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The real joy of cooking. April 27, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: , ,

Silence Dogood here. I was re-reading the introduction to one of my favorite cookbooks, Laurel’s Kitchen, when I came upon a wonderful quote that I’d completely forgotten about. I think anyone who loves to cook and finds cooking a peaceful, centering activity will enjoy it, too. It was written by Brother Lawrence, who lived in the 1600s:

“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”

Wow. If I were trying to cook in the midst of chaos, far from possessing God, I’d most likely start throwing things at the perpetrators, and probably not the things they were calling for. But in the quiet of the sunny kitchen, or with music playing, preparing food can focus and settle me. It’s a lovely experience that sometimes does approach the sacramental.

            ‘Til next time,




1. Lzyjo - April 27, 2009

Falling down the well. This happens to me when I am quilting. I’m so concentrated absorbed in the work that time just flies. The odd thing about time is, it seems like it’s standing still when it’s really going faster. It’s kind of like domestic zazen!

Wow, lzyjo! I love quilts and have tried quilting, but though I’m great at colors and patterns, my stitching is so pathetic it would make an Amish two-year-old ashamed. That’s why I like simple knitting—like running your hands down prayer beads, the soothing, mindless repetition frees your mind and soul. I’d love to see your quilts! Would you consider posting them at Worms and Flowers?

2. Gail - April 27, 2009

I always wanted to have a “one with the universe” experience while cooking! But I don’t…digging a new bed and planting flowers is when I feel completely one with an activity. Mirabel Osler said it best~~”There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.” I would add to that…’and I wouldn’t notice you unless you tapped me on the shoulder”! gail

Ha! Gardening is definitely right up there, Gail!

3. Victoria - April 27, 2009

I enjoy cooking. There’s something about a recipe coming out really well that is satisfying.
But not when you’re cooking for a living if our cooks at work are an example. They can be very cranky and they’re only cooking salads and entrees for the deli.

Ha! I know what you mean, Victoria! Professional chefs are notorious for their foul and even legendary tempers. I think it must come from being trapped in windowless rooms around sharp knives and hot stoves!

4. Jen - April 27, 2009

I think I need to print this out and post it at the altar of my kitchen sink. A good thing to read even at those early morning pre-coffee frozen waffle heating moments! Oh wait – coffee IS the blessed sacrament.

Ha!!!! Actually, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone do this in calligraphy? I can just see it!

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