Saturday, November 8, 2008


Day 39 - Photo 39. I like to cook. I always have. My favorite television programs are the cooking shows. And while I don't usually care for Emeril Lagasse's dishes, I love his enthusiasm for cooking and sharing food. And besides, if you put enough butter and garlic in or on something, even an old boot will taste good.

When I was a kid, I walked into my grandmother's kitchen and asked her what she was making. She asked me if I wanted to learn. I said yes. And she set me to work stirring Polenta. Ever since that day, I've been cooking. Granted my wife does the vast majority of cooking in our home. Thank you! Day in, day out, she comes up with the menus, does the shopping, preps for the meal, cooks the meal and then I pretend to do the dishes. But, I like to cook.

There are a few basic things to remember when you're cooking that will help you be successful. Open a bottle of wine and drink some, then repeat. Don't be stingy with the garlic. A little red flake pepper "kicks it up a notch." And perhaps most importantly, have a hungry dog at your feet to clean up the food you drop or spill. A good hound will eat anything.

Seriously though, some of my best memories growing up come out of the kitchen and from the food we've shared. Sharing food with family and friends seems to heal those tiny fractures that can creep into a relationship. Someone once told me that it's hard to be mad at other people after you've "broken bread." Food can be erotic and sexy, it can be spiritual and emotional.

Photographing food takes real talent. I've always admire the really great "food photographers." Like any other genre or discipline of photography, it works its magic on us. And it doesn't even really matter what kind of food is shown. When I see a finely crafted photo displaying an epicurean delight, for a moment I am transported. And if for only an instant, I'm a 10-year-old kid stirring a pot of Polenta in my grandmother's kitchen. And I know we're going to have a great time and a great meal.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it involves my family, both the one into which I was born and the one I have chosen, and the communal preparation of a great meal. I like the time we spend together making Thanksgiving dinner more than the actual feast; like breaking bread, making bread seems to have the power of unification.