We have ventured into the month of dietary austerity. How I am going to go a month without a regular dose of Miss Vickey’s jalapeno chips, I do not know. There is this person on my shoulder as I write this (kind of looks like Humpty Dumpty) saying…”Glenn, don’t…do…this. You…need...me….”
But this month is not just about cutting back. It’s also about trying some different foods with an eye on nutrition. This is a very good plan, although I don’t recall signing up anywhere for this vegan thing. I’m sorry to all vegans out there, but there’s a fine line between nutrition and insanity. I mean, no cheese? Truly, are you mad?
Fortunately for our family, Sarah’s a great cook. Unfortunately, I am not. Actually, I don’t know if I’m a good cook because I just don’t. I have never understood the attraction. Cooking is too much of a process, and process to me infers monotony. Going through the motions with a whole lot of filthy dishes at the end. Doing work just to create more work. Oh, good.
I have often thought back to my views on cooking. Trying to ascertain what has hard-wired me so. I have harkened back to my Newfoundland upbringing before, and perhaps there is enlightenment to be had here. I think I have it.
There is this quote that I’m sure is found in 90% of Newfie kitchens…
I have seen this more times than I’d like to admit. And each and every time I have found my skin crawling. It’s one of those things where you can’t put your finger on it precisely, but feel deep down that something’s very wrong. To suggest that longevity of relationships is tied directly to ones cooking is well, frankly, freaking weird. Perhaps, just perhaps, I’d seen this one too many times and now I have some Freudian aversion thing going on with the whole cooking thing. Could you blame me?
But then, as I pondered this for this post, it hit me. This is not some pathology as it may seem the first 100 times you view it. There is a deeper meaning to this. That cooking is not about the cooking at all. People don’t enjoy cooking. They enjoy what it represents. Many see cooking as an artistic endeavor, and it is the creation that matters as opposed to the process. And for others, as in Newfoundland, cooking is viewed as family, and as an opportunity to care for those that you love. It’s a very social thing.
And almost religious. When I first told my mother that I had become a vegetarian, she reacted as if she’d lost a child. In fact, I would’ve received a warmer reaction if I’d told her that I just had a sex-change operation, or had taken up Satanism or even worse, Buddhism. This just goes to show the importance of the whole cooking and food thing there. And probably explains why I make a point of veering clear of any room with pots and pans.
But seriously, just maybe there is a lesson here that has been waiting for me. While you’ll never see this unsettling quote anywhere near our kitchen, maybe, just maybe, this month you’ll see me there. If not creating works of art, at least contributing to our family well being.
Then again, pigs may fly.