Cooking Is Not A Spectator Sport.

by Christine Sine

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This morning Tom and I are getting ready to host a group of people from Nieu community here in Seattle. It is one of those activities we delight in. I have already been outside harvesting lettuce, returning to the house with the fragrance of mint and arugula clinging to my clothes. (Part of the reason I am posting this so late today). Tom has the main dish ready – a wonderful Mexican rice and beans dish that is one of my favourites. This afternoon I will make sangria, and fruit salad while Tom makes his delicious guacamole salad.

Tomorrow we have more guests in town. Good friends Tom and Kim Balke are driving down from Canada just to spend the day with us. They will arrive early with blackberry apple crumble for us all to start the day. Then for dinner we will have our favourite roast lamb dinner with roasted vegetables and garden salad.How special such friendships and the hospitality they engender, are for us. And the delight of preparing the meal together is part of the enjoyment, and part of where our friendship is deepened.

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Together with Steve and Michelle Ruetschle

This is the end of a week of wonderful rich fellowship with an array of friends. On Wednesday Steve and Michelle Ruetschle were with us. Special friends who work in the Philippines. Some of you may remember Steve who suffered a tragic accident several years ago which should have left him quadriplegic, unable to walk. To watch him walk up our front steps and eat at our table each time he and Michelle come to visit brings tears to my eyes. Monday Coe and Janet Hutchison former MSA Board chair, who now live in Port Townsend were with us, another delightful and special time.

In the midst of these activities words that I read in Food and Faith  this morning keep revolving in my mind. Wirzba talks about how we have taken cooking which is one of the fundamental activities that define people as human beings, and made it into a spectator sport. Cooking and eating have become spectacles that make it very hard to experience food as a precious gift that is God’s delight.

People who watch an array of cooking shows each week, don’t have time to cook. And the shows are designed to entertain to to teach cooking. “They are targeted at people who love to eat rather than people who love to cook. (191).  Not surprisingly, as Michael Pollan shares, studies show obesity rates are inversely correlated to the amount of cooking people do at home.

It all makes me wonder if we can really offer hospitality without home cooking. To rediscover the art of hospitality maybe we need to rediscover the joy of cooking too. What do you think?

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