Updated: May 20
Written by: Noah Safer Published: May 13th, 2022
Lesson 13: Cook!
I can’t say I’m completely certain on what a love language is and what that means, but if I have one, it most definitely involves food. Everything from the growing, the buying of ingredients, the cooking, the serving, the dinner-hosting, the eating; every single aspect that food brings is one of enjoyment, community, and contentedness.
I want you to think about some meals you’ve had recently. Now narrow these meals down into some different categories. Think about the last meal you had in a restaurant. Now the last home-cooked meal you had with your friends or family. Now the last meal you yourself cooked. Now of course, all these meals share a commonality of food and drink, but what’s more, is that where there is food, there is community. People don’t always go out to eat for food, they go out to eat to share a memorable experience with people they love. People don’t cook food for a family dinner because they have to eat, they cook because they care for the people they cook for and want nothing but the best food for them. Food is not simply what humanity needs to survive, it is what makes humanity thrive.
I fell in love with cooking and with food because of my family. When I was a young kid and I was upset for whatever reason, my dad’s first response was nearly always, “Can I make you something to eat?” Those years ago, I didn’t quite understand why this was his first reaction, but looking back at it now, I understand. My family communicates and loves through food. Cooking a meal for someone, from scratch with your own two hands, is one of the purest forms of care that there is. Because you created something, something that didn’t exist before, and you created it for someone else to enjoy. That’s love. That’s why I turned to cooking many years ago as a new hobby. Besides wanting to be able to know how to make all the meals that were once cooked for me, I wanted to pay it forward. I found great happiness in seeing someone I care about clean their plate of a meal that I made. It gave me a remarkable sense of accomplishment, and above all, made someone else happy.
There’s a therapeutic aspect to cooking for oneself or for others that I feel isn’t discussed enough. The excitement of finding a new style of cooking to try, the trips to the market and getting ingredients you love to use; the preparation is always thrilling. And never underestimate the aromatherapy that cooking can bring, either. I haven’t found many things as gratifying as trying out a new technique in the kitchen and it results in something delicious. I was able to immerse myself completely whenever I got my mind set on an idea, and if you have just the slightest passion for incredible food, you can do the same.
I’m by no means an expert in the kitchen or even close to it, but I want everyone to experience the feeling of achievement that a perfectly cooked meal brings. Everyone should be able to cook a simple meal for themselves, because if cooking for others is a form of love, who should you love more than yourself?