When we cook, we dive in with all of our senses. The give of a ripe avocado, the sweet vanilla smell of cookies baking, the sizzle of bacon crisped in cast iron. Cooking feeds our hunger and fills our hearts. And it’s a rare treat that such an everyday ritual offers such creative joy. The very acts of measuring and mixing help us appreciate the process. And the gift of tasting—and loving—the food we’ve made nourishes us even more.
A shared meal is so much richer than eating alone. So it stands to reason that when two or more people dance together in the kitchen, they connect not only to their creative juices, but also to each other. As one young cook explained, “Cooking with those you love fills the soul with a sense of home and community and satisfies a need that few are aware they have.”
The meal you cook up need not be complicated; the simpler, the better. (Who doesn’t love grilled cheese?) Sharing the tasks at hand lightens the work of cooking for a crowd. It’s just more fun. The chore of chopping garlic becomes an opportunity to admire how each of you defines “mince.” Figuring out how much Tabasco you all can handle becomes a shared adventure in sampling your simmering chili.
We might be inspired by a new recipe or a recent restaurant visit. Either way, whipping up a great meal with fresh ingredients and dear friends may be our favorite form of creating. And then there’s the eating. We gather around the table and marvel at the food before us. We love how it came together, and we relish the result—for that moment. Food is ephemeral! With the last sweet spoonful gone, what we are left with lives on: the shared memory of a delicious meal made and shared together. That fills us.
Nourishment and connection are among our most basic human needs. Cooking marries both. And we love that it fuels our creativity in the process. You’ll see the next time you grab a few ingredients and invite friends to join you in the kitchen. You may be surprised how much you savor what you all cook up.