The Art of Meditational Cooking
This is part 2/6 Food Family of my The Art of Meditational Cooking series. I will publish a new part every week of my personal discovery and creational journey of what I first saw as a means to an end (cooking) but later evolved into my personal meditational practice.
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Beginnings
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Food Family
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Art of Cooking
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Meditational Roots
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Food is Information
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Rediscovering History
The Social Effects of Cooking
In retrospective, the cooking events I had with my mother were also one of the few intimate bonding experiences I shared with her. All the while she was supervising my cooking attempts and teaching me a trick or two.
I was looking for a way to bond also with my father, especially as I didn’t see him that often because of his job. He being in a different country during weekdays didn’t make this desire any easier to fulfil. My father was never a great cook. Not for a lack of talent but rather a lack of interest in the subject. He could make something to eat and it tasted good but his skills were limited. That isn’t a bad thing, just a fact. He has various talents and excels in many other things (two decades later also in the art of cooking).
What he did, though, as probably most dads, was handling the BBQ. When it was BBQ season again I realised that this was the moment to try to bond while gaining more cooking skills. When my father was doing the BBQs I simply tagged along, watched, asked questions and learned. Once I felt comfortable enough handling the food and the heat, I started to slowly take over the grill: Turning around steaks and sausages, starting the fire and fighting the fire when the flames felt like taking over. Only a few years later it wasn’t my dad teaching me but the other way around. I became Head of BBQ and have been ever since. Even after moving out, whenever we have a BBQ and I’m around, it’s me who’s in charge.
This part of growing up still feels weird. Taking over and surpassing the teacher in skills is how it’s meant to be but doing so at such a young age and with so much conviction still inflicts a multitude of sensations and emotions. To this day I am both proud of and humbled by this experience.
The Food Family
I didn’t realise it back then but I cherished those moments a lot. Food has always been an important part of our family’s life. We might not have gone to fancy vacation places or other family trips much, if at all. What my parents did instead was teaching me and my brother that there is more to life than holidays.
Every Saturday evening we had a great dinner. It was always something special both the event and the food. We had dishes like cheese fondue, hot pot, BBQ, homemade hamburgers, raclette and so on. My mother made plenty of things here from scratch, including mayonnaise. This was something that fascinated me. To see how easy and fast something store bought can be made at home. On top of that, it was also much tastier and way more flexible. This is probably one of the reasons why I’m so curious about making various things from scratch too.
Sunday’s we had usually a very typical German lunch, or a big BBQ or even a dining out session. Especially dining out was something most people didn’t do where we lived and this is still reflected in my life. I love dining out as much as cooking.
A Feeling of Community
This weekly routine definitely made me appreciate food in a way that my peers didn’t. To this day, preparing food and eating it is something that gives me a feeling of community. Even when I am alone and cooking for myself. I always carry this spirit around. The best part of this is that you can taste it.
It’s something special to me, no matter how cheap or costly the meal. The simple act of getting together around a table, sharing food and having a good time is such an important part of my life and one of the most visible ways I show I care about someone.
What my parents also taught me and I carry around to this day is not only the feeling of community in terms of coming together as a family but a feeling of friendship. So often I or my brother had friends at our place over the weekends and they never complained about them partaking in those rather expensive meals. It was actually the contrary: sharing what we had was the most natural and obvious thing for them. I carry on this tradition and love to share my food.
As I was evolving my cooking skills, the hobby slowly transformed into something more and became a passion. I tried several things, worked on the handicraft and kept getting better and better. One of the more challenging things appeared when I started to cook for more than four people.
Continue with part three of the story here: The Art of Meditational Cooking – Art of Cooking