Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Cook Well is to Honor Life - Vote for me

To Cook Well Is to Honor Life
by Othaniel S Cruickshank

To eat and savor a well prepared meal is to honor your life, by living it to the fullest. Good food represents nourishment and many other things as well. It symbolizes sensuality, spirituality, love, open – mindedness, comfort, acceptance, adventure, passion, and even political positions. Deliciously prepared food is as customary as the sun rising and setting.

My fondest memories involve deliciously prepared food. I remember as a child going to Auntie Esther’s house for family events and my mouth watering as I entered her home. The smell of cloves, thyme, lemon marinades, black pepper, and garlic permeated the air, floating outdoors, and beckoning myself, neighbors and strangers to hurry inside. The crackling of fried beef, fish, chicken promising a satisfying meal, laughs, salacious gossip and a good time for all. The kitchen being the center of the home where younger members paid their dues by prepping and washing endless pots and pans while learning. Tastings from the simmering pots being extensions of love doled out ceremoniously also temptations to be snuck and gobbled up secretly. Even the drinks were explosions of flavor, extensions of our meal. A hint of vanilla was added to the Rum Punch, and everyone was excited about Cremmase; the thick, sweet, texture of milk and rum delicious coated our tongues and burned our throats. In my family, prepared meals represents ones worth ethic therefore something to be passionate about.

My families’ inherent passion for prepared meals was a part of our character and lifestyle. My father is a former carnivore, turned vegan environmentalist interested in eating clean before it became fashionable. My dad decided to become vegan while my mom was pregnant with me. As with many parents wanting the best for their kids, he obsessed about my brothers and I ate. My immediate families’ diet was legendary among extended family and friends. My father voted at the cash register and boycotted the abundance of artificially processed food and unpronounceable preservatives; baked our whole wheat bread from scratch, made dough for our pizza, switched us to soy milk, whipped up delicious salad, created salad dressings with herb infused olive oil, juiced all of our juices, and introduced my brothers and I to the taste of fresh delicious food. He taught us how to honor our bodies.

My association with food reflecting love and comfort matured into something different as an adult. Since I’d been introduced to two completely different and wonderful ways of eating, my curiosity took over. I discovered my love for different foods by adventurously trying West African, Indian, Philippine, Thai, Turkish, Mexican, Italian, etc and other foods culturally foreign to me. One of my favorite things to do with my ex – finances family was to lovingly share a meal. The resident family chef would cook a delicious meal and tantalizingly arrange it on 2 or 3 large platters which up to 8 people could feast upon. The closeness and intimacy made me feel accepted and welcomed into his family. When he and I cooked and eventually shared a meal, it transcended intimacy and became sensual, deepening our love. Food that is prepared well and enjoyed symbolizes a full life

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