Food for Thought

 

Journal Entry 17 September 2022

It’s interesting that after so many years of working in commercial kitchens I now work in the home kitchen of a small group home; I’ve been there nearly 5 years.

Though it is clean and orderly it is well stocked with equipment. Inversely, my teeny home kitchen, which is also well stocked, some may say overstocked, is disorderly and not as clean. And sometimes these two kitchens collide on a different plane in my life. I spend more time in my work kitchen that the home kitchen but sometimes I’ll reach for an ingredient or piece of equipment and realize it is in the other.

In the same way, so many things in life intersect or meld together these days. Whether I am cooking for the wealthy (which I did for so many years), the formerly homeless (which I do now), or simply for myself, an equal part of me goes into the food indistinguishably.

Sometimes when I cook I pray, not in what some me think of in the traditional sense, but in action. Because when one focuses on the food—giving thanks as one prepares it—the action itself becomes a form of prayer. In so many ways my work life, personal life, and spiritual life are becoming one, and that is a good place to be. Food, especially bread, can feed more than the body. Everything is holy.

And just briefly before writing these words, as I sat in a coffee shop, I drew this quick pen-and-pencil sketch of my home kitchen while bread is rising on the counter. The dough will be cut into three loaves. One I’ll begin consuming this evening for dinner, one will go into the freezer, and another will be brought to church tomorrow where it will be blessed, broken, then offered as Holy Communion.

I was thinking this while mindlessly sketching and chatting with a friend at the next table and while bread silently rose on my kitchen counter.

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