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?