The aroma of salt, olive oil, and garlic still lingers on my fingertips from this afternoon’s satisfying lunch of spaghetti Aglio e Olio, a hempseed laden garden kale salad, and thickly sliced sweet potato wedges straight from the oven. I have written before of how cooking is a delightfully sensory experience, and today I must say so again. I feel the need to cook, just as I feel the need to write. Even if I am following another cook’s recipe, the process is part of what I enjoy the most about being in the kitchen. I feel so grounded as I toss radiant wedges of sweet potato with olive oil and salt in one of my favorite bowls, chipped on the side. I use the same bowl and the same leftover oil to begin a massaged kale salad with plucked leaves from our own kitchen garden. The salty oil softens my hands and somehow smells and feels like the beach. I press my palm into a garlic clove to pop off the skin — why bother with a knife this time? In the same pot that I’ve just cooked my spaghetti in, I turn the stove off for a moment and use the remaining heat to warm the oil and garlic slowly, adding a pinch of chili flakes, some briny capers, and eventually some coarsely chopped bits of broccoli from our garden. Everything comes together at once, and we’re at the table with a beautiful spread. It is the strength and the gentleness in cooking that seems poetic to me — the love and feeling behind each meal we make for one another — our hands working in beautiful ways, touching the stuff of the earth.
Enjoy your day — cook something simple for yourself or a loved one — enjoy the process.