Friday, 27 January 2012

Zen and the Art of Cooking

Once in a while I still come up with this weird idea of mine: writing about the kitchen.

I can see you smiling and thinking it's so natural since I'm Italian, and I must love all concerned with food. Our national habits may be exasperating. But it's not what I'm going to talk about, so, please, let me make my point before considering appropriate the move!

The subject would be rather the kitchen itself, as a nest. It should be a common issue, at least in Europe, since the Continent has seen most of its people working in the fields for centuries, and the kitchen's traditionally the hugest, the hottest and the crowded place of the house. Nowadays, the kitchen is still a social place, where you can actually meet the ones you live with. I mean, it's not just where you cook.

The kitchen, my anthropologist friend would say, it's a hyper-place, containing a lot of different aspects of the human experience: it's where your mama has fed you and where you were tough how to behave. It's where you head to in the morning, when you wake up; in the afternoon, when you come back home; and at night, when you can't sleep. It's where you've heard that news, and suddenly realized the word would never be the same.

To me, it's even more than this: the kitchen is the place where I take my decisions. A intimate place freed by any sense of emergency.

Sadly, when I moved to Ireland, I discovered my apartment-style kitchen is a black-hole: you can postulate it exists just because it attracts stuff (especially mice). So now, when I feel totally a failure and I'd like to refuge in the sacred, safe territory of a kitchen, things are definitely odd.
Basically, there isn't enough space for both me and the kettle. The fridge has already been outsourced, and it now lives in the corridor.

Honestly, sometimes it takes hours before I give up with my frustration, evict the kettle, and start with the cookery...And yes, now it's time for prejudice! Cooking has probably to me a deeper cultural meaning.
Cooking is looking after myself and my beloveds.
Cooking is doing something good - and that's it, zero complication.
Cooking in the kitchen means the world's outside and the Problem doesn't exist anymore: you're focused, busy.
Cooking, as crafting, means accomplishing something, following a project from the planning to the result.

Cooking, you're actively fighting back Death, Angst and their family friends, as cholesterol.
And sometimes that's all is needed to save the day, and, with it, my self-esteem.
In fact, it's not that easy to make food poisonous. You really have to try it hard.


  1. Oh Elettrarossa, you make me stop to think about an Italian family who lived in the neighborhood where I grew up (U.S). -The Italian neighbor lady was good friends with my mom and she (Rosemary) always had a big pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. I spent a lot of time coloring at her kitchen table when I was little and don't remember much else about the house. It was a wonderful kitchen, full of light, laughter and good smells ;)

  2. I'm so happy you too have memories about a cosy kitchen!!! That's exactly what I liked to celebrate :)

  3. Beautiful post, so interesting and passionate I love Kitchen (and cooking) too, but I think it takes a lot of times !!!
    A little tip: in feng shui red is indicated in the kitchen, as it governs the fire element, but be careful: not abuse it, because it leads to overeating!! Greetings, Dear!!

  4. ...good to know! Thank you very much for passing by :)