Back in my 20s, I really liked to cook. Cooking probably counted as a hobby for me back then. I considered myself to be good at it, and it was a pleasure. At some point in the proceeding 20some years, I lost my passion for cooking. I’m still the family’s cook, but my efforts are pretty much utilitarian these days, and I don’t take much enjoyment from it. I feed us because we need to be fed. Sometimes I enjoy some simple baking. But I mostly don’t enjoy cooking. It’s too bad, really. It would be very convenient if I enjoyed cooking. We all have to eat anyway; what if I took more pleasure in the process of keeping us fed?

Last night I did have a glimmer of enjoyment in the cooking. I had planned a lentil soup with kale for dinner, with cornbread on the side. I usually keep my lentil soup very simple — flavored with garlic, salt, and pepper and then we top our bowls with parmesan. This meal reminds my husband of his late mother, and of course that is a good thing. But last night as the soup simmered, I was moved to do something different. So I added a tablespoon of curry powder and a can of coconut milk, changing the personality of that soup entirely.

And, friends, it was so delicious! Just the best soup I’ve had in ages. We had it with the cornbread, and everyone was happy and satisfied. Even my kid had no complaints. I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today. It was nice to be reminded that I can play with our meals sometimes, and that this can have delicious results. I do not think I’m going to become a hobbyist cook again anytime soon, but last night was good.


  1. John S. says:

    I feel like I could have written the first half of this entry, just right there with you. For me, I think it’s a combination of the utilitarian nature of what I have to do (and it never stops!) combined with having picky eaters (that’s karma I guess, because I was very picky as a kid). Maybe when we’re empty nesters a dozen years from now I’ll enjoy it regularly again.

    Your soup sounds delicious though! I love a bit of curry and coconut!

    1. christinasy says:

      Yeah, I hear you. It is relentless! My kid is not actually that picky, but he does have his preferences and that makes the cooking even less fun.

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