Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cooking as Community

"...once upon a time, before every home had its own kitchen in which Mom labored more or less alone, cooking was itself a social activity, one that fostered community and conversation around the chopping board or cook fire long before the meal was served." Michael Pollan, in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.

A few months ago a few friends, my husband, and I got together and cooked a meal, intending to do it on a more or less regular basis. Predictably, most of the cooking was done by the women, with most of the men deciding the high road was to stay out of the way. The menu was ambitious for a group who were not accustomed to chopping, simmering and working in cooperation with one another. But the results were delicious and everyone enjoyed the meal and the experience.

When we tried to schedule another one, it never worked out. Life just got in the way.

Kitchens these days are being designed with huge islands where guests and family could, if they chose to, have a glass of wine and help with (or at least watch) the food preparation. In many cases, they remain empty as we call out for pizza or eat fast food more evenings than not.

What would it take to bring back that community, that shared food experience that used to be so common? And would life be more fulfilling if we did?

Why not plan to gather some friends and some ingredients and make and share a meal? And let me know if you like it. It's a beginning...

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