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Does cooking make you happy?

The most excellent Jackp has been out of town for three weeks and will return tomorrow. Since he's the person who began my transformation into a Chowhound, I want to be sure he has some delicious food awaiting him on his arrival.

As I was zipping around the kitchen, browning some short ribs and opening a bottle of wine to add to the vegetable melange for tomorrow's stew, I began to think about how happy I am when I cook, and particularly when I'm cooking with Jackp. Ye gods, I was singing "Our Love Is Here To Stay" while slicing mushrooms.

Admittedly, I am enamoured of Jackp, even after 26+ years of marriage, but I am also very happy when I cook. I would presume other Chowhounds feel the same way, except that recently, while reading "Mindless Eating," I read that many cooks do so out of a sense of competition.

So, Chowhounds - does cooking make you as happy as it makes me? I certainly would not want to do it for a living (ye gods, that would make it a job, not something I do from choice), but cooking for and with someone you love is one of the joys of my life.

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  1. Yes. There is something about the way that a judicious application of knife skills and high heat transforms things that is almost magical to me.

    1. everything about cooking makes me happy, trying new recipes, tweaking old standbys, reading food journals, when we travel the food we taste is a big memory marker, and after a hard day at the office cooking is like meditation for me. but if I cook for a living I think it would change my feelings toward it.

      1. It is my job and I still love it... I avoided cooking professionally for many years because I thought it would spoil the fun, however, the reality is completely opposite! I have so much fun creating new things in my kitchen, at home and at work!

        1 Reply
        1. re: harryharry

          You are an incredibly lucky person!

        2. Cooking makes me very happy. Baking makes me happier.

          Baking bread has been a part of my weekly routine for 30 years. I dabbled for one year as a private party caterer and "breakfast in bed" service operator and every moment of that experience made me happy.

          Nothing brings a bigger smile to my face then watching my 17 year old bake bread from scratch with the bowl my great grandmother gave me.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            That reminds me of something my sister mentioned not long ago: her son, after taking the required high school domestic science course, came into the kitchen one evening while she was working on dinner. He looked at what she was doing and said, "Oh, you're making a roux." She said that she nearly started crying - her son understood the basics of sauces!

            1. re: jillp

              jillp, what a great story! I can relate.
              It's a big bonus when what makes us happy also makes our kids happy.

          2. Reading the first part of your post, I was thinking that Jackp makes you happy and cooking has nothing to do with it -- just a coincidence because you're cooking for Jackp. Then, I thought, by the time she's 25 or 30 that will wear off too. Then, I slowed a bit because I thought, no one in their 20s knows My Love is Here to Stay, but when I hit the part about "26 years of marriage," my reading skidded to a screaching halt. So, I had to reconsider the question. Yes, I love to cook. I find it very relaxing. Sadly, I'm very bad at it, which my husband gently reminds me of on a regular basis....

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bite Me

              Bite_Me, I had the same reaction to the OP.

              and true love in my house, means eating the food I so happily made . . . with a smile. AND finding something to compliment ;-)

              (fortunately cooking doesn't make me happy every day)