Monday, September 20, 2010

I've always thought of cooking as an art

... and over at Faith & Family Live today their guest blogger -- Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie -- mentions that chefs are artists.

I completely agree. My husband is a culinary artist. He dabbles, he experiments, he creates and delights. Alton Brown is a modern day da Vinci -- the perfect blend of science and art. I have friends, too, who conjure beauty in their kitchens in ways that take my breath away.

I have enormous respect for kitchen art. I love to experience it, much as I love seeing a Van Gogh face-to-paint. Take note: I said, "I love to experience it." Drink it in, so to speak. But not necessarily to create it.

My artistic abilities, you see,  lie elsewhere. So, why didn't it ever occur to me to ask a simple question:

"May I please be excused from art class? Cuz I need to go to the writing lab. Pen and paper and keyboards await me, and I do so much better with those than I do with a spatula."

Oh, wait. I forgot: As a mom, my life is a liberal arts education, not an opportunity to pursue advanced training in a specialized field.  I am therefore forced to take Kitchen Art even though I don't want to and will spend the rest of my life moaning, "Wheeeen will I ever uuuuuse this stuff?"  (Please don't point out that I use it every day to feed my family.  I'm trying to prolong a weak metaphor here. Cuz I'm in the writing lab. And that's what we do.)

In all seriousness (I am serious in all of the above, by the way, but I am also pathetic, so I'm trying to change the subject), I loved Jeff's piece today, and especially loved this:

Cooking is work. But it is also an art. You have to practice. And when you practice an art, you are really just playing intentionally.

This is quite apt, because I always feel that I'm merely playing when it comes to my time in the kitchen. Playing at being a cook, playing at being a grown-up, playing at being a mom. But I play intentionally, as Jeff says, and intentional play leads to improvement in one's endeavors, so much so that sometimes I feel like a real cook, a real grown-up, a real mom, a real artist.

And on those days, I'm glad I took the class.

Just grade me on a curve. 

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