I get this all the time. “Oh great, Robin is coming over for dinner. She can be the cook.” What’s up with that? Does that ever happen to you? There was a time when I was beginning to feel a little unhappy about this role that always seemed to fall on me. Now, I think I have a better understanding and am honored to be the person chosen. Being asked to cook might feel like a burden, but if you check your perspective, it is also a gift to the friend or family member doing the asking. Consider this.
Many people are not comfortable cooking. Sadly, cooking is becoming a lost art in our fast paced society, and many people simply are not comfortable in that role. Even so, if we want to eat healthy, that means someone needs to cook. I can remember when I was younger, trying to cook meals for friends who were coming over or even holiday meals, with limited kitchen skills. It was stressful! If I get asked to help cook, I should be honored that someone actually thinks I know how to cook well enough to prepare the feast. I should be especially honored if the person doing the asking is younger than me, and I can help them learn a few skills that they will need to prepare healthy food for their family.
Cooking together helps others learn new ways to prepare healthy foods. As the queen of the veggies, I often get chosen to cook them. We have tons of different veggies around our place, so when we get invited to dinner, we also bring a nice bag of fresh veggies. Most people know the value of eating fresh veggies and want to have them for dinner, only they assume I might be better at preparing them. After all, I am the veggie queen! They probably are right since we do eat LOTS of veggies and I have LOTS of practice at cooking them in different ways. If my attitude is right, then I should understand that by helping others learn to be comfortable with preparing a wide variety of veggies for dinner, I am indirectly giving them the gift of health and life. What an honor.
Working together in the kitchen is a great social time. I am by nature an introvert. Sitting around chatting is not my best skill. It is different in the kitchen though. Working together slicing, dicing, roasting, and sautéing is a great environment to connect with people you care about. There is something about the slight distraction and busy hands of food preparation that makes the conversation flow. People have done this for thousands of years. The act of food preparation has almost always been a time to talk and enjoy the company of people you care about. What a great thing. The next time I feel a little grumpy about being asked to cook, I should consider that hanging out in the kitchen chopping veggies provides a much better venue for getting to know people and having meaningful conversation, than sitting across from each other on the couch.
Cooking for someone is an act of love. Sometimes it is easy to forget this. To serve someone beautiful food that tastes great and nourishes their body is one of the best ways to love someone. I often think the author of the 5 Love Languages book should have included food. I’m pretty sure it is my husband’s main love language. Not just him though. When my children or brother’s families come to visit, the first thing I want to do is consider what foods they will really love and be sure that I have it in the kitchen ready to whip up! It is one of the ways I show them I love them. The problem is that sometimes food preparation can be a bit thankless. Sometimes I may view it as an act of love, however, the recipient may just view it as dinner. Even so, if my attitude is right, I will remember what it really is. It is a way to care about someone. That is the biggest reason why being asked to cook is an honor and I’m happy to do it.
Eat your veggies,