Kitchen Meditation

Each day is brand-new, so is each potato  or cup of flour or whole chicken. They are not the same potato or cup of flour or whole chicken we worked with last week. Ingredients will vary in quality and freshness; they will be drier or moister, or larger or smaller. Certain items will go in and out of season, or vary according to manufacturer. Good cooks and happy cooks take pleasure in responding to these changes and variations.

Further, your kitchen might be cooler or hotter than before, or you might have a new oven or a different knife in your hand. And, just as important, you are not the same person day to day, or at least you are not dealing with the same set of moods, energies, and priorities. The nature of the world is that everything is in motion; everything is in flux. Perfection, by extension, is a moving target as well. This is both the beauty and the challenge of cooking.

So cooking well, and indeed living well, involves responding with grace and agility to whatever circumstances present themselves. Which means we have to have a certain amount of openness and trust, and a willingness to be attentive and curious. It means we have to look more closely, be more aware and alert, and more forgiving. With our eyes open, we can then discover how each moment, each circumstance, has its own perfection: this particular lemon, this pot, this rainy/sunny/snowy day; this body today, this mind, this simple, extraordinary human life.

Dana's meditation from The Kitchn Cookbook.
Photo from