Pages

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Love and Cooks


I am NOT what one would call a "good cook." I know a fair amount about medicinal  
herbs but very litle about standard American cooking. My mother was neurotic about 
her kitchen and would never allow me near it. What cooking I learned was from my 
grandmother.  I spent my youth outdoors, gardening with my father, therefore trees 
and plants became my passion. 
All my life I've eaten simple food but with a priority on health.

BUT I devour stories about cooks who can transmit love and emotion
into food, thereby turning a sad environment into love, lust and beauty.
I suggest two of my favorite movies that describe just such events.

Babette's Feast 
A hauntingly beautiful story of 2 sisters living with their father
in an isolated village in Denmark. Although they both had
opportunities to leave the village, they chose to stay to serve
their father and the church.
Babette, a French refugee, who begs them to take her in, brings
to the village, a real love through her cooking,
I find this movie mesmerizing.

Like Water for Chocolate
Tita and Pedro were in love since they were children but
Tita, according to family tradition, had to remain unmarried
in order to care for her mother. She was raised in the kitchen
of their Mexican ranch, so she could learn what was to be
her duty in life.
Tita's deep emotion with food transfers a love or lust
 into those who partake of her food.

I have dreamed of being able to cook with emotion
........ in fact, even to cook, would please me. But it is
not my lot in life so I absorb the stories of others who
are capable of cooking with love/emotion.

Are you one who leaves love in the hearts of those
who eat your food? What a gift!




66 comments:

  1. haha I'm probably worse that you
    At cooking at my zoo
    Chicken is the only thing i cook
    Plus don't eat much at my nook
    So not a chance I give any love
    The cat may if he sends all a dead dove

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A cooking contest you would win
      I have no idea how to begin
      Haha A dead dove you say
      The symbol of weddings in May
      What would be the message of a dove that is dead
      Maybe you're marrying the wrong guy, you love Fred.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy Ghost
      I'm good at that too. But from the health food store.

      Delete
  3. I didn't seem to inherit the cooking gene that runs through the women in my family. Still, I do pretty well if I have a recipe. And I have a few special dishes I can make. One thing I was able to do was get my husband to eat fish, which he'd always disliked. But, I can cook fish... growing up on the ocean helped. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bish
      Sounds like you do more than just "pretty well." I don't even cook fish very well... but I love to eat them. You are wise to get your husband to eat fish. He'll be with you longer. Ha

      Delete
  4. Bears are not noted for being good cooks. But I try to do some cooking, occasionally, without poisoning people in the process. So far, so good; I haven't hurt anyone yet.

    Blessings a Bear hugs!

    P.S.: If I wanna buy a duck, do I have to buy the cat, too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bear
      Hahaha That made me laugh because I'm sure I'd poison a few too if I cooked very much. Bear are very smart. They like berries and honey. Yummm
      No the cat's free.

      Delete
  5. So beautifully written, dear Manzi! Oh, you have lots of intriguing jars!
    I am mostly about cooking, but I'd like to learn more of herbs to be able making healthy herb teas myself!
    The process of cooking is a kind of both meditation and inspiration for me. And I love pleasing my closed ones with healthy & attractive dishes. :)

    Thanks for advising the movies, they are absolutely new to me!
    Have you seen 'The Mistress of Spices' with Aishwarya Rai? 'Chocolate' with Johnny Depp is also a very nice one.
    P.S. Have you watched the Olympics opening ceremony? They did such an incredibly beautiful show!

    Hugs,
    Have a beautiful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zara
      I kinda thought you were a good and a creative cook. I bet you do cook with love and and instill it in those who eat. I knew you like to eat healthy, same as I do. I can cook the simple healthy things.

      Chocolate is a great movie. In fact I have that. I also like the music in it as I bet you do too. I've never heard of The Mistress of Spices. I'll look it up. Thanks

      Yes, a spectacular show. But the weather. I hear it's warm and they have to make a lot of snow. I would send over some of our cold if I could. I hope this goes well, The winter Olympics have always been exciting
      Love to you

      Delete
  6. The cooking I learned was from my grandmother too. She made everything homemade and with love. I'm a mix of her, and myself, though her way is much nicer (I just don't always have time for it). :)

    I looked up Manzanita one time to see what it meant, and saw it was tree. :) Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosey
      Where would we be without our grandmothers, huh? I guess we wouldn't be here at all, come to think about it.
      Yes, grandma cooking..... that is the kind I think of as cooking with love and emotion. They never used recipes but just knew instinctively what to put into a dish.

      The Indians in the SW burn the wood and it has a marvelous smell.

      Delete
    2. Nice!! We've got some Indians up in these parts too. ;)
      My husband is half Indian and his father is 100%. A lot of my husband's fam. still participates in a lot of the ways of their culture. His brother does so exclusively (making his living creating crafts that he sells at pow-wows over the summer). Very interesting customs, and always lots to learn.

      Delete
  7. I love cooking in the winter not so much in the summer, I happy to live on salads and fruit when it's hot.
    Merle.............

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merle
      I know your cooking is creative as is your house. Yes, winter seems like the time to stay indoors and cook new and exciting dishes.
      Yay for salads and fruit in hot weather. No dishes, either.

      Delete
  8. Does rice count?
    Seriously, I have never been one for complicated dishes and am quite happy with brown rice and broccoli or pasta and cheese.

    Those are both excellent movies and I enjoyed them also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rubye
      Rice.... you got it. That really is my kind of cooking. I never like cooking from the beginning and I think it helped make me health conscious.
      So happy you agree on the movies.

      Delete
  9. I don't know about everything I cook, but there are some much loved favourites that leave my family feeling loved, if only that happened with every recipe. I think it happens more for people who cook because they want to rather than because they have to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River
      Sounds like you get around OK in the kitchen. I know what you mean..... I too, only cooked my simple food because we had to eat but as soon as my kids got old enough they most took over the cooking. Most mothers are remembered for their good cooking. That won't be me... hahah

      Delete
  10. I wouldn't mind learning what all your herbs are used for. I see you have wood betony...I thought that was hung in a small bag above doorways to keep out evil spirits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River
      I love to have a large storehouse of herbs and with that I can make teas and cure almost anything. As far as Wood Betony.... I don't know about the evil spirits, Haha but it has some valuable uses. For one thing, it lowers blood pressure....one problem I've never had though. It has a reputation of being a sedative, used to relieve pain in stress headaches. I now use it in a combo as a worm cleanse. There are a lot of effective herbs for parasites and worms. I have always thought parasite cleanses were necessary before one tries to fight any disease BUT allopathic medicine laughs at me if I mention worms in humans. I'm always deworming the cat and dog, too. But of course, the allopaths can't acknowledge that herbs cure..... look what it would do to Big Pharma when one could cure a disease for pennies when they can charge $100 a pill.

      Delete
  11. My mother and grandma both cook(ed) on the presumption of "if it sounds good together, it will probably taste good together" or "let's just throw these things together and see what happens." In other words, my grandma didn't much use a cookbook and neither does my mom. It worked out really well for my grandma (she was an amazing cook) and pretty well for my mom. She hits and misses. I tend to combine the Cookbook Method with the "let's just use what we have in the fridge and pantry" style of cooking.

    I know that I feel better when I use less processed foods and more whole ones. I think that would happen for our entire society. I am all for a Cooking Revolution!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Robin
    Yay for your family of good cooks. I love to watch people just throw things together and use up the left-overs and don't measure. WOW in my eyes that is a gift. I can't cook for anyone.... it makes me a nervous ninny. Hate it. For company I buy at the deli and put it in good bowls. I know, I raised kids, what did I feed them? "Very simple food." When they got old enough, they all became fairly good cooks. Especially my youngest son, he went to chef school along with his high school so he could work as a chef and pay his way through college..... and he did. And all my kids did that... pay their way through college by preparing ahead of time. One daughter went to beauty school for a year and then became a hair stylist to work her way through law school. All this B.S. now about kids can't afford college makes me laugh. This wasn't even my suggestion to them as they figured it out for themselves.
    Sorry I'm off the cooking subject. Haha Had to get a little rant in there. A cooking revolution you say..... sounds good to me. I just got a stove recently. For years I only had an electric hot plate.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Unfortunately, I can't say that I enjoy cooking! All I do is prepare meals! Like you though, I would love to cook with emotion. What a lovely phrase you came up with there. I do, however, love watching all the cookery programmes on television. Strange, isn't it? Hope you are keeping well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thisisme
      You too? You are a decorator and gardener and a writer and artist. I guess we can't be everything. Not so strange... I too enjoy watching the cooking shows on TV .... maybe I think I'll learn something but I never do. I still would rather be doing choreography or gardening. Ha

      Delete
  14. I can't wait to have you over for lunch... or maybe a brunch. I am not a great cook, but I can make a mean salad for lunch and some great eggs for breakfast. Do you like oatmeal? I have this great recipe I am going to make for you..... YUM!! Love to you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Terry
      Hey kiddo. I finally got around to posting again. I'd love to eat someone's cooking who thinks first of nutrition. I'm off the oatmeal but I just have my egg yolks for breakfast. In fact, I have them maybe for lunch or dinner, too. Haha
      Lately I've been having a smoothie with that dynamite protein powder for breakfast, egg yolks for lunch. I have 2 high-power blenders so you can use one and don't have to bring one, unless you want one for smoothies on the drive out.

      Delete
  15. I loved Babette's Feast too. It was truly a beautiful movie. I'm not much of a cook at all. My husband is far more adventurous than I am.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay
      Art seems to be very talented in many directions. As a mother would say, "You married well, my dear!"

      Delete
  16. Well since I am not a good cook at all, I don't think I pass love on through my cooking haha. Although I do make a mean piece of toast!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keith
      I'm with you. I can make kinda a mean piece of toast too, and in light, medium or dark.

      Delete
  17. You know what I make for dinner?
    Reservations.
    Sadly, I can't cook anything more complicated than toast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Al
      Haha You can use your great telephone skills for that. They always say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach (or something like that).... maybe that's been my problem.

      Delete
  18. Hey Manzanita,

    This posting was most assuredly, food for thought. I'm a fairly good cook. I've been told I'm a better cook than my ex-wife. That doesn't take much :)

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gary
      I understand. So was my husband. He taught me how to fry eggs on our honeymoon. I knew absolutely nothing about cooking.

      Delete
  19. Hi Manzanita .. don't let me get bombed out again! My mother was an excellent cook and gardener .. I learnt cooking from her, became the experimenter in the 70s, then she followed suit ...

    I never had a garden so couldn't absorb those skills .. but love herbs etc .. and enjoy the great outdoors.

    Both those movies are great .. they've recently had a tv programme on Denmark, which included the entrepreneurial (best in the world) restaurant "Noma" - they use herbs and go foraging ... really interesting .. here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noma_(restaurant)

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary
      Thanks for the link.... It immediately caught my eye with being in a warehouse. Love that kind of atmosphere. I liked some of the names of restaurants.... The Fat Duck and French Laundry/
      From your posts it always sounded like your mother was a unique experienced cook. She could cook for a lot of people with ease. Thanks for the diversion to this pre-dawn morning.

      Delete
  20. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossip and net stuff Cccam Server and this is actually annoying. A good site with exciting content that is what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters? I can’t find it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SEO Star Software House
      Thank you for stopping by. I don't write newsletters. Be dropping by your blog.

      Delete
  21. Dear Manzanita, I'll look up both those movies in the library movie section. If not there, maybe I can find them on netflix.

    I do enjoy cooking. And I truly love to bake. But I'm not sure that either the cooking or the baking inspires loves in others. However, most seem to like what I put on the table when company comes.

    Take care. Your knowledge of herbs and your devotion to life and health are inspiring. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee
      Yum! Who doesn't absolutely love fresh home baked bread with lots of butter so it runs down your hands. That is a whole lotta love. I think you would enjoy those movies if you haven't seen them before.
      Thank you for the kind words.

      Delete
    2. Dear Manzanita, the library didn't have either movie, and so now I'll try Netflex. Peace.

      Delete
  22. I will have to check out Babette's Feast - looks like a goody.

    I do love to cook - thank you for asking - and it's so satisfying. I think I leave my heart in every meal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose
      What a lovely phrase..... that you leave your heart in every
      mea;. That is "really" cooking with love.

      Delete
  23. Manzi- I can't imagine I missed this! So glad I found it now.
    Love this subject with all my heart!

    I grew up eating crud from boxes, bottles and cans- whatever I could find. While working at a daycare when I was 16 and watching my mother's best friend, I figured out there was much more going on in the kitchen than just opening packages and using the microwave or stove top. I fell so deeply in love with cooking, then baking, then canning and preserving. It was so glorious. I could not get enough. Then I found out my biological father is a chef! Cooking really is in my soul!
    People never turn me down for a home cooked meal and I am proud of the fact that my sister once lamented that there's no food in my house that isn't home made. She loves the preserved crap! But I'm proud she was never able to eat it in my house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jasmine
      I absolutely love your enthusiasm over cooking. Wish I had a tad of it. I can see you eat healthy because you never eat processed or anything in a box. I never shop in the center aisles either. Yesterday I was listening to Ted Broer (a nutritionist and biochemist) and boy was he passionate about food and diet. He started by giving the 10 foods to never eat and I already "never do."Of course now I'm digressing from the point of my post. Yeah, cooking with love..... yay.

      Delete
  24. When my wife and I switched roles about 15 years ago, I took a two-year cooking course (so I wouldn't starve). I'm pretty good at it now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JJ
      Two-year cooking coarse must make you the world's best chef. Some fancy meals at your house, I'm betting.

      Delete
  25. I'm here to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosey
      How sweet. Thank you and a very Happy Valentine's Day to you too.

      Delete
  26. I love novels about food and cooking. Have read some great ones. even better when they put the recipes in. Now i must read Babettes Feast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise
      Yes I hear Babettes Feast has some marvelous French recipes. I only saw the movie. And let the feast begin.

      Delete
  27. Like Denise, I love stories featuring cooks and their recipes. :-)

    I've always enjoyed cooking. Love to incorporate international recipes into my routine. I am one who loves to cook something special for those I love. It's another way of saying I love you. I've also enjoyed cooking a full meal and bringing it to friends who have been dealing with frozen pipes and no water or some heavy days of work on the ranch and bringing them a hearty meal to heat up is nice.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sia
      Your love of cooking sounds like you could be Tita or Babette. What a wonderful gift to your friends and neighbors. Where were you when my pipes burst a few weeks ago????? hahaha

      Delete
  28. I'm not convinced that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I've served up some pretty awful meals in my time but my Mr A puts up with it all. Did you ever see Albert Finney in the film Tom Jones? Talk about sexy food!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ros
      Yeah, they were eating with both hands and then some. I know men who would rather go out and eat than have a home cooked meal..... my husband for one..... well that meal would would have been my cooking so I can't blame him. Haha

      Delete
  29. I love these films!!! And for some reason I remember a bit in the book for Like Water for Chocolate where Tita's tip on how to stop tears while chopping onions is to put a bit of the onion on your head. :-) I tried. It doesn't work!

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Old Kitty
      I didn't read the book... just saw the movie.... in fact I liked it so much I have it in old VHS. All of the old bulky vids have to go. sniff. ... and they won't be replaced.

      I never heard that about the onion on the head but peeling the white onions really brings on the tears. Some one once said put a match in your mouth.... never tried it but perhaps you would burn up like Tita did. Haha

      Delete
  30. It seems like I've always cooked and baked. My mother worked full-time, so I took over the task when I was about ten, and have always enjoyed experimenting and doing things like making sausage, corning beef, making ethnic dishes from scratch, creating decadent desserts, and trying to reproduce yummy restaurant dishes. The biggest challenge was when my hubby ate something he enjoyed while away on a business trip, and I tried to recreate it for him based on his description. It's a wonder we aren't both the size of a barn.

    I never heard that one about putting an onion on your head to prevent tears while cutting onions, either. I keep ours in the fridge. They don't cause nearly as much eye irritation when they're cold.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I always felt that you were an excellent cook. Now I have it, straight from the horses mouth. Well, you know the old saying. Ha
    I wonder if you ever got the exact dish Smarticus had eaten. I tried to make the perfect key lime pie when I lived in Florida. It was probably all that sugar that made me crazy..... Then I found it at a restaurant and the owner was actually a baseball friend of my husband. At first he would not part with his recipe as it was their signature dessert and he never gave it out. My husband bribed him with team autographed balls and Yay I got it but had to swear to never give it to anyone else. My daughter snitched iit out of my recipe box but later lost it. In all my moves, I lost mine too and no one can recall exactly what it was (it was so long ago) No more key lime but who needs the sugar. anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Those days are gone. My pies used to be delightful, but my hubby has diabetes, is overweight. The pie days are gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan
      I know what you mean. I've said that my poor cooking has probably saved my life. I've always eaten very simple or raw food and I now realize the rich desserts, sauces and gravies don't agree with me anyway. But I bet just one little slice of your pie would make us all feel good. Ha

      Delete
  33. I can't cook, I try because I don't like frozen dinners.....but I am just glad I don't have to cook for someone else. I wish I was a great baker!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Poke the rock
    Baking is an art too. Yum to bake really good, healthy bread without all the stupid additives the commercial bread had….wish I could too.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Poke the rock
    Baking is an art too. Yum to bake really good, healthy bread without all the stupid additives the commercial bread had….wish I could too.

    ReplyDelete