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Is your cooking an expression of love or do you just like to cook? - Reposted from Home Cooking

  • j

I always hear about cooking as a way of showing love and care for friends and family and I think I am somehow selfish and lacking because I primarily cook because I obsess about food and ingredients. I'll make a special dessert or dinner that my husband or daughter loves once in a while but much, much more often I cook something because I found incredible apples or beautiful lemons or glistening fish. Or because I feel like getting my hands into dough. Or just because I like how the house smells when beef is braising.

Then last night I was reading Marlena De Blasi's book A Thousand Days in Venice and she says, "For me, food is far beyond the metaphors for love and sentiment and 'communication.' I do not demonstrate affection with food. Less noble that that, I cook because I love to cook, because I love to eat, and if someone is near who also loves to eat, all the better."

So, thankfully I realize I am not the only one. And I wonder if other home cooks cook for love of people or cook for love of cooking?

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  1. Love to cook and it is a creative outlet too

    2 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        Same for me - love to cook and experiment.

      2. I love to cook for the woman that I love. Most weekends I make Sunday breakfeast and dinner. I love to experiment with food. (And because she loves that I cook, she always tells me its delicious!)

        1 Reply
        1. re: RichK

          lol, i wish my man would cook for me... he does not cook, not even a scrambled egg. but as you like to cook for the woman you love, i love to cook for the man i love. so to answer the OP's question, which makes one think, i would have to say both cooking is an expression of love through the love of cooking. i absolutely love to have dinner parties for no reason other than gathering together people i care about to wine and dine and be merry. the simple pleasures of life...

        2. Junie, When my mother passed away, the only item I requested from the family estate was her cast iron frying pan. Everytime I use that pan, I answer both your questions.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Leper

            Now that brings a tear :(
            My Mom just died and I treasure her cast iron and old recipe books.

            1. re: Leper

              So true- I have my grandmothers cast iron pans, and also the big yellow bowl she used to make her wonderful bread pudding. Every time I use them, I think of her and the wonderful things we used to cook together when I was a kid.

              1. re: Leper

                And don't forget aprons. I have a bunch from my grandmother.

                1. re: Leper

                  I have a set of colanders that were my grandmother's and an old pine cutting board charred on one edge that was my great grandmother's that I use every night as well as a bread knife she brought from the old country (Scotland). I often think of the countless times these simple objects have been handled through the years; to me they are more precious than the Crown Derby china that was also theirs...

                2. It has more to do with your "love language" I think, or how you most easily express yourself. I express love most easily by "doing" things for people. Also, I love to cook, so often I express my love by cooking.
                  My 2 cents

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Spencer

                    Ditto-- a delicious Sunday dinner is easier for me than telling everyone how I feel about them.

                    Even when I am cooking for myself, it is an act of love. I grew up eating the horrible cooking of one parent, and both my parents were very heavy, as was I until my mid-teens. It took a long time to see cooking and eating as an enjoyable and health-affirming activity, one by which I could literally and figuratively nourish myself. It's a creative outlet, too, and I enjoy the process, but for me the whole point is the nourishment the end result gives.

                    glutenfreegirl.com has a great post from yesterday (9/27) about this same topic. She says it much better than I ever could.

                  2. That's a good question. I love to cook, the same as some people like to play golf, garden or clean house; the reason is only because the end product is going to be enjoyed by somebody else. I was just thinking about it the other day, as my uncle is very sick (terminal), and memories of my Italian grandmother popped up; if you stopped by any time day or night, she would pull out 10 or 15 different things to eat, even though she lived by herself! You can't feel more welcome than that. It was like her saying "I was hoping you'd stop by". And I'm obsessive like that, even though we don't have a lot of drop in guests anymore. I could make a 20 course meal right now if I had to, and it makes me happy.