I believe that, although we may have a difficult time saying the words “I love you” to the people we care about, we demonstrate our feelings by our actions. When we care, we want to give our best to someone and we each express that a little differently.
For me, my best is often expressed in my kitchen. Cooking is something I’ve always enjoyed and it’s what I am good at doing. When I make a meal for you, it means I care about you. It means that I took the time out of my busy day to stop and reflect on what you would like to eat and then search for just the right recipe to use to make it. After that, I lovingly make my grocery list and go to the store or to the farmer’s market for the best ingredients I can find, all the while looking forward to coming home to prepare the dish.
Once I get home, the real fun begins. Cooking is fun for me, but who said that giving your best can’t also be a little fun? I love to take the time to make things from scratch – no mixes in my house! While I chop vegetables, simmer sauces for what feels like hours, and dirty up tons of dishes, I’m having the time of my life. My thoughts wander in and out of the present. Sometimes I just enjoy my senses as I smell the aromas, taste things along the way, feel the knife in my hand, hear the pleasant chop, chop, chop, of the cutting board and enjoy the beauty of transforming raw ingredients into a perfect dish. Other times I get lost in the past and think about the other times I’ve made the dish – who I made it for, where I was living and what the occasion was. Then my mind will wander to the future – anticipating the delight I hope you will have when you taste the dish I made for you.
So, when I cook something for you, here are all the things you can’t hear me saying: I gave you time out of my day to think about what you would like and to do something nice for you. I made you food from scratch because I want you to have the best and the best does not come from a box. I made you food with pure, raw ingredients because I care about your health and the chemicals that you put into your body. And yes, you are someone very special to me and I love you.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.