Before I took the position at the churches I’m currently serving and before I knew that there would be a manse involved, we talked about moving from our 350 sq. ft. into a bigger place. We looked at apartments and houses for rent online and we always said one thing:
It needs to have a big(ger) kitchen.
As luck would have it, we didn’t get that. Somehow the kitchen in our house – that is much too large for us after having lived together in 350 sq. ft. for a year – has roughly the same size kitchen. Yes, there is a double sink and more counter space – and a lot more cupboard space, thankfully – but the actually footage of the kitchen is about the same.
And it has the smallest “full size” refrigerator I’ve ever seen. It’s an apartment refrigerator, which is barely enough space for two people if they ever stock up on anything. I don’t think that a full turkey would fit in the freezer. I know that a turkey breast take up almost half the usable space. I know because the last time I bought meat to stock up, I ended up taking the breast out and smoking it because I no longer had room to store it in the freezer.
I think I may have mentioned this before, but it just came into my head again. Nora asked be a while ago what would happen when we moved into a place with a bigger kitchen. Would I rename the blog? Would I finally just give up on blogging?
Sadly, that is no longer a concern, at least for the short-term. It is still my tiny kitchen where I pretend to cook.
The other thing my tiny little kitchen doesn’t have is a dishwasher. Well, aside from the two adults who live in this house. The two adults who hate doing dishes. Which means it gets a little unsightly after a while. Then one of us breaks down and does most of them. Then the other finishes them the next day. And then the cycle repeats.
Our biggest problem with the dishes is that we love to cook, and I mean full meals cook. The joke about people, when they are trying to be fancy cooks, dirty way more dishes than necessary, it true in our house, only that we don’t try to cook fancy stuff. We just cook, and cook a lot.
Which brings me to a point. Despite all the struggles and all the reasons not to, we still cook. We still do the thing that makes us happy, and makes our mouths happy. Cooking is a noble thing, a glorious thing, a way to show hospitality to those who are in your life regularly and those who come into your life occasionally. When I come home and Nora has made something so I can just sit down and relax and not have to worry about cooking, or when I’ve spent my day off cooking something complex and delicious so we can have a great meal without spending money on having something else cook it, we show each other hospitality even though we also live with each other.
I was asked recently by a parishioner if I did a lot of cooking and I just started talking about cooking, and as I was talking, I realized that there is a part of me that enjoys it much more than my other pursuits (woodworking, writing, gardening, etc). There is something unique about food and feeding the body and crafting the ridiculously available ingredients we have into something wonderful.
Most people will tell you that you should pick up their past time. Guitar players will tell you to buy an acoustic guitar, woodworkers will tell you buy a saw, gardeners will tell you to buy some seeds.
I’m going to tell you to provide food for someone using your hands. Grow it, cook it, something that you can put love into that nourishes the body. Because that is what I enjoy most about cooking: other people being fed.
As an aside, I think I’m going to try to bake bread today. If so, look for that post; if not, harass me on Twitter that I didn’t.