Cooking is Love

As the year draws to a close, I think about food a bit. I think about dishes I've made that have become family favorites. I think about recipes that made me think going out to restaurants is overrated when you can eat like that at home. I think about cooking disasters that left me a little more humble and a lot wiser about better ways to tackle culinary challenges.

But most of all, I think about sharing delicious food with friends and loved ones throughout the year. In the end, cooking is about love and sharing nourishment with those you care about in ways that make them happy. It's about making things a little easier for a new mother and her family after the baby arrives. It's about having the perfect appetizer to complement the glass of wine you raise in celebration of a friend's proud achievement in life. It's about asking those that are regularly putting in work day after day to make our lives easier to take a bit of time off and sit down and enjoy something special you've made just for them. And it's about the look of pure joy that spreads across the face of a child when you present them with goodies that are both delicious and beautiful to behold. It's those moments that make cooking so very rewarding for me and I hope that this year has held many such moments for you.

As I put these thoughts down, a chocolate-mint cheesecake is cooling in anticipation of being coated in dark chocolate and decorated with peppermint patties and more. I made it this morning with my delightfully inquisitive step-daughter in anticipation of my husband's birthday tomorrow. A New Year's birthday requires a very, very festive birthday cake, you see. And now, in the oven, onions and a variety of winter squash are roasting in a simple seasoned olive oil. Later, that mixture will get a tahini-sesame dressing and we'll take it along with us for an evening of tempting food, refreshing beverages, cheerful board games, and the company of dear friends to cheer in the New Year. These are my main cooking projects for the day and, as you can see, they are about sharing special moments with people I love. As my year ends, I'm gathering together more of those special moments and I will continue to do so in the New Year. It is my deepest wish that, among the highs and lows of the coming year, those special moments are found with abundance in each and every one of yours. Happy New Year!