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Old 07-21-2005, 01:39 PM   #1
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Cooking and spirituality

I haven't found this topic here (did I miss it somewhere?). My point...How do you feel about or relate to the concept of cooking and spirituality?

When I cook a recipe that mom taught me, she's with me. Thanksgiving is a time when I feel very close to my country and my family past and present. We have special foods we make for holidays (holy days) be it Easter or Passover or Ramadan. We have national traditions. etc. Food is a part of religious tradition and sacrement. And it's preparation is as important as any other part of the celebration.

I could get a lot deeper, but let's leave it here for the moment. Any thoughts??

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Old 07-21-2005, 02:33 PM   #2
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Spirituality is a very personal thing with very mixed emotions. People can view it several ways so we try not to discuss it here. I don't want this thread to be a debate about religion - we've had those before and each and every time the board gets severely divided - same goes for politics - tempers flair and before you know it someone will need to be banned.

I can say that when I cook it "feeds my soul" and cooking is how I love my family and even going to the grocery store I view as "loving". Thanksgiving is the most important holiday to me - it's a day to get together with family and friends and just appreciate one another without any retail-related gimicks.
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:45 PM   #3
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Elfie - IMHO, 'religion' and 'spirituality' are 2 different things - I think this is a great topic, and I hope we can keep it going!

After my son was hurt, when I was just too numb to do anything, I would go into the kitchen and cook - didn't matter what, but just the fact that I was doing 'something' helped. And the fact that I was able to feed people and give back some of the comfort I had received was a huge blessing!

There's a wonderful book by Richard Espe Brown, called 'Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings". If any of you are familiar with the 'Tassajara Bread Book', he's also the author of that. Tassajara is a Zen monastery in California, and Brown is/was (not sure) a student there. There's a great story that I've taken to heart in it, about when, one day, he was asked to assume the cooking duties in the kitchen when their previous cook had left. So, he gets all hung up in how important it is to feed all the people there, and wants to please everyone (too much salt, not enough, etc.), and finally gets so wrapped up in projecting and wanting things to go perfectly, he was freaking out. So he went to see the Zen teacher at the monastery, who heard his story, and simply said to him, 'When you wash the rice - wash the rice'. Meaning - be in the moment; focus on what you're doing at hand, and life's problems will work themselves out!
That simple saying, with all that's behind it, have become one of our favorite sayings at our house! When we get too frazzled over the latest curve ball life has thrown us, we remember to 'wash the rice'.
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:00 PM   #4
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Correct Marm! If you are a spiritual person, everything you do should have that spirituality as part of whatever you are doing.

I try to be more spiritual and less religious.
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:15 PM   #5
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decided this wasn't really pertinent to the post
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:18 PM   #6
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elf, I fully understand the caution, and I hope not open a can of worms, because I don't enjoy those recipes. But I was wondering what others felt connected to. Connection to people, places, times, ethnicity, celebrations.

Personally, my parents are connected to homemade soups, stews, beans of all kinds.
I have a passion for discovering new regions and countries through their cuisine.
I believe that people come together around the table.

I don't think these are too controversial, but I do understand that fights can break out over the best pizza, or the right ballance to a Bolognese.

peace y'all
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:37 PM   #7
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For me spirituality means being connected - being at peace and being in tune. Fo me cooking is very spiritual. One of the reasons I am big on fresh, seasonal produce and keeping food miles down is the connectedness I like to feel with my food, the people who produce it...everything. And in the kitchen, using my hands, keeping mechanical things to a minimum, and just taking the time to enjoy, and as marmalady so beautifully quoted, "when you wash the rice - wash the rice"

One of my favourite cooking times was when I worked as a carer in a home for 4 young-ish people with severe disabilities. None of them had ever eaten fresh salads, or even the most tamest of spices. And I cooked them oven fried chicken and four different salads. They all looked at me and said that no one had ever cared enough to cook like that for them. That's spirituality, being connected, to the food and to others.
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:41 PM   #8
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I am no longer a religious person. I consider myself an agnostic.

BUT

One of my cookery books is a family 'receipt' book. Started by an ancestor in about 1816. When I cook recipes from that book (only 'tweaked' slightly for modern cooking methods) I feel 'connected' in some way to my gt-gt-....... grandmother.
She cooked in a house not disimilar to the one I now live in, but many miles north of Edinburgh. Her husband was a lawyer... and she started the book. There are dishes she could to impress his friends and family... there are simple dishes that she cooked for the children. There are anecdotes written as part of some of the recipes.

Her daughter added to it, and so did HER daughter... then they ran out of room in the ledger sized book...

Yes, spirituality can be there when you cook!
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Old 07-21-2005, 06:29 PM   #9
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For me, it would be the Earth. Connected to Mother Earth from my American Indian roots. All food comes from the earth.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
I am no longer a religious person. I consider myself an agnostic.

BUT

One of my cookery books is a family 'receipt' book. Started by an ancestor in about 1816. When I cook recipes from that book (only 'tweaked' slightly for modern cooking methods) I feel 'connected' in some way to my gt-gt-....... grandmother.
She cooked in a house not disimilar to the one I now live in, but many miles north of Edinburgh. Her husband was a lawyer... and she started the book. There are dishes she could to impress his friends and family... there are simple dishes that she cooked for the children. There are anecdotes written as part of some of the recipes.

Her daughter added to it, and so did HER daughter... then they ran out of room in the ledger sized book...

Yes, spirituality can be there when you cook!
What a great book to have.
What memories and love they shared with you.
Yep, that's spirituality.

When my grandmother died she left her recipe box to my aunt. My aunt is one of those people who refuse to share a recipe. I'd give anything to have an hour alone with that box. There are so many dishes that I can remember grandma making ... but, I've no idea how she did any of them.

Enjoy your book!!
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