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Why I cook – or, Lunch: sweet potato wedges, kale salad, and spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

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.

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One thought on “Why I cook – or, Lunch: sweet potato wedges, kale salad, and spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

  1. Great post. I could feel the lingering flavor of garlic salt and olive oil in my mouth just by reading it… It’s very difficult to describe sensory feelings of food. Well done! BTW Aglio e olio is my n. 1 favorite pasta! :-))

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