Cooking as an Act of Love

Recipes are coming down the line on Almost Farmgirl.  I thought I would let you know why…

I never thought I’d be the sort of person who cooks.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, back in college, I could microwave an INSANE cup of Ramen, but something about cooking, actually cooking, rubbed me the wrong way. 

It just seemed so domestic…boring…and inevitably followed by dishes.  In my parents house, which was without a dishwasher until the mid-2000s, dishes were usually the responsibility of the cook, and I hated dishes, so I avoided cooking.

I didn’t cook, and I didn’t think much about not cooking.

When Jeremiah and I announced our engagement-I was 23 and just a year out of graduate school-my “cooking” began to become a topic of conversation.  It was assumed by some that Jeremiah was in need of a good, down-home woman to feed him.  (I guess.)  I was confused, because prior to that he had managed to feed himself just fine, and moreover, the notion that “domestic roles” would automatically belong to me grated against my deeply-held, egalitarian and feminist beliefs.

I heard a constant run of comments about it as we planned our wedding.   Some asked Jeremiah if I was a good cook.  Others commented on his thin frame and promised that my cooking “would fatten him up.”  Many asked whether or not I was any good in the kitchen.

The commentary and questioning actually made me want to cook less.  I hated being told to cook, as though it was my job.

(This is why, for the first few months of our marriage, we mostly ate spaghetti or frozen pizza, which my lovely husband had an equal part in preparing.)

But then, one day, probably over that week’s third pot of spaghetti, I had an epiphany: I realized we were going to eat whatever food we made, and it might as damn well be good.  (I realize that this probably seems really obvious to most of you, but to me it was kind of a big realization.)  Suddenly, cooking wasn’t about a role that people thought I should fill.  It wasn’t about feminism.  It wasn’t about all the generations that women worked to get out of the kitchen.

It was about the fact that everybody has to freaking eat and that tasty food was better than freezer burnt food.

So, I started cooking.

And, guys, here’s where the surprise came in.

I liked it.

I mean, “like-liked” it.  If it were a boy in grade school, I would have checked yes.  That’s what I’m saying.

do you like me

So, the girl who refused to cook became a devotee of Rachael Ray and an obsessive Pinterest(er).  It was fun.  And creative.  (And my husband did a lot of the dishes…because he’s evolved, and also sometimes because I said so.)

Somewhere in the meantime, it changed again.  I began to cook not only because we had to eat, but because I loved it, and-more and more-because it was a way to show love.  I cooked for family, and friends, and especially my husband, as a way to say I love you.  “Here.  This tastes good.  You will like it.  I love you.”

That’s what it is for me now: Cooking is an Act of Love.

All of this to say, I’ve been thinking for a while about including recipes here on Almost Farmgirl, along with all of the regular critter stories and farm updates.  Partly, that’s because I spend a lot of my time out here cooking, meal planning, and generally thinking about food.  Partly, it’s because cooking is one more creative outlet for me.  And, partly, it’s because cooking is an act of love, and love should be shared.

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Cooking as an Act of Love

  1. I wish I enjoyed cooking but I do not. I have become a good cook over the years, and I am a darned good baker, but I don’t enjoy the task of planning and making meals. If I ever came into a LOT of money, I would hire a cook! 😀

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  2. Thanks for sharing this. Cooking has been a longtime source of contention — I’ve never learned to love-love it, & I’m afraid I never will. But I do believe you’re right about it being an act of love, so maybe I ought to put a bit more effort into that… 💛

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    1. I think we all have our “love languages.” For me, it’s cooking. For the husband, it’s making sure that my tires get replaced before they go bald. For my mother-in-law, sometimes it’s helping me clean the house up before a party without being asked. For my mom, it’s taking my dogs for a couple of days so I can get away from the farm.

      To each their own.

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