Today’s reflection is brought to us by Rose Kurtz, our Guest Services Manager at the Center. Rose often helps guests, group coordinators and presenters with their needs when they’re at the Center. She also assists with questions and payments over the phone before their arrival. Rose looks forward to welcoming you back soon!
Bake, Cook & Eat for Wellness
I have a book called “Words of Wisdom for Women” by Rachel Snyder. I often use this book to pick out reflections for the start of our weekly meetings at the Center. I sometimes bring the book with me to the meeting, in case someone forgets to bring their reflection or prayer too. Today I was looking through the book to see what jumped out to me during the Pandemic. The words that jumped out to me are bake, cook and eat. I have been doing a lot of all three during this time! I would like to share these three words with you.
Bake bread the old-fashioned way. Bake muffins crammed full of blueberries. Bake exotic cakes with unpronounceable names and multicolored frostings. Bake tortillas, flatbreads, scones, cookies, biscotti. Make little people out of dough and bake them into life. Make them elves, hobbits, gremlins with vests and boots and long beards and braids, and hang them on trees or walls or shelves. Bake because it smells like the very best kitchen you ever remember, because it feels good to have flour on your hands and vanilla on your fingers. Bake because you want to lick the whole bowl yourself without asking anyone’s permission.
Boil, bake, stir, stew, simmer, roast, reduce. Cook for your friends, for your family, for the widow down the hall. Cook for yourself. Fill the air with garlic, with onion, with jalapeno, lemongrass, basil, miso, mustard. Cook savory, cook sweet, cook sour. Cook in the early morning on a hot summer day. Cook primitive over a fire, cook gourmet on an overpriced stove. Measure, don’t measure. Cook because it’s art, because it’s creative, because it’s life. Cook to Mozart, to McCartney, to Gabrielle Roth. Cook what your grandmother cooked and what she never would. Now and then, forget about fat-free, sugar-free, cholesterol-free and cook 100 percent, unadulterated guild free.
Break bread together, share meals together, feast and potluck and dine and wine together! Cover the table with your salads and your pastas, your tricolored casseroles, herb muffins, homemade chili, watermelon, grapes and ice creams and yogurts. Feed each other big, drippy spoonfuls of lasagna, kimchee, fried chicken, borscht. Handfuls of key lime pie, rugelach just like your grandmother made, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, anything drizzled in chocolate. Taste everything together and say Mmmmmmm and Aaahh and Ohhh and lick your fingers. Eat as much as you want—or as little—and know that there will always be somebody who really, truly, more that anything else, wants to do the dishes.
These words speak to me. I love to bake, but during these times it has been a little hard to share with my co-workers that are working from home. My neighbors have been benefiting from my baking these days. I have been cooking more since we cannot go to the restaurant down the street. It has been fun trying out new recipes and pulling out the old ones, too. We all need to eat and I look forward to the day that I can share a meal with my family and friends.