There are so many reasons to cook. Your reasons may be different than my reasons. But my reasons are mine. I was reminded of why I cook this past weekend.
First, I don’t cook for the food. Let me repeat: I don’t cook for the food. There are no photos of food in this post and that’s purposeful. I certainly love celebrating the fruit of my labors, the prize after hours of chopping and stirring. I also find the photographing of my dishes quite rewarding, even if I still have so many more hours to photograph before I excel at this very special art. But food is really just my medium.
“The Medium is the Message” – something I learned as a journalism student back at Boston University. I am passionate about food and do cook to explore that passion. And perhaps, all these blog posts suggests that “passion for food” is my message. I suppose on some level it is. Passion for food is contagious. I caught it years ago from old friends, new friends and fellow bloggers. But that’s not my reason for cooking. Okay, well, maybe it’s a teeny reason.
I do, however, have a big reason. The big reason I cook is to connect with friends, family and strangers. I cook to foster relationships with people all over the world. From the people I meet online, to the folks who were at my house this past Saturday night, I cook to foster a sense of community, bring people together, and experience something meaningful during those small rare moments when we’re not working or shopping or just getting on with life. Some people travel to feel connected, I cook. It works.
I had a lovely group of people to the house on Saturday. We shucked oysters together. We popped open several bottles of wine together. We laughed and joked while I assembled the next three courses and then we plated everything together. We opened more wine together while starting a fire. We had several helpings of my own personal secret dessert weapon, all together. We had a fine time and one guest remarked, in his mother tongue, about how his people would say the angels were shining down on this particular moment.
I don’t know about the angels, but I know each of my guests shined that night.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.