I love home cooking. I love to cook it, I love to eat it and I love to hang around the kitchen talking to people who do the cooking.
The kitchen used to be the heart of the home. It was the heart of the house because it was where the fire resided and warmth came crawling to all the other parts of the house, and it was the heart of the home because that is where love was poured into big pots and the best conversations, the ones you can't have in the living room, happened.
I have to admit, I don’t really like sophisticated food, and I try to avoid restaurants if I can, so you might say I am biased and not objective, but when it comes to food I know a thing or three, and even being a vegetarian for the last nine years, I am still what some of you might consider a 'foodie'.
But Home cooked meals are not about the quality of the food. There are no trends there, not too much gastronomical exploration or fancy silverware involved, and yet, they are the meals that count most, that make your life worth living.
Home cooking is more psychological than anything else, and a mediocre meal prepared with care and love is better than the perfect meal from a cold calculated chef. I know I might sound sticky and sickeningly romantic but I do believe love is something you can taste. It is part of the experience.
I used to love family dinners when I was small, and then like everyone else hated the idea of it when I was growing up and started having a life of my own. I will take the stage here to thank my parents for forcing me to come to Friday dinners, making faces, dragging my feet, looking at the watch to see when I can go out with my friends.
I thank them for making this a habit, a non-disputable tradition, and I intend to do the same with my children if they ever come to existence.
When food started being just another commodity, just another thing that can be bought and sold on a whim and comfortably available twenty four hours a day by anyone, we lost an important component of who we are as a family, as a social group, as an ethnic group, and that, as most signs of the dooming globalization dictated by the international corporations is just sad.
Now, you might call me a male chauvinistic pig, but I find the fact there are very few women between the age of twenty and fifty who can actually cook, disturbing. Why only women you ask? Because I am a male, and knowing males I expect very little of them, while women I hold in very high esteem and know they have the power of unity, of love, of making a house into a home.
Nowadays, women see cooking as an insult to their modern new being as they go and fulfill themselves in meaningless corporate jobs, but with all due respect, in the last twenty years I have had three successful careers, usually holding two or more full time jobs at the same time and still managed to cook home meals for my family and friends at least once a week.
Because I like it, and I made it a priority in my life, knowing the benefit it brings to me and everyone around me.
The answer I usually get when I ask a person if they can cooks is "why do I need to cook?" which is even sadder then the fact they don’t know how. You don’t need to cook to survive. You don’t need to love to survive.
Thinking of the next generation, It horrifies me seeing young people ordering food by phone on a Friday night, smiling to themselves as it is 'just like mama used to do' and it reminds them of home…