Cooking Up Rebellion

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Individual cooks don’t create the art of cooking, and individual actors don’t create entire movements. | GAY CITY NEWS
Individual cooks don’t create the art of cooking, and individual actors don’t create entire movements. | GAY CITY NEWS

In times of trouble, cooking makes me whole. I may be tired, irritable, I may have gotten home late, I may even be sick, but I stand at my fry pan tossing in onions, that base of almost every culture’s cooking. To me, it might as well be the base of life itself, as I stand there trying to make something tasty and satisfying and warming out of a few teensy bits of vegetables and some shreds of meat.

Cooking, which I came to only in my 40s and disabled, like someone clutching a lifeline, reminds me of the sacredness of the act of creation. It feels like making something out of nothing: whatever’s assembled on my cutting board –– a little mess of garlic bits and bitter vegetables and cheese snips –– always seems so poignantly small to me as the basis of a hot dinner that will somehow sustain two adults. The process that transforms these scraps into a whole always seems mystical to me: what god created this eggplant parmigiano pasta?

Certainly not me.

MORSELS: Sweetness, tenderness, and determination in the age of Trump

With cooking, as with writing, providence comes in and accomplishes what we ourselves, with our conscious minds, can barely accomplish. When I say providence, I don’t exactly mean God. Who made this dish? It was the fire (which reshapes molecules and “denatures” proteins and divinely caramelizes eggplants). It was the balsamic vinegar in all its oddness, sour, acid, musty, sweet, powerfully itself, and shaped by hands and minds other than my own. It was the traditions of a million years of hominids cooking (while humans have only been around and making dinner for 200,000 years, our hominid ancestors have been cooking for even longer). It was my innumerable memories of meals out and Food Network snippets and half-remembered recipes, plus glimmering images in my brain (my mother’s ancient Italian friend’s fresh sausage and tomato sauce), and, maybe most of all, dumb luck and inspiration!

It was also me, yes, along with all of these. It was my own arm strength and my thinking mind, saying “Now! A dab more tomato paste!” and “Now! I want sesame oil and more parsley!” In point of fact, I feel really butch when I cook, much more butch than I do when writing, say, or making love. Turning the flame up and down, I am Hephaestus at the forge; I am Casey at the switch. I feel powerful, capable, gripping my 11-inch pan and smelting tomatoes, refining wine, building skyscrapers out of flour and beef. I am doing this for my family that consists of my partner and me, making things to keep us good and warm inside and feeling loved. I am blending tahini in a machine noisy as a cement mixer, making a sauce so sumptuous it can make steamed zucchini taste good. I am butchering squashes and making rebellious Jewish bricks out of walnuts, apples, and wine that will make our conquerors choke. I am constructing fantasy universes out of ground turkey and breadcrumbs and spices and egg. The turkey meatballs I make will make our hearts happy as we eat them in a radiant red sauce before going to the demonstration.

So, gentle reader who loves the taste of food, dear one who loves kimchi, posole, and democracy: go to the demonstration. There are a lot this week, and there will be more the week after, and the week after that. Keep going. Eat something hot before and after. Take care of yourself. Take care of other people, too. There is no contradiction between activism and compassion, no contradiction between activism and tenderness or sweetness: remember that. What I am trying to say is: everything we do, whether we are masters or novices, we do in the context of other people. I’m no great chef by any measure, but I learned to make a damn good dinner, and so can you. Individual writers don’t create literature, individual cooks don’t create the art of cooking, and individual actors don’t create entire movements. Everyone is needed, and everyone needs others.

Everyone is important in cooking up this struggle, even and especially you.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reader feedback

Brick Breaker Game says:
Comprehensive and interesting post
March 15, 2017, 12:56 am
Stephan Bert says:
Many thanks for a portion of humour!
May 17, 2017, 9:47 am
Vieginia Luther says:
Thank you so much
May 18, 2017, 1:23 am
bond550 says:
I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google. <a href="" target="_blank">
Dec. 25, 2017, 6:09 am
QmmMovers says:
You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!! technology news and updates
Jan. 2, 2018, 10:57 am
HARIS says:
This is great information for students. help with c Sharp programming assignmentThis article is very helpful i really like this blog thanks. I also have some information relevant for online dissertation help.
Jan. 4, 2018, 1:26 am
tempmail01 says:
I was reading your article and wondered if you had considered creating an ebook on this subject. Your writing would sell it fast. You have a lot of writing talent. Las Vegas Locksmith
Jan. 22, 2018, 4:51 am
tempmail01 says:
The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing... Büroeinrichtung
Jan. 24, 2018, 1:34 am
jamsmalik says:
I wish more authors of this type of content would take the time you did to research and write so well. I am very impressed with your vision and insight. read more visit here
March 8, 2018, 6:14 am
jamsmalik says:
Thanks for every other informative site. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I have a venture that I’m just now operating on. and I have been on the look out for such information. espositori plexiglass da banco
March 10, 2018, 5:28 am
gandapas6 says:
Only aspire to mention ones content can be as incredible. This clarity with your post is superb and that i may think you’re a guru for this issue. High-quality along with your concur permit me to to seize your current give to keep modified by using approaching blog post. Thanks a lot hundreds of along with you should go on the pleasurable get the job done. moving companies in south florida
April 1, 2018, 9:54 am
gandapas6 says:
I found your this post while searching for some related information on blog search...Its a good post..keep posting and update the information. saldos de ropa
April 4, 2018, 10:42 am
Clare says:
For any possibility, you definitely need to check out where you can easily find a lot of interesting stuff and tips about modern fry process. I hope that it will be useful for you.
May 23, 2018, 11:46 am
jamsmalik says:
I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information. mcse training london
June 7, 2018, 3:43 pm
jamsmalik says:
This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.! news
June 9, 2018, 9:46 am

Comments closed.


Schneps Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: