Without doubt, my most interesting meal of the day is lunch. Breakfast I often skip, dinner these days is usually a drab affair (pasta and sauce, please), but lunch is often the “wild card” meal. I could bring lunch, I could buy it. I want to change this. Dinner needs to be as exciting to me as the prospect of my mid-day meal, and the way to get this excitement back into dinner is not footing a bill for take-out. It’s cooking the meal myself.
The problem is: I don’t have much reason to cook these days (or at least, I don’t have a necessity to invent in the kitchen). I don’t have kids clamoring about me for new things to eat; I don’t have a spouse or roommate who gets tired of the pasta and sauce that I usually eat or who invents things in the kitchen themselves. The most I have is a wild hair every now and then, spurring me to look through one of my three cookbooks (all vegetarian), which never really fail… but often require some preparation like going to the store and buying ingredients. Perhaps its the routine of summer—-that 9-5 job—-that keeps me from being inventive. Perhaps its just a little lonesomeness.
But when the mood strikes, boy do I love to cook. Perhaps this is the reason I watch shows like Top Chef. I like the excitement of cooking and nourishment, and of making simple things like food thrilling. The idea of divine rapture being brought on by the mere senses of smell and taste is, well, entirely understandable to me. I love food. It’s that simple. Sometimes, though, I can’t sustain the effort. On the flip side, perhaps this enjoyment of TV cooking shows wears me out: by the time I make it to my own kitchen, I’m all cooked out and the effort seems even more consuming than usual.
But like many of my observations, I am sure this is a periodic thing. After a time, my passion for cooking and nourishment will rise, and my cookbooks will get a few more splatter stains on their pages. I cannot wait to make soups for winter. Oh, the thought of soups bubbling and break baking in the oven is simply heavenly. Maybe I just need a few good friends to invite themselves over for dinner. Under pressure, I’m sure I could whip up a lasagna.