Cooking is communal

Published August 8, 2011 by livinggraciously

Saturday Ferrett and I stumbled across the Medina farmer’s market. At the end of the fair, I took a picture of our chosen pictures. My purchases are on the left, Ferrett’s purchases are on the right:

It kind of sums up our food styles, doesn’t it?

It’s not that Ferrett won’t ever eat vegetables–he’s gotten much better about it. But there are a limited number of veggies he’s gotten adapted to, and no fresh fruit. And I don’t think there will ever come a time when fruits and veggies are his go-to choices.

It also points to one of the problems I have getting motivated with things like gardening and cooking.  Ferrett can’t stand peppers, and I love them. He doesn’t care for fish, and I adore it. He eats no fresh fruit (except smoothies) and few vegetables.  I’ve toyed with planting a garden, but here’s the problem. I want to plant:

Bell peppers
Snow Peas

Of those, Ferrett will eat:

Snow Peas

We have a tiny yard and don’t have room for corn or onions–honestly, we really don’t have room for all the items I have on the list. And it’s hard to get excited about working on a garden that’s pretty much just for myself.

I have the same problem with cooking. Ferrett often encourages me to cook things with bell peppers and other ingredients that he doesn’t like, saying that he will just make himself something else. But when I cook, I want to cook for people and not just for me. It takes all the fun out of cooking a meal if I’m going to sit here eating it myself while he fries up a hamburger patty and calls it good.

Because for me the very act of cooking is about sharing a part of myself. Even if it is only half an hour of my time, it’s still an act that connects me to the very concept of family. Cooking only for myself and letting others fend for themselves isn’t just selfishness, it’s an act of isolation. I feel like I’m just on a parallel path with Ferrett and not a circle of community. So when I cook for us, I put aside the dishes that contain things he doesn’t like, even though it can be frustrating at times. Because my higher priority is in sharing.

My girls are coming to town next weekend, and while they are here I will cook for them. I will make the favorite family dishes that all contain lots of bell peppers. Because that is a circle of sharing that they and I experience only rarely these days. For that long weekend, Ferrett will be on his own in the kitchen. It still makes me a little sad, because I’d rather he liked the foods that say “home” and “comfort” to my daughters and me, but I’m grateful that he encourages us to enjoy those special meals and special times together.


2 comments on “Cooking is communal

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