“. . . One of the pleasantest of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world.”
The food that we consume provides us with nourishment in more ways than one. It provides sustenance for body and mind, but also spirit, when it is prepared with intention. There is life-force energy in food and, in addition to the nutrients themselves, this is what sustains us.
One of the things that makes great chefs great is their passion for the food. Chefs, via talent and training, honor the process of meal preparation and the vitality inherent in every ingredient they use. With the conscious intention of creating something wonderful, chefs infuse the energy of their passion into their food. Their absolute love for what they do manifests itself in the flavors of every plate they create, even when they’re not conscious of the spirituality of it.
When you cook for your family or prepare a meal for a sick friend, your own loving intention to provide sustenance and comfort is an essential element in contributing to the nurturing, healing properties of the meal. Yes, you are saving them the trouble of having to cook for themselves, but there is so much more provided within that offering beyond the mere gift of convenience.
Does it feel strange to consider that your attitude as you are cooking will affect the degree to which the resulting dish will nourish those who consume it?
Try this: whether you are preparing a recipe with which you are unfamiliar, or one that you have cooked many times before, complete each step required with conscious, loving intent. Hold in your mind the awareness of the significance of this meal. From cutting board, to sauté pan, to table; honor the ingredients as well as the process. Your focused intent will become imbued in the food itself, and the quality of your attitude will permeate the meal. In this way, not only does it nourish their soul, but yours as well.
You are feeding people you love, and that is a sacred undertaking.