Happy in the Kitchen: Why Do You Cook?

There are days when nothing turns out right. The cookies burn on the bottom. The soup tastes flat and the meat is too tough. The pantry is a stockpiled mess and we still don’t have the one ingredient we need. But still. We love being in the kitchen more than anything else. Why do we do it?

Meeting someone for the first time, I often get one of two reactions when the person finds out how much I love cooking and simply being in the kitchen. Either a look of slightly panicked confusion passes over their face and the conversation quickly moves on. Or the person says something wistful like, “I wish I loved to cook!” Which causes me to feel slightly panicked and confused.

How to explain this?

How to explain that nothing makes me happier than leaning against the counter looking over a recipe for braised lamb while a batch of biscuits turns golden in the oven. Or that moment of anticipation when I’m not quite sure if a new dish is going to turn out the way you want. Even the moments of disappointment ultimately feel more like challenges to puzzle out and overcome. At least after I’m done stomping around the kitchen and slamming drawers.

What about you? Why do you love being in the kitchen?

Related: Cook's Confessions: Do You Eat Your Mistakes?

(Image: Emma Christensen)