Discovery
If you love to cook, you probably enjoy trying out new dishes. If for instance, you’re planning on a dessert for a special occasion or just as a family treat, the last thing you’ll want to do is go to the store and buy a prepackaged meal that you just need to heat up.
Instead, you’ll probably go through your recipe books in quest of an interesting idea. If everything there looks a little too familiar, then you might do a Google search for an interesting dessert or call a friend who shares your interests. Once you find something that sparks your imagination, the next step in your happy adventure is to go to the store. If the dish is highly specialized, you may even go to several stores to find exactly what you need. If you don’t find what you’re looking for at your regular supermarket, then you’re open to taking the time to browse through specialty stores.
The reason you might be this particular about getting the right stuff is that you’re on a quest for the freshest ingredients. Even when it comes to a simple ingredient like sugar, you’d rather buy pure cane sugar rather than the regular stuff. You’ve learned through past experience that the fresher the ingredients, the more fulfilling the final experience.
Back home in your kitchen, you may carefully scrutinize your recipe once again–just to make sure that you understand all the quantities and just to double check that you grasp all necessary steps that you need to follow. Finally, when you have a clear vision of what to do and in what order to do it, you’ll carefully measure, mix, and cook the dessert.
For a passionate cook, everything counts: finding the best recipe for the occasion, shopping for the freshest ingredients, and carefully following the recipe. Moreover, you find the experience of cooking as engaging as a landscape artist drinking in the panoramic view in front of a canvas. You enjoy the fragrance of the spices, the crackling skillet, and the sight of a perfectly baked meal coming out of the oven.
While the journey of discovery explains many aspects of why some people consider cooking an art form, it’s not the whole story. There is also the social aspect of cooking. Cooking is a personal and intimate thing that you can do for the people you love. It’s all about dishing out the creativity conjured by your own hands, providing nourishment and a sense of well-being to others.
In fact, this feeling of connection and bonding is so strong that it’s incidental that you follow a recipe. While it’s wonderful to come up with your own unique combination of flavors, the art of cooking is actually not about originality. It’s more accurate to describe cooking as the creative act of planning, preparing, and performing. A magician doesn’t have to invent new card tricks to relish the art of sleight-of-hand wizardry; the perfect execution of the trick and the amazed expression of onlookers is satisfaction enough.
In conclusion, cooking well, for yourself or others, is a way to celebrate the senses and a way to express love. A dish conjured with creativity stirred with joy and served with loving-kindness, appeals to something primal within us all. Like a Walt Whitman poem, there is something abundant, generous, and life-affirming about a homemade meal. It’s one of the most ancient, natural ways to delight others with your creative expression.