I love cooking. Just last night we were enjoying the company of some friends we've made over the last year (another momentous thing), and I began to tie cooking in with morality. Honestly I think about it now and see that were I of this ilk, the topic could easily have fit into one of those horrible "spiritual but not religious" type conversations. I could write a book, the way some people do about stuff like the spiritual connection they feel to the earth when they go running barefoot. Not sure, though. Many of my cooking tricks are, "Well, if it don't taste right, just throw butter-fat-salt-sugar-cheese-meat in it." Really that's just one trick, I guess. I'm convinced there is such a preparation combining all the above ingredients which would make even hard tack excel, and once I discover it, restauranteurs will beg, and all the monies shall be mine. Until that day comes, I shall have to rely upon my book sales, which is unfortunate, because I feel that most of the people who might be inclined to read a spiritual chefery odyssey would be more, "If your aura-salad is a bit dim, try adding some leaf-bean-nut-fruit-wasabi-smiles in it." Not really the same crowd.
But what I said was that cooking teaches me a kind of patience. I am extremely slothful, and sloth is impatient. One of the things that surprises me when I'm cooking is that, right in the midst of truly enjoying it, there are times during the process that I think: "You know, I really would rather be doing something else." The surprising thing is that this thought is not true. It's not even really a thought, but an impulse that has temporarily seduced my reason, which sends the impulse a lovely arrangement of English words. I of course don't stop cooking, but it's difficult for a few minutes, maybe more than a few minutes. But from thinking about that, I could connect it to all kinds of other things: thoughts that aren't thoughts, just importunate desires that trick me into willing them.
If anyone is interested, for New Year's Eve, I made a nice minestrone, caramelized bacon (mostly burned, but I managed to salvage a few pieces), spicy mustard gruyere bread batons and spicy pumpkin cupcakes with maple icing. None of that would have happened if I'd just run off and did that whatever-it-was.