I’m continually surprised by the strong connection I feel to women — both my ancestors as well as most women in the world today — whenever I’m in the midst of cooking, really cooking. On most nights I throw together some protein, carbs, fiber and call it a dinner. But today, being my daughter’s birthday and the middle of Passover, I’ve been cooking for the past five hours and I still have probably five hours to go. I made Passover granola and strawberry shortcake. I made a tofu salad for tomorrow’s birthday party and am in the midst of making a cold potato and spinach soup and this incredible Italian mushroom, asparagus, potato dish for tonight’s dinner. And in the freezer is a homemade vegan passover ice cream pie all ready for the whipped cream before serving tomorrow.
My husband has been listening to me complain about the difficulty of the passover dishes and heard me scream when I burn myself on the granola. I had to send him out for wine for the mushroom dish and now he’s down in the basement riding the exercise bike. He has no apparent interest in helping me cook, though I haven’t asked and don’t really need his help. He would probably suggest we order out and take a nice walk.
The reality is that often to eat good food, which I love to do, means cooking it yourself. The mushrooms (portobella, shitake and porcini) simmering in wine and thyme smell divine. As a vegetarian family at Passover, we wouldn’t find anything like we’re eating this weekend at a restaurant. The convenience of not cooking has it advantages, but so does cooking from scratch. Knowing that millions (if not billions) of women around the world are doing the same thing right now makes me smile. I do only hope they’re able to savor the smells as much as I am.