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April 2008

April 30, 2008

Why We Cook

An old friend of mine was fond of saying, there are two kinds of writers - those who want to be writers and those who want to write. He made a distinction between the two. The former, per his logic, are enamored with a romantic version of the profession. They envision themselves creating weighty pieces of literature. Insightful critiques of modern society, poetry, that sort of stuff. The latter simply feel they have something to say. An inner voice nagging at them incessantly, looking for an outlet. Their only mission is to satisfy a need.

And so I think the same must be true for any profession.

As for me, I never wanted to be a professional chef but I love to cook. Specifically, I love to cook for other people. I was never a great conversationalist, my social graces gave way to a general misanthropy long ago, but there's nothing I enjoy more than having a house full of company as I prepare a meal. More than anyone else, I loved to cook for my father. Whenever my family would visit, whether it was just my parents or an extended inlaws-cousins-siblings event, I always planned the menu for him. I use the past tense here because he passed away recently. Even so, I think I'll always be cooking for my father.