Is there anything better than cooking for those one loves? Well, maybe eating a dish someone who loves you made you is a close second, but any work, any toil, becomes a wonderful thing if you’re doing it for the love of others. On this eve before Easter morning, I think of the great spread and banquet in heaven waiting all believers in Jesus Christ someday. It will be feasting and drinking that will never end, as that’s how great our God and Savior is! Is, because Jesus lives! He rose from the dead, conquering death, sin, and the devil for all time and eternity.
I sit on my comfy couch, thinking of the pleasant day I had with my family getting ready for tomorrow. My signature dish, an Indian khorma made with chicken, is bubbling away on my gas stove and the house smells glorious and exotic. The spices sink into everything and I will probably smell of food at church tomorrow, even after I shower well and put on my spring dress and sandals. This korma is a dish of love, and it smells so much better than when I only make it for me. Ok, that doesn’t really make sense, but neither does love, so there. I am glad I was able to make it again as I found some garam masala that was the right taste.
Years ago, shortly after I graduated college and was firmly obsessed with India, and especially Bollywood, I made this dish for the first time. It tasted alright, but, wow, did it take me forever, as at that time I was not a cook. It took me half and hour just to chop the onions, and even longer to cook them, as I was too afraid of burning them, that I didn’t give them enough heat. But, try after try, and the khorma became a constant request from both friends and family. And now it’s back in my life like a old friend and I feel like pulling out my Shahrukh Khan films and Bollywood soundtracks. Will I ever visit India again? Not sure. It’s an overwhelming place where I almost died due to my own recklessness. Getting used to food bacteria in China does not mean one will fare well with bacteria in India. I should have skipped the ice-cream shake made with tap water, no matter how hot it was outside.
Really, I can’t think of another dish I like cooking so much for people. I do have a recipe for bacon-wrapped water chestnuts that’s rather popular, but it’s not quite the same caliber. Kimchi fried rice might be a contestant, but I haven’t really made it for many people yet. Mostly it’s become a recurring lunch staple for me. Butter chicken. That could be it, but it’s never quite as popular as the khorma. Maybe it’s because I add spinach. Why would anyone add spinach to the meat candy that is butter chicken? True, adding too much can give the dish a bit of a sour taste, but I thought it would be something “healthy” to add. I put that in quotes because who knows what’s healthy is these days? When my mom was in college it was “everything in moderation.” These days, it’s: Eat only these certain kinds of food and nothing else. Only meat. Only vegetables. Only fruit. We’ve made eating and cooking into a morality tale that it was never intended to be.
Food is sustenance, food is nutrition. Food really has nothing to do with morality, and we are all so different, different bodies, different blood types. Can we really all have the same diet? Does even everything in moderation work for everyone? How about garlic? This khorma has enough garlic to kill twenty vampires and it will be delicious. Eat and eat well. Eat food that sustains you and keeps you and your family running on all cylinders and out and about doing their thing. Love cooking and cook with love. Cook nutritious, sustaining food. What more can we ask of food? Eat and be satisfied: That’s the goal. Love food, love cooking, love people.