Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Pleasures of Cooking are in the Small Things

What I love about cooking is that it is such a sensory experience.  The smell of the garlic perfuming the kitchen, the sizzle of the onions hitting the pan, the feel of my knife making quick, even slices.  I get such pleasure out of the little things when I'm in the kitchen.

Believe it or not, one of those things is chopping onions.  Since I wear contact lenses, I never cry when I chop onions and strangely enough, is one of the reasons I want to KEEP wearing contacts instead of getting lasik.  I know, I'm strange.  But you see, not crying when I chop onions is part of the reason it is not a chore for me.  It is actually quite soothing and helps me to unwind from a stressful day at work.  And of course, the smell of onions meeting olive oil in a pan is probably one of the best smells there is.  Give me that smell over a vanilla-scented candle ANY DAY!

I was thinking about these small pleasures this morning as I was making breakfast because I looked down at my pan of rendering Spanish chorizo and thought to myself what a beautiful sight it was to behold:
And I'd venture to say that I got more pleasure out of watching that amber-colored fat ooze out of the meat than I did actually eating the finished product of scrambled eggs with chorizo, chives, and gruyere cheese:

Don't get me wrong, the eggs were quite delicious.  But part of what made them so delicious was the memory of watching those small bits of fat emerge onto the pan. 

What small things give you pleasure in the kitchen?


  1. Oh I know *exactly* what you mean. Cooking is such a calming and meditative time for me. I let my creativity flow and treat my eyes and nose and mouth to the best sights, smells, and tastes. Oh gosh, I wish I had chorizo in the house.

  2. yep, totally get it. the textures, the smells, the colors..yep.

  3. Yum! I don't even like eggs, and your dish looks delicious!

    We don't own a microwave, so popping popcorn on the hob, just like Mom used to do when I was little, pleases me to no end. It makes popcorn a pretty special treat in my household, and I love it.

  4. Kate, I HAVE a microwave but I'd rather make popcorn on the stove. All those chemicals they put in a bag of microwave popcorn made me decide long ago that I'd make my own on the stove.

  5. I agree! I've been trying to cut chemicals, and what we're eating is a big part of it.

  6. I like chopping. Chopping anything except maybe nuts as they jump around so much. Since I have found out about chopped salads I am loving them. I put almost anything on the board and chop away. I would never put radish in my salad until I made a chopped salad. it was a perfect addition.