Working in the kitchen, making love

The following was originally part of a comment on Zoe’s LJ post about food.

I was working in the kitchen today, slaving over a hot stove and a cutting board and hoping my improvised recipe would delight and nourish and it occurred to me that all the time I spend every week, not just cooking, but also thinking about it, shopping for it, studying cookbooks and recipes on index cards and online, and all this time and effort and energy… It isn’t wasted. It never felt wasted, but it occurred to me today that spending an hour or more a day, most days of the week, cooking for my family is one of the most valuable things I contribute. Not (just) because cooking real food reduces costs, but because it adds value.

Whether because of the failing economy or because I’m failing to market myself effectively, I’m not bringing a lot of financial reward into the household right now. Yet when I’m able to put a good meal in front of my wife after she’s had a long day at work, I know there are more important rewards in life to invest yourself in, and that I’m a success in the areas that matter to me most.

My mom taught me -she tried to teach me- how to make her spaghetti sauce. If I’m able to remain a househusband, if I’m able to continue investing myself in showing my love through food, maybe in another couple of years … Maybe I’ll have the skill required to share what made her sauce so special, in making a sauce that my family will associate with love, happiness, family… We’re Italian, it’s all in the sauce, right?

Gluttony and Finch

I am easily swayed by food. Like, even when I’m not hungry OR bored, or even being advertised to intentionally, the idea of food gets into my head and is immediately attached to desire. Easily accepted desire in most cases. It occurred to me that it might be easier for me in quite a few ways to just grow fat into the clothes I already have. I wouldn’t have to think about what I eat or about buying new clothes, and after a while, I wouldn’t have to worry about feeling like I’m swimming in the clothes I do have.

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Midnight Snack

I feel like I must have something to say. Every time I try to think of something to put here, the only things I can think of are passing distractions; the new REM album or the movies I watched this weekend or the number of lunches I had today. Nothing of value. Nothing with substance. Someone remarked to me recently that I “don’t know how to have a conversation that isn’t serious.” I said something like “I never understood small talk” and went back to talking about what was on my heart and mind. I think they just sighed and tried to pay attention.

Is that what you are doing now? Sighing, trying to pay attention as I type miles of text about my own trivial experiences? I thought at first that the idea of an audience would just encourage me to write, but I think now it scares me. Some of the people who know that they can find me here… I don’t know… I just feel like I can’t be myself when they’re around. I have no way of knowing whether they’re around, either.

Look, if you don’t really care, why are you still reading? Is this some form of rubbernecking? Are you hoping to see a glimpse of someone else’s pain, and willing to wade through everything else I spew out? If you do care, why did you let them remove the nearby Taco Bell?

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