Something strange has been happening to me lately. I am no longer watching the news (boring anyway). I am losing my interest in sports. The teams I support seem to always be losing anyway. I hardly read. I am no longer interested in literature, philosophy, science, etc. I am no longer stimulated by debate. It seems as if all I desire to do these days is to watch shows on cooking. The idea of pursuing an education in the culinary arts is becoming an attractive one these days. Just imagine. Master Chef Ric Couchman. Damn! I like the sound of that. Okay, Ric, enough with the day-dreaming. Stay with your day job, and continue with your intellectual and other pursuits...including cooking. Just don't give up all the rest for the latter.
There is, though, something extremely special about the process of cooking. It is liberating; it leads to a discovery of the self. It is an exploration, requiring discipline and focus; it cultivates those aspects as well. It also plumbs the depths of one's creativity. But most important is that it is selfless. It's ultimate goal is the pleasure and satisfaction of others. Oh...and by the way, someone once told me that cooks (good cooks, that is) make the best lovers. Now, as an amateur cook (see my handiwork in the accompanying photograph), I won't argue with that, but then again that is not for me to conclude, flattering as it might appear. But I can see how that might so, especially in the care and tenderness with which they interact with and handle food and their ingredients.
[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]